General properties of reflexes

An adequate stimulus is necessary.

Local sign: pattern of response depends on the afferent nerve fibre stimulated. Irradiation of the stimulus: the more intense a stimulus is, the greater is the spread of activity in the spinal cord, involving more and more motor neurons. Summation: several synaptic inputs from different sources may have a cumulative effect (spatial summation) or repeated stimuli in a brief time can also have a cumulative effect (temporal summation). Occlusion.

Recruitment and after-discharge.

Reciprocal innervation (or reciprocal inhibition).

Final common path: the motor neuron is the common efferent path for several reflexes.

Response time is an indicator of the number of synapses in the reflex arc. Rebound phenomenon: the exaggeration of a reflex after a temporary period of inhibition.

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