Importance of Reflexes
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A reflex, in its simplest definition, is a conscious or unconscious behavior (output) occurring in response to a change (input).
Scientific investigation continues to reveal the subtle complexities of reflexes and how hugely important they are to our ability to exist. It is not surprising, therefore, to find references to reflex action as far back as the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, Anaxagorus (500 B.C.) who spoke of a self-organizing nature of the mind’s activity and Plato (400 B.C.) who proposed that sense experiences act to guide assertions about the outside world. The Greek anatomist Herophilus (300 B.C.) not only recognized the brain as the center of the nervous system, designating it as the center of thought, but went on to make the first known contribution to neurophysiology by distinguishing between sensory and motor pathways (Thomas Knierim, Mind and Consciousness, thebigview.com). Centuries would pass and many more ideas would be postulated, explored, and debated until scientists of the “modern era,” armed with the scientific method, would reveal the actual dynamics of the reflex.
The following links provide additional information regarding the importance of reflexes if you are interested in learning more.