Structure of Somatic Reflexes
The somatic system works with the central nervous system to moderate and coordinate innate and acquired reflexes as well as learned reflexive responses. As each reflexive somatic response emerges it qualitatively and quantitatively expands our ability to interact more efficiently and effectively with the world around us, expanding our repertoire to include simple to complex motor movements.
Motor movement reflexes can be categorized according to the number and combination of muscles, joints, and limbs involved in executing a particular motor response. Somatic reflex categories include motor reflex actions, movements, patterns, and schemes. This structural characterization can be applied to all motor movement reflexes whether they are lifelong, primary, innate or acquired. Summarized below are the basic parameters used to define each of the structural reflex variations along with a table outlining the various ways in which less complex reflexes can function – independently and or as subordinate components of related, more complex innate reflexes, acquired reflexes, or learned reflexive responses.
Somatic Reflex Examples
Somatic reflex examples are included below for innate lifelong reflexes, primary infant motor reflexes, and lifelong reflex schemes.
A touch on the soft palate in the back of the mouth causes a contraction of the back of the throat that prevents something from entering the throat except as a part of normal swallowing. This reflex helps to prevent choking.
A touch on the roof of the mouth by the sucking tongue causes swallowing to occur (allowing baby to obtain nourishment).
A stroke along the side of the sole of the foot causes the foot to grasp, moving the toes toward the heel.
Sharp, sudden pain causes the affected arm or leg to be withdrawn.
An irritant to the skin causes scratching movement to relieve the itch.
For a more complete summary of lifelong reflexes go the online Medical Dictionary provided by The Free Dictionary through the following link: http://medicaldictionary.thefreedictionary.com/reflex
Primary Infant Motor Reflexes:
The following table summarizes the primary infant reflexes best known by health and wellness professionals and central to the MNRI Method and its complement of programs. The table summarizes the name of each primary infant motor reflex, when the reflex is first visibly apparent, and when the primary reflex integrates and is no longer actively present in its primary form. Click on the reflex name of interest for additional information a particular primary infant reflex, click on the reflex name of interest.
|Babkin Palmomental reflex||Womb at 2 months||4 months after birth|
|Robinson Grasp reflex||Womb at 11 weeks||12 months after birth|
|Tonic Labyrinthine reflex||Womb at 3 months||2-4 months after birth|
|Asymmetrical Tonic Neck reflex (ATNR)||Womb at 3 months||6-7 months after birth|
|Spinal Galant reflex||Womb at 3-4 months||5-9 months after birth|
|Symmetrical Tonic Neck reflex (STNR)||Womb at 4 months||10 months after birth|
|Leg Cross Flexion-Extension reflex||Womb at 6 months||1-2 months after birth|
|Hands Pulling reflex||Womb at 6 months||2 months after birth|
|Moro Embrace reflex||Womb at 6 months||3-4 months after birth|
|Bauer Crawling reflex||Womb at 6 months||4 months after birth|
|Hands Supporting reflex (Parachute)||Womb at 6 months||6 months after birth|
|Thomas Automatic Gait||Womb at 8 months||2 months after birth|
|Bonding reflex||At birth||8-10 months after birth|
|Spinal Perez reflex||At birth||2-3 years after birth|
|Babinski reflex||1 week after birth||1-2 years after birth|
|Trunk Extension reflex||1 month after birth||7-9 months after birth|
|Flying and Landing reflex||1 month after birth||1 year after birth|
|Pavlov Cognitive Orientation reflex||1 month after birth||Lifelong reflex|
|Landau Reflex||2-6 months after birth||2-3 years after birth|
Lifelong Reflex Schemes:
Lifelong reflex schemes, the most complex of innate reflexes, include whole body movements that emerge across all population regardless of cultural, social, or environmental differences. Their successful function relies directly on the emergence, maturation, and integration of related primary motor infant reflexes and includes: