Medical Dictionary

Medical Dictionary

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spinal reflex

A spinal reflex is a reflexive action mediated by cells in the spinal cord, bypassing the brain altogether. A classic example is the kneejerk or patellar reflex, where the leg jerks when the kneecap is struck with a brisk tap. These reflexes have ancient origins and have evolved to allow the body to respond quickly to threats and hazards without the time delay involved when the brain is consulted about how to respond to a stimulus.

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