Image:Purves knee jerk reflex.gif

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Figure 1.5. A simple reflex circuit, the knee-jerk response (more formally, the myotatic reflex), illustrates several points about the functional organization of neural circuits. Stimulation of peripheral sensors (a muscle stretch receptor in this case) initiates receptor potentials that trigger action potentials that travel centrally along the afferent axons of the sensory neurons. This information stimulates spinal motor neurons by means of synaptic contacts. The action potentials triggered by the synaptic potential in motor neurons travel peripherally in efferent axons, giving rise to muscle contraction and a behavioral response. One of the purposes of this particular reflex is to help maintain an upright posture in the face of unexpected changes.

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current13:36, 22 November 2006692×472 (46 KB)BIO254 14 (Talk | contribs) (Figure 1.5. A simple reflex circuit, the knee-jerk response (more formally, the myotatic reflex), illustrates several points about the functional organization of neural circuits. Stimulation of peripheral sensors (a muscle stretch receptor in this case) i)

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