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The Type of Reflex Represented by the Pathway

by Aaron Finch

This article aims to discuss the type of reflex known as the Pathway Reflex. This article will go through some of the basics of how it works, its function in organ systems, and some examples of pathways that are most commonly tested.

This reflex is triggered when a stranger suddenly grabs your arm or anything else that might usually cause an aversion response in most people. It is instinctual for most people to jerk away from them; however, it can also serve to show useful things like plantar responses (when you step on something painful). The pathway is typically tested with either pin pricks under the foot or moving stimuli near your face or hand.

Which reflex is triggered when a stranger suddenly grasps your arm?The pathway

1. Pathway : 

An involuntary response to a specific stimulus -a conditioned stimulus (the stimulus you have learned to respond to) or a unconditioned stimulus (the stimulus that causes the reflex)

There are three different types of typical reflexes; The stepping reflex, stretch reflex and pathway. Pathway is a combination of these three and is sometimes called the climbing fiber.

The pathway is either elicited with a pinch applied to the plantar surface or a stroking action on your face or arm. When you jolt yourself in this manner, it activates the pathways to your foot and arm and it can be seen in reaction time as well

2. Plantar Reflex: 

A complex muscle response that occurs when you step on something painful with any particular part of your foot. The reflex is localized in the central nervous system and effects the muscles that control movement in your leg and foot.

3. Stretch Reflex : 

It is a fast and involuntary jerk of our muscle when you touch a tendon or nerve with something sharp, this type of reaction occurs even before you can feel it.

4. Stepping Reflex: 

This reflex is also called “Babinski’s sign”. When you stroke the bottom of foot from toe to heel, upward with your finger, the toes will spread out (extend)

5. Climb-Cable Reflex: 

A reflex or pathway triggered by tactile stimuli like stroking and scratching on your skin. Stimuli is usually applied to the upper arm, neck, shoulder and face. This type of reflex travels through the same neural pathways as pain (sharp prick) reflexes like stepping, stretch and plantar reflexes. This phenomenon can be used to locate neurological deficits in patients with brachial plexus injuries or lesions from stroke or lesion to the lateral spinothalamic tract on the left side of the brain.

6. Tonic Neck Reflex: 

This is the type of reflex that is triggered when you grab something, especially the back of the neck, and feel a stretch. It is a quick but weak muscle response in which the spinal cord may not receive any signal from muscles that move your upper arms. This reflex can be elicited by touching the back of the neck or head overlying spinal cord.

7. Others: 

This reflex is a response to a touch in the back of our neck, it can be elicited by touching the upper part of back of our head and neck; it is called the triceps reflex.

For example: If you place your fingers on top of your head and rotate your head from side to side, you will feel your muscles contract on one side and then the other. This reflex allows you to detect movement of your head and also prevent damage during head trauma.

8. Arm and Neck Reflex: 

This is a type of reflex mediated by the upper spinal cord or brain stem. It is made up of the following components: (a) the triceps muscle; (b) aponeurosis of muscles of the upper arm; (c) biceps muscle; and (d) triceps brachii muscle. The stimulus that elicits this reflex is usually an actinic light or electric shock delivered over these areas.

9. Triceps Reflex: 

It is a type of reflex consisting of the activation of the muscle (tendons) on each side of the upper arm, in response to a stimulus applied to one or both sides of the back and front of the arm. This is often best tested by using an actinic lamp (the skin will react to light even when there is no nerve damage present). The stimulus that elicits this reflex is usually an actinic light or electric shock delivered over these areas.

10. Pinch Reflex: 

Is a small, fine and quite peculiar contraction movement in the skin area where it was elicited by palmar rubbing with a very strong grasp. It does not need a stimulus to make it work. It is also one of the fastest of all reflexes

11. The Babinski Sign: 

Babinski’s sign is a type of reflex that can be elicited by sharply striking the sole (bottom) of your foot. It should elicit an extension or spreading apart movement in your big toe (if the reflex is normal). This reaction is used to determine if damage has occurred in a hyper-reflexive state

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