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What is the role of the brain in reflex action?

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Reflex actions are sudden responses, which do not involve any thinking. For example, when we touch a hot object, we withdraw our hand immediately without thinking as thinking may take time which would be enough to get us burnt. The sensory nerves that detect the heat are connected to the nerves that move the muscles of the hand. Such a connection of detecting the signal from the nerves (input) and responding to it quickly (output) is called a reflex arc. The reflex arcs –connections present between the input and output nerves − meet in a bundle in the spinal cord.

Reflex arcs are formed in the spinal cord and the information (input) reaches the brain. The brain is only aware of the signal and the response that has taken place. However, the brain has no role to play in the creation of the response.

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