Question Video: Explaining the Benefit of Reflex Actions | Nagwa Question Video: Explaining the Benefit of Reflex Actions | Nagwa

Question Video: Explaining the Benefit of Reflex Actions Biology • Second Year of Secondary School

Why is it beneficial that reflex actions do not require thinking?

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Video Transcript

Why is it beneficial that reflex actions do not require thinking?

This question is asking about reflexes, so let’s review what we need to know about these actions to answer the question correctly. To start off with, we will look at some key terminology.

A reflex is a response to a stimulus that occurs without the need for conscious thought. A stimulus is any change in the internal or external environment that can influence the organism’s activity, such as change in light intensity or blood–water concentration. And a response is a change in the body that occurs as a reaction to a stimulus, such as change in pupil size or urine production.

We have reflex actions to help prevent injury to our bodies, so it is important that they occur quickly and involuntarily. For example, if you were to put your hand onto something hot, it would immediately jerk away without you having to think about it or make a conscious decision to move it. This quick action helps to avoid your hand from being badly burnt in this scenario. If you had to think about this action first, then it would not occur as quickly, which would mean that your hand would still be touching the hot object as your brain processes the information and makes a decision.

For this reason, most reflex arcs initially bypass the brain and instead are quickly processed through the spinal cord within the central nervous system. Without having to think about the situation before reacting, our bodies are able to act faster and save precious moments, which could prevent more serious injuries from happening.

So from this information, we can come up with the correct answer to the question. It is beneficial that reflex actions do not require thinking because signals are not passed to the brain, allowing the body to respond more quickly.

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