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Motor Control (Spinal Reflexes) Notes

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Lecture 12 Motor Control: Spinal Reflexes

Spinal and supra-spinal mechanisms o Spinal cord reflex
 Very rapid, automatic and highly stereotyped response o Supra-spinal motor circuits
 Volitional (deliberate) control over movements Types of spinal reflexes o Monosynaptic reflex
 Simplest reflex
 Aka. Stretch or myotatic reflex
 Mechanism for controlling muscle length
 Prevents overstretching of muscle
 Important in generation of muscle tone
 LOW THRESHOLD
 PROTECTIVE REFLEX o Golgi tendon reflex
 Controls muscle tension
 LOW THRESHOLD
 PROTECTIVE REFLEX o Flexor or withdrawal reflex
 Rapidly removes limb from painful stimulus
 HIGH THRESHOLD o Crossed extensor reflex
 Maintains body equilibrium
 HIGH THRESHOLD All these somatic reflexes have 5 common components

1. SENSORY RECEPTOR
 Responds to stimulus by producing a receptor potential
 Activated
 In periphery in most cases

2. SENSORY NEURON
 Axon conducts impulses from receptor to integrating center
 Relays info into CNS
 Afferent

3. INTEGRATING CENTER
 One or more regions in CNS that relay impulses from sensory to motor neurons
 Different levels of connection complexity depending on the stimulus

4. MOTOR NEURON
 Axon conducts impulses from integrating center to effector

5. EFFECTOR
 Muscle or gland that responds to motor nerve impulse
 Gland= autonomic
 Motor=somatic

• Reflex of muscles that are also involved in voluntary movement Monosynaptic (stretch) reflex o Mechanism

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