Larimer, J. L. Department of Zoology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas.
Last reviewed:August 2020
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A simple, unlearned, yet specific behavioral response to a specific stimulus. A reflex is an involuntary response or reaction to a particular stimulus (Fig. 1). Reflexes are exhibited by virtually all animals from protozoa to primates. Along with other, more complex stimulus-bound responses, such as fixed action patterns, reflexes constitute much of the behavioral repertoire of invertebrates. In higher animals, such as primates, where learned behavior dominates, reflexes nevertheless persist as an important component of total behavior. See also: Nervous system (invertebrate); Nervous system (vertebrate); Neurobiology
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