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Michael Edelman mje at mich.com
Thu Feb 11 09:16:10 EST 1999



Cijadrachon wrote:

> R.Hill at iti.salford.ac.uk wrote:
>
> ...
>
> >Why does the response time take so long compared with the  time taken
> >for a reflex.
>
> Merrily guessing I'd assume that some reflexes go off before I am
> informed about that (compare doctor knee -"hammer"-tap ---> reflex),

Correct. Many reflexes do not involve the CNS at all. Some, like the
patellar reflex mentioned, take place entirely at the level of the spine.
The brain find out about it *after* it happens. That reflex, BTW, is the
same one that makes you recover quickly when you step into a hole. It
makes walking possible.

Some reactions are mediated in lower brain, and require no concious input,
but still go through CNS. Some require concious monitoring and decision
making.

> >Can these response times be improved upon.

Some can, with practice.

--
Michael Edelman     http://www.mich.com/~mje





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