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דירוג מערכת: 
Reflex and Instinct

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שם:  Reflex and Instinct
מחבר:  Moshe Menasheof

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A reflex is defined as a physiological reaction in a closed, mechanic stimulus-response system called a reflex arc. The reaction is automatic and does not involve the cerebrum. The word reflex is often used to describe reactions which do not fit the strict definition of a reflex, usually because they are immediate and unintentional. However, these characteristics are not enough to define a reaction as a reflex.
In this essay, Moshe Menasheof defines instinct, a reaction which, like reflex, can be immediate and involuntary, but unlike it is processed in the cerebrum. That is, an instinct is a reaction which originates in awareness. The instinctive reaction is only triggered when awareness identifies something to trigger it.
Another difference essential to the distinction between the two types of reactions is that reflexes do not change, while instincts do. The physiological mechanisms which activate instincts do not change, but the meanings that trigger them do, creating the appearance that instinctive reactions change during a person’s life.
Using these definitions and the distinction between reflex and instinct, the author gives the readers tools to help them in analyzing different reactions and deciding whether an immediate, involuntary reaction is truly a reflex, or actually an instinct. The author points to a number of examples which are mistakenly called reflexes, such as the cold crying reflex, which is actually an instinctive response. The essay also gives examples of cases which can be both a reflex and an instinctive reaction, such as vomiting.

 

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