December 21, 2014

Homework Help: Biology

Posted by Alyssa on Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 10:47pm.

What are the differences between reflex (involuntary) actions, and voluntary actions in terms of the way nerve impulses are transmitted through the neurones?

For instance, i know that in a reflex action, say, a prick of the needle on your hand, will stimulate the nerve endings in the skin. Then, nerve impulses are produced, and nerve impulses travel along the sensory neurone to the spinal cord. In the spinal cord, the nerve impulses are transmitted first across a synapse to the relay neurone, and then across another synapse to the motor neurone. At the same time, nerve impulses are transmitted to the brain. Nerve impulses leave the spinal cord long the motor neurone to the effector, and the effector takes action. So i end up moving first before i feel the pain in my hand.

But in what ways is it different in a voluntary action?

I know that there are some relay neurones that lie parallel to the length of the spinal cord. Why is it different from relay neurones that lie in the middle of the spinal cord in the grey matter?

Please tell me how is reflex action different from voluntary action in terms of the way chemical signals travel.


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