What is a reflex arc?

A reflex arc describes what controls a reflex reaction in humans. When something happens to an organism that needs a quick response a reflex action occurs. It allows the action to be 'unthinking'. A stimuli (such as heat) causes a receptor to send an impulse along the sensory neurone to the spinal cord (central nervous system/CNS). The signal crosses the synapse between the sensory neurone and relay neurone using chemicals. The relay neurone transmits the singal through the CNS and across a synapse to a motor neurone, this then allows the movement of the muscle or effector to move the body out of harms way.

Katie J. GCSE Geography tutor, A Level Geography tutor, GCSE Biology ...

10 months ago

Answered by Katie, a GCSE Biology tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


£18 /hr

Daniel M.

Degree: Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology (Masters) - Exeter University

Subjects offered:Biology, Zoology+ 1 more

-Personal Statements-

“MSc graduate and soon-to-be doctoral student tutoring biology at both GCSE and A Level.”

MyTutor guarantee

£18 /hr

Jamie H.

Degree: Clinical Dentistry (Bachelors) - Sheffield University

Subjects offered:Biology, Science+ 2 more


“I am a third year dental student at The University of Sheffield. I am really passionate about my subjects and am keen to pass this on to others!”

£20 /hr

Emily P.

Degree: Psychology (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered:Biology, Psychology+ 4 more

English Literature
English Language
-Personal Statements-

“Experienced tutor currently studying at a top UK university, I am excited to help you achieve the best grades for you! ”

About the author

Katie J.

Currently unavailable: for new students

Degree: Geography MSci (Masters) - Durham University

Subjects offered:Biology, Maths+ 2 more

-Personal Statements-

“About Me I am a physical geography student at Durham University. I have always been fascinated by the world that surrounds us, the physical processes that forms it and the interactions we have with the Earth and each other. I hope tha...”

You may also like...

Posts by Katie

What are some example of global commons?

What are the vegetation characteristics in Temperate Woodland Biomes?

What is a reflex arc?

Other GCSE Biology questions

What is the difference between Dominant and Recessive alleles?

What is the best way to go about answering a long answer biology question?

Where is oestrogen produced?

What is asexual reproduction and what are its features?

View GCSE Biology tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss