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Neonatal Reflex Essay

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Archaeologists have traced the existence of Homos (humans) in the taxonomic rank of Genus to about 2.5 million years ago. During this long period of time, until the subspecies Homo sapiens appeared, was a period when humans are not only the predator but also the prey. Newborns are especially vulnerable because they do not have the strength, or the ability to escape danger, thus newborns must develop some other mechanism to survive and are especially sensitive to their environment. Thus, babies are born with a number of infant reflexes to help them achieve that. Infant reflexes or neonatal reflexes are unlearned and involuntary responses present at birth that occurs due to a certain stimuli. These reflexes are predictable and are inhibited…show more content…
The sucking reflex causes the infant to suck anything that touches the roof of its mouth and that is extremely important because without the sucking reflex, the infant would not be able to feed properly. The reflex occurs in two phases in the case of eating, expression and milking. Expression is when the mother’s nipple touches the child’s palate and the child instinctively closes his or her lips and begin draw out milk. Milking is when the tongue leaves the areola allowing the child to swallow the milk. (Wikipedia) Other than eating, infants often suck their thumbs or their pacifier and the reason is for comfort or when they are tired. The sucking reflex usually stops when the infant is 3 months old but is often prolonged due to the use of the pacifier. The reflex stops because as the limbic system of the brain develops, the infant finds new ways pathways to handle their emotions and so the sucking of the thumb or pacifier is no longer…show more content…
The child would fling his or her arms, fan the fingers and arches the back. The infant would respond in such a way when exposed to sudden noise is because the noise represented danger and so the child initiated his or her fight or flight reaction, which is a primitive response. The infant startle reflex is usually gone by 16 weeks and is replaced by adult startle reflex. The difference between adult startle reflex vs infant startle reflex is that adults would flinch instead of waving arms and legs. The infant startle reflex would go away because the child would gain more and more control over her muscles and since the startle reaction is an overreaction, it gradually gets under
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