Celebrating 19 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The Columbia is lost; there are no survivors.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index R > Category: Reflex

Reflex Quotes (14 quotes)

A bird maintains itself in the air by imperceptible balancing, when near to the mountains or lofty ocean crags; it does this by means of the curves of the winds which as they strike against these projections, being forced to preserve their first impetus bend their straight course towards the sky with divers revolutions, at the beginning of which the birds come to a stop with their wings open, receiving underneath themselves the continual buffetings of the reflex courses of the winds.
'Flight', in The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, trans. E. MacCurdy (1938), Vol. 1, 471.
Science quotes on:  |  Against (332)  |  Air (347)  |  Balance (77)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Being (1278)  |  Bird (149)  |  Continual (43)  |  Course (409)  |  Curve (49)  |  First (1283)  |  Flight (98)  |  Impetus (5)  |  Maintain (105)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Open (274)  |  Preserve (83)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Sky (161)  |  Straight (73)  |  Strike (68)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Wind (128)  |  Wing (75)

If we denote excitation as an end-effect by the sign plus (+), and inhibition as end-effect by the sign minus (–), such a reflex as the scratch-reflex can be termed a reflex of double-sign, for it develops excitatory end-effect and then inhibitory end-effect even during the duration of the exciting stimulus.
The Integrative Action of the Nervous System (1906), 83.
Science quotes on:  |  Develop (268)  |  Effect (393)  |  End (590)  |  Excitation (9)  |  Exciting (47)  |  Inhibition (13)  |  Plus (43)  |  Scratch (13)  |  Sign (58)  |  Stimulus (26)  |  Term (349)

It is distinctly proved, by this series of observations, that the reflex function exists in the medulla independently of the brain; in the medulla oblongata independently of the medulla spinalis; and in the spinal marrow of the anterior extremities, of the posterior extremities, and of the tail, independently of that of each other of these parts, respectively. There is still a more interesting and satisfactory mode of performing the experiment: it is to divide the spinal marrow between the nerves of the superior and inferior extremities. We have then two modes of animal life : the first being the assemblage of the voluntary and respiratory powers with those of the reflex function and irritability; the second, the two latter powers only: the first are those which obtain in the perfect animal, the second those which animate the foetus. The phenomena are precisely what might have been anticipated. If the spinal marrow be now destroyed, the irritability alone remains,—all the other phenomena having ceased.
'On the Reflex Function of the Medulla Oblongata and Medulla Spinalis,' Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 1833, 123, 650.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Alone (311)  |  Animal (617)  |  Animal Life (19)  |  Assemblage (17)  |  Being (1278)  |  Brain (270)  |  Destroy (180)  |  Divide (75)  |  Exist (443)  |  Experiment (695)  |  First (1283)  |  Function (228)  |  Independently (24)  |  Inferior (37)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Irritability (4)  |  Life (1795)  |  Medulla Oblongata (2)  |  More (2559)  |  Nerve (79)  |  Observation (555)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Other (2236)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Posterior (7)  |  Power (746)  |  Precisely (92)  |  Remain (349)  |  Respectively (13)  |  Series (149)  |  Still (613)  |  Superior (81)  |  Two (937)

It seems to me that you are solving a problem which goes beyond the limits of physiology in too simple a way. Physiology has realized its problem with fortitude, breaking man down into endless actions and counteractions and reducing him to a crossing, a vortex of reflex acts. Let it now permit sociology to restore him as a whole. Sociology will wrest man from the anatomical theatre and return him to history.
Letter to his son, Alexander, July-Aug 1868. Trans. Roger Smith, Inhibition: History and Meaning in the Sciences of Mind and Brain (1992), 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Action (327)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Down (456)  |  Endless (56)  |  History (673)  |  Limit (280)  |  Man (2251)  |  Permit (58)  |  Physiology (95)  |  Problem (676)  |  Return (124)  |  Simple (406)  |  Sociology (46)  |  Vortex (9)  |  Way (1217)  |  Whole (738)  |  Will (2355)

Plants are extraordinary. For instance ... if you pinch a leaf of a plant you set off electrical impulse. You can't touch a plant without setting off an electrical impulse ... There is no question that plants have all kinds of sensitivities. They do a lot of responding to an environment. They can do almost anything you can think of.
Quoted in George Ritzer and Barry Smart, Handbook of Social Theory, 532.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Do (1908)  |  Electrical (57)  |  Environment (216)  |  Extraordinary (79)  |  Impulse (48)  |  Kind (557)  |  Leaf (66)  |  Lot (151)  |  Pinch (5)  |  Plant (294)  |  Question (621)  |  Set (394)  |  Setting (44)  |  Think (1086)  |  Touch (141)

Reflexes and instincts are not pretty. It is their decoration that initiates art.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Initiate (13)  |  Instinct (88)

Some say that everything that is called a psychical law is nothing but the psychological reflex of physical combinations, which is made up of sensations joined to certain central cerebral processes... It is contradicted by the fact of consciousness itself, which cannot possibly be derived from any physical qualities of material molecules or atoms.
An Introduction to Psychology (1912)
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (355)  |  Call (769)  |  Central (80)  |  Certain (550)  |  Combination (144)  |  Consciousness (123)  |  Contradict (40)  |  Everything (476)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Law (894)  |  Material (353)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Physical (508)  |  Possibly (111)  |  Psychological (42)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Say (984)  |  Sensation (57)

The development of mathematics is largely a natural, not a purely logical one: mathematicians are continually answering questions suggested by astronomers or physicists; many essential mathematical theories are but the reflex outgrowth from physical puzzles.
In 'The Teaching of the History of Science', The Scientific Monthly (Sep 1918), 194.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (366)  |  Astronomer (93)  |  Continually (16)  |  Development (422)  |  Essential (199)  |  Logical (55)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Natural (796)  |  Outgrowth (3)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physicist (259)  |  Purely (109)  |  Puzzle (44)  |  Question (621)  |  Suggested (2)  |  Theory (970)

The Law of Inhibition. The strength of a reflex may be decreased through presentation of a second stimulus which has no other relation to the effector involved.
In The Behavior of Organisms: An Experimental Analysis (1938), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Decrease (15)  |  Inhibition (13)  |  Involve (90)  |  Involved (90)  |  Law (894)  |  Other (2236)  |  Presentation (23)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Stimulus (26)  |  Strength (126)  |  Through (849)

The nervous system is the most complex and delicate instrument on our planet, by means of which relations, connections are established between the numerous parts of the organism, as well as between the organism, as a highly complex system, and the innumerable, external influences. If the closing and opening of electric current is now regarded as an ordinary technical device, why should there be any objection to the idea that the same principle acts in this wonderful instrument? On this basis the constant connection between the external agent and the response of the organism, which it evokes, can be rightly called an unconditioned reflex, and the temporary connection—a conditioned reflex.
The Conditioned Reflex (1935), 249.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Agent (70)  |  Basis (173)  |  Call (769)  |  Called (9)  |  Complex (188)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Condition (356)  |  Conditioning (3)  |  Connection (162)  |  Constancy (12)  |  Constant (144)  |  Current (118)  |  Delicacy (8)  |  Delicate (43)  |  Device (70)  |  Electric (76)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Establishment (47)  |  Evoke (12)  |  External (57)  |  Idea (843)  |  Influence (222)  |  Innumerable (55)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nerve (79)  |  Nervous System (34)  |  Numerous (68)  |  Objection (32)  |  Opening (15)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  Organism (220)  |  Part (222)  |  Planet (356)  |  Principle (507)  |  Regard (305)  |  Relation (157)  |  Response (53)  |  System (537)  |  Technology (257)  |  Temporary (23)  |  Why (491)  |  Wonder (236)  |  Wonderful (149)

The role of inhibition in the working of the central nervous system has proved to be more and more extensive and more and more fundamental as experiment has advanced in examining it. Reflex inhibition can no longer be regarded merely as a factor specially developed for dealing with the antagonism of opponent muscles acting at various hinge-joints. Its role as a coordinative factor comprises that, and goes beyond that. In the working of the central nervous machinery inhibition seems as ubiquitous and as frequent as is excitation itself. The whole quantitative grading of the operations of the spinal cord and brain appears to rest upon mutual interaction between the two central processes 'excitation' and 'inhibition', the one no less important than the other. For example, no operation can be more important as a basis of coordination for a motor act than adjustment of the quantity of contraction, e.g. of the number of motor units employed and the intensity of their individual tetanic activity. This now appears as the outcome of nice co-adjustment of excitation and inhibition upon each of all the individual units which cooperate in the act.
Inhibition as a Coordinative Factor', Nobel Lecture (12 Dec 1932). Nobel Lectures: Physiology or Medicine 1922-1941 (1965), 288.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Activity (210)  |  Adjustment (20)  |  All (4108)  |  Antagonism (6)  |  Basis (173)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Brain (270)  |  Central (80)  |  Contraction (15)  |  Coordination (9)  |  Develop (268)  |  Employ (113)  |  Excitation (9)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Extensive (33)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Hinge (4)  |  Individual (404)  |  Inhibition (13)  |  Intensity (34)  |  Interaction (46)  |  Joint (31)  |  Machinery (56)  |  Merely (316)  |  More (2559)  |  Motor (23)  |  Muscle (45)  |  Mutual (52)  |  Nervous System (34)  |  Number (699)  |  Operation (213)  |  Operations (107)  |  Opponent (19)  |  Other (2236)  |  Quantitative (29)  |  Quantity (132)  |  Regard (305)  |  Rest (280)  |  Role (86)  |  Spinal Cord (5)  |  System (537)  |  Two (937)  |  Ubiquitous (5)  |  Various (200)  |  Whole (738)

The true-spinal system consists of a series of nerves passing principally from the cutaneous surface, and the surface of the mucous membranes, to the spinal marrow; and of another series of nerves passing from the spinal marrow to a series of muscles, destined to be moved simultaneously. The former, thence designated the incident nerves; the latter, reflex nerves: the spinal marrow is their common centre.
On the Mutual Relations between Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology and Therapeutics, and the Practice of Medicine. Being the Gulstonian Lectures for 1842 (1842), 32.
Science quotes on:  |  Common (436)  |  Consist (223)  |  Destined (42)  |  Former (137)  |  Membrane (21)  |  Muscle (45)  |  Nerve (79)  |  Passing (76)  |  Series (149)  |  Surface (209)  |  System (537)

With the nervous system intact the reactions of the various parts of that system, the 'simple reflexes', are ever combined into great unitary harmonies, actions which in their sequence one upon another constitute in their continuity what may be termed the 'behaviour'.
The Integrative Action of the Nervous System (1906), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Behavior (84)  |  Behaviour (41)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Continuity (38)  |  Great (1574)  |  Intact (8)  |  Nervous System (34)  |  Reaction (104)  |  Sequence (68)  |  Simple (406)  |  System (537)  |  Term (349)  |  Various (200)

[Certain students] suppose that because science has penetrated the structure of the atom it can solve all the problems of the universe. ... They are known in every ... college as the most insufferable, cocksure know-it-alls. If you want to talk to them about poetry, they are likely to reply that the "emotive response" to poetry is only a conditioned reflex .... If they go on to be professional scientists, their sharp corners are rubbed down, but they undergo no fundamental change. They most decidedly are not set apart from the others by their intellectual integrity and faith, and their patient humility in front of the facts of nature.... They are uneducated, in the fullest sense of the word, and they certainly are no advertisement for the claims of science teachers.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 18-19.
Science quotes on:  |  Advertisement (13)  |  All (4108)  |  Atom (355)  |  Certain (550)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Change (593)  |  Claim (146)  |  Cocksure (2)  |  College (66)  |  Condition (356)  |  Corner (57)  |  Down (456)  |  Emotion (100)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Faith (203)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Humility (28)  |  Insufferable (2)  |  Integrity (17)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Know (1518)  |  Known (454)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Other (2236)  |  Patience (56)  |  Patient (199)  |  Pentration (2)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Problem (676)  |  Profession (99)  |  Professional (70)  |  Reply (56)  |  Response (53)  |  Rub (4)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Sense (770)  |  Sense Of The Word (5)  |  Set (394)  |  Solution (267)  |  Solve (130)  |  Structure (344)  |  Student (300)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Supposition (50)  |  Teacher (143)  |  Uneducated (9)  |  Universe (857)  |  Want (497)  |  Word (619)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: Albert Einstein Isaac Newton Lord Kelvin Charles Darwin Srinivasa Ramanujan Carl Sagan Florence Nightingale Thomas Edison Aristotle Marie Curie Benjamin Franklin Winston Churchill Galileo Galilei Sigmund Freud Robert Bunsen Louis Pasteur Theodore Roosevelt Abraham Lincoln Ronald Reagan Leonardo DaVinci Michio Kaku Karl Popper Johann Goethe Robert Oppenheimer Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: Atomic  Bomb Biology Chemistry Deforestation Engineering Anatomy Astronomy Bacteria Biochemistry Botany Conservation Dinosaur Environment Fractal Genetics Geology History of Science Invention Jupiter Knowledge Love Mathematics Measurement Medicine Natural Resource Organic Chemistry Physics Physician Quantum Theory Research Science and Art Teacher Technology Universe Volcano Virus Wind Power Women Scientists X-Rays Youth Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.