Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

31 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Importance of Infant Reflexes

-4 months of prenatal life and the 4 months after birth

-reflexes occur subcortically (below the level of the higher brain centers

Infant vs. Lifespan Reflexes

-most infant reflexes do not last beyond the first year

-if they do, they often impeded expected development patterns and can be an indicator of early motor abnormality

Lifespan Reflexes

reflexes that endure

-knee-jerk reflex

-flexor-withdrawal reflex (hot or sharp object)

Infant Reflexes

primitive reflexes

-asymmetric tonic neck reflex

-symmetric tonic neck reflex

-moro reflexes

Primitive reflexes importance



-sucking reflex

-rooting reflex


Postural Reflexes

provide automatic movement that is "practiced for future voluntary movement

Walking reflex

these reflexes disappear when voluntary behavior surfaces

Why study Reflexes

-so much activity 4 months pre and post birth that infants are called reflex machines

-primative reflexes are critical for human survival

-diagnosing infant health and neurological concerns

Reflexes as Diagnostic Tool

-can help determine the level of neurological maturation

Moro Reflex

may signify a cerebral birth injury if lacking or asymmetrical (appearing more forcefully on one side)

Asymmetric tonic neck reflex

-persistence past the normal time of disappearence may indicate cerebral palsy or other neurological problem

Milani Comparetti Neuromotor Development Examination

measures several infant reflexes from birth to 24 months

Primitive Reflex Profile

Quantification of the level of presence or strength of primitive reflexes

-degree of presence is measured on a scale of 0-4.

Pinpointing the number of infant reflexes

-different terminologies used for same reflex by experts

-rooting reflex=search reflex

-reflexes are often poorly defined

-palmar grasp (2 fingers, shoulder muscles)

-New ones being categorized all the time

-elbow reflex: press abdomen=elbows adduct, followed by extension of arm and swing of hand over abdomen

Palmar Grasp

one of the most noticeable reflexes to emerge

-endures through the 4th month

-Leads to voluntary reaching and grasping

-Non-existence may indicate neurological disorder, especially spasticity.


occurs pre-and postnatal stimulated by touching lips

-needed for obtaining food- "failure to thrive"


-helps the baby locate nourishment

-baby turns head toward the food

-contributes to head-and body-righting reflexes

-Absence may indicate injury in facial nerve or muscles on one side

stimulus=touching cheek

Moro Reflex

-stimuli that induces the startle reflex

-precedes the startle reflex and causes the arms and legs to extend immediately rather than flex

-birth to 4-6months

-one of the most useful in diagnosing infant's neurological maturation

-can alert to a neurological dysfunction and later maybe a sensorimotor deficit


-similar to moro reflex

-may not appear until 2-3 months after moro disappears

-rapid change of head position or by striking the surface that supports the baby

Asymmetric Tonic Neck Reflex

-extension on one side-flexion on the other side

-difficult to detect in primature infants

-facilitates development of body awareness

Symmetric Tonic Neck Reflex

-limbs respond symmetrically

-its persistence may impede other motor milestones

-leads to voluntary head raising, reaching/grasping, unsupported sitting

Plantar Grasp

-the toes appear to be grasping

-stimulus is touching the ball of the foot

-this reflex must disappear before the baby can stand or walk

Palmar Mandibular Reflex

-makes eyes close, mouth open and head turn forward

-also called Babkin Reflex

-stimulated with pressure on both palms

Palmar Mental Reflex

-elicits a facial response when the base of the palm is scratched

-lower jaw opens and closes

(primitive reflexes may re-appear as we age, and can be used as a diagnostic tool


-believed to be essential to the voluntary creeping movement

-observed from birth to 3-4 months

Postural Reflexes

-swimming motion when infants are held horizontal

-reasons for early swim programs

-may not result in infants learning better or faster

Head-and-body Righting

-the head "rights" itself with the body when the body is turned to one side

-precursor to rolling movements

-body righting may not be evident before month 5


-this reflex endures throughout most of the first year

-related to upright posture

-head tilts in the opposite direction of body tilt


-another form of movement observable during infancy

-characterized by patterned, rhythmical, stereotyped, highly intrinsic, and involuntary movements of the body (not based on stimulation)

-believed to precede more complex voluntary movements (perhaps "partial" movements)

Ester Thalen

1979 studied stereotypes

-they're intrinsic

-link between their movement and later movements (don't know stimuli yet)

-they serve no purpose

-grouped stereotypes by body region such as; legs, feet, hands, arms, fingers, torso, head, and face

Common stereotypes

extension, flexion, rotation

-single leg kick, two-leg kick, and alternate leg kick (precedes voluntary use of legs)

Rubbing feet together, arm wave, arm wave with object, arm banging against a surface, finger flexion (precedes voluntary attempts at grasping)