QS Study

Conditioned reflex

It is a reflex response to a stimulus which did not elicit the response previously but acquired by repeatedly pairing the stimulus with another stimulus that normally does produces the response. It is an automatic response established by training to an ordinarily neutral stimulus. After hearing a buzzing every time one is bitten, one might begin to yelp every time one notices the sound: this is a conditioned response because it occurs after one learns to connect the buzz with an insect bite (it does not occur impulsively).

Example: sleep, hunger reflex.

Unconditioned reflex

Unconditioned reflex is inherent, fixed and cannot be altered normally. It is an automatic instinctive unlearned reaction to a stimulus. An unconditioned response is a behavior that occurs naturally due to a given stimulus. For example, when a person yelps upon being bitten by an insect, the yelp is an unconditioned response.

Example: knee-jerk. When the knee is tapped, the nerve that receives this stimulus sends an impulse to the spinal cord, where it is relayed to a motor nerve.

Differences between conditioned and unconditioned reflex –