Difference between Reflex and Reaction

Reflexes are an automatic response of a living being in the presence of a given stimulus while the reaction is a response generated by an action. It is also conceived as the way in which an organism or individual responds to a specific stimulus.


It is the automatic and involuntary response of a living being to a specific stimulus. It is a movement or activation of a gland. A reflex can be movement that is triggered spontaneously. There are also reflexes that cause the activation of a gland such as the lactic secretion reflex.

The mammary glands produce milk under the sucking stimulus generated by the babies. Reflexes can be innate or acquired. Innate reflexes are produced naturally and are not learned, while a conditioned reflex is one that we learn from experience.

The properties of reflections are:

Invariance: Reflexes are the same in all individuals.

Integrity: For the atomic elements to come into action continuously, they must occur.

Speed: It depends on the route of the excitation in the sensory nerve and the transformation of the sensation into a motor reaction through the excitation in the motor nerve and the reaction of the muscle.

Personal equation: Reflection time may vary.

Fatiguability: If the same reflex is elicited repeatedly, the intensity of the response decreases.


It is recognized as a reaction or consequence of a certain action. In some cases it is known as the resistance or opposing force or something.

Differences between reflex and reaction

  • Reflexes are performed voluntarily or involuntarily and can be conditioned or learned.
  • The reaction is a voluntary response to an action or, provoked in the case of chemical and biological reactions.

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