These natural fears are known as reflexes.
Psychologists differ on the question of whether or not certain
apparently unconscious and involuntary responses of infants should be
?At birth or soon after, a baby has startle reflexes and avoidance
reactions, such as recoiling from pain, jerking at a loud noise or
gasping at the sensation of falling. These actions may be unconscious
to begin with, but they connect to conscious fears as the infant
In the case of infants, some psychologists still argue on whether
involuntary reflexes should be inferred as a by-product of fears.
?Two of these ?unconscious? reflexes are (1) startle reflex (where an
infant jerks at an unfamiliar sound or sensation, or gasps at the
sensation of falling), and (2) avoidance reaction (where an infant
recoils from pain or involuntarily avoids a physically harmful
stimulus such as heat).?
Synonyms: Embrace reflex, startle reflex.
Associated persons: Ernst Moro
?A defensive reflex seen in the first 6 months of life. In response to
a loud noise, passive movement of the child?s head or striking the
surface on which the infant rests, the infant draws its arms across
its chest in an embracing manner. Absence of this reflex under 6
months of age suggests diffuse central nervous system damage and
asymmetric responses are seen with all forms of palsies - its presence
after 6 months of age suggests cortical disturbance.?
Who Named It
?. . . one of the many automatic reflexes that babies have. When
startled by a sudden noise or fear of falling, the Moro reflex leads
them to throw out their arms, and arch their back.?
Alternate Names: Embrace Reflex, Startle Reflex, Startle Response
?The Moro reflex is a normal reflex for an infant when he or she is
startled or feels like they are falling. The infant will have a
"startled" look and the arms will fling out sideways with the palms up
and the thumbs flexed. Absence of the Moro reflex in newborn infants
is abnormal and may indicate an injury or disease.?
?A reflex seen in normal infants in response to a loud noise. The
infant with make a sudden body movement, bringing the legs and arms
toward the chest.?
From the Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia:
Infantile reflexes include:
?The MORO RESPONSE is elicited by placing an infant on his back.
Support the upper body weight of the supine infant by the arms (not
lifting the infant off the surface) then release the arms suddenly.
The infant responds by throwing the arms outward, clenching the fist,
appearing startled, then relaxing back to a normal rest position.?
?The PARACHUTE REFLEX occurs in the slightly older infant, and is
elicited by holding the child upright then rotating the body quickly
face forward (as if falling). The arms are reflexively extended as if
to break a fall even though this reflex appears long before walking.?
- The TONIC NECK REFLEX
- The GRASP REFLEX
- The ROOTING REFLEX
Examples of reflexes that persist into adulthood are:
blinking (corneal) reflex (blinks before eyes are touched or when
sudden bright light appears)
sneeze reflex (sneezes when nasal passages irritated)
gag reflex (gags when throat or back of mouth stimulated)
yawn reflex (yawns when needs additional oxygen)
cough reflex (coughs when airway stimulated)
Infantile reflexes (normal in infants, abnormal in all others):
sucking reflex (sucks when area around mouth stimulated)
startle reflex (pulling arms and legs inward after loud noise)
step reflex (stepping motions when sole of foot touches hard surface)
Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia
Moro reflex; Startle response; Startle reflex; Embrace reflex
?Moro reflex is a primitive reflex that is present at birth and
typically disappears in the first few months of life.?
?The Moro reflex is also known as the startle response. It is an
infantile reflex, or involuntary response to a particular stimulus.
The baby flings out both arms, and looks startled. The most common way
to stimulate it is by giving the baby the sensation of falling. They
often do it as you lay them down in a crib. It can also be elicited by
sudden drops in temperature, blowing on the face and loud noises.
These are movements that the baby makes with no conscious effort or
thought, they happen in response to a particular stimulus.?
Also Known As: startle response
I hope this is helpful.