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Reflex Case

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The purpose of this experiment was to see if our lab group could affect the reflex and reaction of the patellar tendon by changing the conditions of the testing.(Marieb,2010)

The patellar reflex is a monosynaptic stretch reflex that tests the conduction of the femoral nerve.(Marieb, 2010) Stretch reflexes protect the muscle against increase in which they may tear or damage fibers.(Marieb,2010) Tapping the patellar tendon stretches the quadriceps muscle and causes the sensory receptor of the muscle, to send a signal along the afferent neuron to the spinal cord.(Marieb,2010) The motor neuron send activating impulses to the quadriceps causing it to contract, extend in the knee.(Marieb,2010)

The group hypothesized that the neural activity after muscle fatigue would affect the patellar reflex.(Marieb, 2010) The group tested the patellar reflex response of BenThomas using the Jendrassik's maneuver , mental distraction and muscle fatigue.(Marieb, 2010) The group predicted the reflex results would remain unchanged during Jendrassik's maneuver and mental distraction.(Marieb, 2010)

Procedures: refer to Lab 11, Activity 3, in the Anatomy and Philosophy Lab (Chandran, Repka & Turner, 2010)



The first tested condition was Jendrassik's Maneuver; Ben concentrated on pulling his fingers to opposite sides of his body while we tested his patellar reflex.(Marieb, 2010) The second and third tests were with mental distraction and muscle fatigue.(Marieb, 2010) The group tested his reflex after he read a paragraph from a book and did leg squats to exhaust his thigh muscles. His baseline was 8.09 m/sec the Jendrassik maneuver results were 4.04 m/sec and his mental distraction results was 4.41m/sec.(Marieb,2010) Ben's results after doing leg squats was 18.51m/sec. There was a considerable difference between how the muscle reflex reacts when fatigued compared to mental distraction and concentration.(Marieb, 2010)


There was a significant difference in the reflex time of the fatigue muscle compared to the baseline.(Marieb, 2010)

Literature Cited:

Marieb, Elaine N. Human Anatomy and Physiology with Interactive Physiology 10-System Suite 8th Edition The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc (2010) pp 512-522



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