Q:

What is the difference between voluntary and involuntary movements?

A:

Quick Answer

Some of the movements animals make are under conscious control, and are called voluntary movements. By contrast, other movements occur without the animal's conscious decision to do so. These types of movements are called involuntary movements or reflexes.

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Full Answer

There are many different examples of voluntary movement. Humans walk, talk and lift things voluntarily. Additionally, humans have conscious control over their excretory functions, making them voluntary movements as well. Voluntary movements of other animals are similar. A flying bird, slithering snake and swimming fish are all exhibiting voluntary movements.

Involuntary movements include a variety of reflexes. For example, the human eyes exhibit several types of involuntary movement, such as the constriction of the pupil in bright light or the expansion of it in dim light. The movement of the heart muscle is involuntary for most animals. Doctors frequently check the involuntary movements of their patients as a component of a physical exam. For example, doctors may hit a patient’s knee with a small, plastic mallet. If the patient is healthy, the knee extends involuntarily, causing the patient’s leg to kick.

Some activities, such as eating food, feature both types of movement. Typically, chewing is a voluntary movement, while the muscular contractions of the esophagus and intestine are not under conscious control.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are examples of involuntary muscles?

    A:

    Examples of involuntary muscles, also known as smooth muscles, are the muscles of the urogenital tract, digestive tract, circulatory system and respiratory tract. Involuntary muscles are not controlled by the organism's will. Their actions are automatic and facilitated by the autonomic nervous system.

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  • Q:

    Where are involuntary muscles found?

    A:

    Involuntary muscles are found in the circulatory system, digestive system and urinary system. Humans do not exert any control over these muscles, which is why they are called involuntary.

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    What sort of movements does the bicep muscle do?

    A:

    The bicep brachii muscle is a type of two-headed muscle which runs from the shoulder all the way to the elbow. This type of muscles is used by humans for a number of different types of movements and activities. Among these movements are the supination of the proximal radius joint, the flexion of the humerus joint, and the ability to move the glenohumeral joint.

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    What is the difference between relaxed and contracted sarcomere?

    A:

    Relaxed sarcomeres contain myosin heads that have released their pull on the thin filaments. This allows them to return back to their relaxed state and causes the I bands and H zones to appear. The myosin heads pull on the thin filaments as a muscle contracts causing the disappearance of the I bands and H zones.

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