A reflex action is an automatic and rapid response to a stimulus - we do not have to think about a response. Reflex actions minimise damage to the body from potentially harmful conditions, such as touching something hot.
Different types of neurones work together in a reflex action. A reflex action follows this general sequence:
The nerve pathway followed by a reflex action is called a reflex arc.
A simple reflex action happens if we accidentally touch something hot. We rapidly move our hand away. This is called the pain withdrawal reflex.
The diagram shows the reflex arc involved.