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MCAT Question A Day - 6/16/14 - Answer!

Reflex arcs:

A.  involve motor neurons exiting the spinal cord dorsally.
B.  require fine control by the cerebral cortex.
C.  always occur independently of the central nervous system.
D.  often involve inhibition as well as excitation of muscle groups.

D is correct. In order to prevent conflicting contractions by antagonistic muscle groups, reflexes will often cause one muscle group to contract while it sends an inhibitory signal to its antagonistic muscle group. Motor neurons exit ventrally from the spinal cord, not dorsally, so A is out. Reflex arcs (at least somatic ones) are usuallconfined to the spinal cord; they do not require fine control by the cerebral cortex. This eliminates B. Reflex arcs may be integrated by an interneuron in the spinal cord. C is out as well.