magnet reactionmedical dictionary

A reaction seen in an animal deprived of its cerebellum; when the animal is placed upon its back and the head strongly flexed, the four limbs become flexed in all their joints. Due to stimulation of receptors in the deep layers of the skin, light pressure made upon a toe-pad with the finger causes reflex contraction of the limb extensors; the limb is thus pressed gently against the finger, and when the finger is withdrawn slightly, the experimenter has the sensation that his finger is raising the limb or drawing it out as by a magnet.

(05 Mar 2000)