|What makes me react?|
|Around the Academy:
Professor Tom Reilly from Liverpool John Moore University Sport Science explains all.
What is a reaction and why do humans react?
Humans automatically respond to physical occurrences or stimuli.
Reactions are usually caused by something physical like pressure, sound or pain.
The body has got sense organs which pick this information up - this is what is classed as a reaction.
What is the reaction process in our bodies?
How can we measure reaction?
There are various tests to measure reaction times. One method is called the simple reaction time test.
An individual sits in front of a computer and has to press a button with their index finger as soon as they see a light.
In this instance the brain doesn't have to make a decision so it is a very basic test of reaction.
This test can be made more complex by pressing different buttons when different lights come on.
The reaction time would take longer for this because you have to recognise the stimulus before pressing the appropriate button.
This is called complex reaction time.
Are there any other tests that people can do?
Yes. There is a simple test you can do with a ruler.
The task is to get someone to hold a ruler above your hand and to drop it without telling you.
The aim is for you to catch the ruler before it drops past your hands onto the floor.
What is the average reaction time for a human being?
A good response would be 180 milliseconds (0.18 seconds). However, the human average is around 250 milliseconds (0.25 seconds).