Primitive Reflexes are the automatic movement patterns babies are born with to respond to specific sensory stimulation. The primitive reflexes are developed in utero and are controlled by the lowest level of the brain: the spinal cord and the brain stem.
It is thought that the primitive reflexes serve three functions:
- Baby’s active participation in the birth process
- Hardwiring skills essential for survival such as breathing, sucking and swallowing
- Provide movement patterns as precursor for later voluntary movements and postural reflexes