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The groping reflex is a primitive reflex found normally in children but usually not apparent in adults.

Children will automatically follow objects moving in front of them and attempt to move their hand toward it. This is accompanied by the, different, grasping reflex which tries to take hold of the object.

In normal development the reflex is subdued by inhibition of the frontal lobe.

In adults where the reflex reappears it is because this inhibition is reduced and may be indicative of frontal lobe lesions [1].

The reappearance of the reflex is revealed by tests. The simplest of these is to pass a finger before the subjects eyes to see if the characteristic magnetic following of the gaze is accompanied by an automatic movement of the hand toward the object.

See alsoEdit


  1. Beaumant J.G., Kenealy, P.M. & Rogers, M.J.C. (1999). The Blackwell Dictionary of Neuropsychology. Oxford:Blackwell

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