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Thread: Why does the gag reflex react to some things but not others?

  1. #1 Why does the gag reflex react to some things but not others? 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
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    When you eat, and food slides down the tongue to the back of the mouth - nothing happens.

    If you have food in your mouth and slowly swallow it, nothing happens either.

    However if you try to brush your tongue too far back, or stick a finger on the back of the tongue you immidiately get a gag reflex.

    I'm just wondering how the body can differentiate between things it want, and doesent want - in this way. I first thought this could be trained mentally (Because I want to brush away the white layer on my tongue) but no matter how much I try to focus and concentrate the gag reflex persist.


    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  3. #2  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
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    I think that the gag reflex must be at least partially psychological, since many people are able to overcome it to some extent, for example in order to brush their tongue or 'swallow' swords...

    keep trying! Or at least, be grateful that you have a body that is predisposed to protect you from choking.


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