orienting response

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The characteristic behavioural and physiological response to a novel or potentially threatening stimulus, including focusing attention on the source of the stimulus, turning the head and body towards it, and arousal of the reticular activating system and the sympathetic nervous system. Also called the orienting reaction or orienting reflex. [From Latin oriens, orientis rising, present participle of oriri to rise]

Subjects: Psychology — Zoology and Animal Sciences.

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