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Reaction time is the time it takes for a person to respond to a specific stimulus. This time has been extensively studied, both in sports and in everyday life, as its practical implications are fundamental to many motor and daily activities. In soccer, for example, a shorter reaction time allows the goalkeeper to respond more quickly to a penalty kick. For a driver, a good reaction time can enable them to brake promptly if a traffic light suddenly turns red. Several factors influence reaction times, including age, gender, fitness level, fatigue, distraction, alcohol, personality type, and the type of stimulus.

In studying this topic, it is important to recognize the difference between a reaction and a reflex. Reflexes are involuntary, used to protect the body, and are faster than reactions. They act to help restore the body to its normal functional stability. A reaction, on the other hand, is the result of a complex brain process that, by processing multiple pieces of information, controls multiple muscles simultaneously to achieve a goal. The flow model of information in vertebrates can be represented as shown in the figure below.

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