Palmar grasp reflex

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Grasp reflex of a 5 month old baby

Palmar grasp reflex (sometimes simply called grasp reflex) is a primitive reflex. A fetus can exhibit the reflex in utero as early as 16 weeks into the gestation period,[1][2][3][4] and persists until five or six months of age. When an object is placed in an infant's hand and the palm of the child is stroked, the fingers will close reflexively, as the object is grasped via palmar grasp. The grip is strong but unpredictable; though it may be able to support the child's weight, they may also release their grip suddenly and without warning. The reverse motion can be induced by stroking the back or side of the hand.[5]



If palmar grasp reflex persists beyond 2 to 4 months, it delays or affects functions like grasping a rattle, releasing objects from hand and also hand manipulation skills.[citation needed] Palmar grasp reflex in adults is a pathological frontal release sign and may signify frontal lobe damage, or may be a sign of anterior cerebral artery syndrome.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Sherer, DM (June 1993). "Fetal grasping at 16 weeks' gestation". Journal of ultrasound in medicine. 12 (6): 316. PMID 8515527.
  2. ^ Jakobovits, AA (2009). "Grasping activity in utero: a significant indicator of fetal behavior (the role of the grasping reflex in fetal ethology)". Journal of perinatal medicine. 37 (5): 571–2. doi:10.1515/JPM.2009.094. PMID 19492927.
  3. ^ Jakobovits, A (2 September 2007). "[Grasping reflex activity in utero is one element of fetal behavior (Grasping activity is a part of fetal ethology)]". Orvosi hetilap (in Hungarian). 148 (35): 1673–5. doi:10.1556/OH.2007.28089. PMID 17720675.
  4. ^ Kurjak, A; Stanojevic, M; Andonotopo, W; Salihagic-Kadic, A; Carrera, JM; Azumendi, G (2004). "Behavioral pattern continuity from prenatal to postnatal life--a study by four-dimensional (4D) ultrasonography". Journal of perinatal medicine. 32 (4): 346–53. doi:10.1515/JPM.2004.065. PMID 15346822.
  5. ^ Futagi, Yasuyuki; Toribe, Yasuhisa; Suzuki, Yasuhiro (2012). "The Grasp Reflex and Moro Reflex in Infants: Hierarchy of Primitive Reflex Responses". International Journal of Pediatrics. 2012: 1–10. doi:10.1155/2012/191562.