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A student accidentally places her hand on a tack and quickly pulls her hand away. The tack represents:
A. a stimulus.
B. an impulse.
C. a response.
D. an effector.
A stimulus is anything that causes a response. The tack was detected by a receptor in the students hand, impulses were sent from sensory neurons to interneurons in the students spinal cord, to motor neurons, which caused effectors in the students hand to contract the muscles, causing the movement. This is called a reflex. The impulse is the electrochemical charge that travels along the neurons, the response is the effect, or moving the hand, and the effector is the muscle or gland that causes the response.
 
 
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While these questions do not fit the MCAT format (they have no related reading passages) they cover concepts one should understand in order to do well in the biological sciences portion of the MCAT.
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Added: 7/2/2008
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