Reading Time: 3 minutes

What is the Moro Reflex and Why is it Important?

The Moro Reflex, originating during prenatal development, is a fundamental component of an infant’s sensory system. This is an automatic response to sudden stimuli, such as loud noises or abrupt movements, helping the baby survive by preparing the body for potential threats. This reflex typically integrates by 4 to 6 months of age, allowing for smoother sensory processing and emotional regulation. However, in some cases, the Moro Reflex persists beyond infancy, impacting sensory integration and overall well-being.

When babies hear a very loud noise, are in a space with very intense illumination, unexpected motion, tactile sensations, or potent odors, the Moro reflex is triggered, prompting the baby to extend their limbs outwardly. Typically, this reaction is accompanied by a sharp intake of breath, followed by a return of the limbs to their central position.

Simultaneously, the infant’s innate alarm system, colloquially referred to as the “fight or flight” response, is activated. This entails an acceleration in heart rate, shallow breathing, and the release of adrenaline and cortisol. Such physiological reactions heighten the infant’s sensitivity to incoming stimuli, a beneficial adaptation in scenarios demanding immediate awareness of potential threats.

Why the Moro Reflex Needs to be Integrated

The Moro reflex, like all other primitive reflexes, is only meant to be on and active during the first year of life (the exact duration varies depending on each reflex.) After about 4-6 months (sometimes longer, depending on the person), the Moro reflex is meant to integrate and lie dormant, laying the groundwork for other primitive reflexes to do their job.

However, some of us don’t integrate our primitive reflexes. This can happen due to trauma during birth or in the first months of life, or a lack of movement in those first months of life. The primitive reflexes integrate through natural, repetitive movements that babies are programmed to do, so if we don’t move enough, they can stay “on” well after they’re needed. This makes our brain and body more sensitive and prone to go into survival mode more easily over time.  

Signs of a Retained Moro Reflex

Recognizing the signs of a retained Moro Reflex is crucial for understanding its impact on individuals’ lives. These signs may include:


Heightened sensitivity to sensory stimuli, leading to discomfort or distress.


Exaggerated responses to stimuli, such as strong emotional reactions or physical responses.

Poor impulse control

Difficulty regulating impulses and behaviors, resulting in impulsive actions or decisions.

Need to control everything

even the smallest feeling of loss of control can throw the brain back into survival mode

Sensory overload

Overwhelm from excessive sensory input, leading to stress or anxiety.

Social and emotional immaturity

Developmental delays in social skills and emotional regulation, affecting interpersonal relationships.

Motion sickness

Nausea or discomfort experienced during movement, such as in cars or on swings.

Poor balance and coordination

Challenges in maintaining balance and coordinating movements, affecting activities of daily living.

Difficulty coping with change

Resistance or difficulty adapting to new situations or environments.

Mood swing

Rapid changes in mood or emotional state, often without apparent cause.

These signs may overlap with symptoms of conditions like ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder, highlighting the significance of Moro Reflex integration for achieving brain balance.

Integrating the Moro Reflex for Brain Balance

Integrating the Moro Reflex involves targeted movements designed to facilitate the development of neural pathways and promote sensory integration. These movements aim to retrain the nervous system, allowing people to manage stress and sensory stimuli more effectively. Through consistent practice and intervention, Moro Reflex integration can lead to significant improvements in behavior, attention, and emotional well-being.

Moro Reflex Integration Techniques

The movement patterns needed to integrate the Moro and other primitive reflexes have been studied for many decades. Many people think that, if the window of integration is past, there’s nothing we can do. That could not be farther from the truth! Neuroplasticity has shown us that we can create new connections and change the way our brain is wired at any point in our lives.

So, by re-creating the movements we might have missed in infancy, we can create the neural connections needed for our primitive brain to balance itself and for these reflexes to become integrated. Programs like the In the Cortex Brain Reorganization Program are the best way to integrate those primitive reflexes. This program includes guided videos for all the movements needed, a growing and supportive community of members, monthly group calls with the founding brain coaches to give extra guidance when needed, and lifetime access!

Achieving Brain Balance Through Moro Reflex Integration

In conclusion, understanding and addressing the Moro Reflex are essential steps toward achieving brain balance and efficient brain development. By recognizing the signs of a retained Moro Reflex and implementing targeted integration techniques, individuals can enhance their sensory processing, emotional regulation, and overall quality of life. Moro Reflex integration is a powerful tool for unlocking the full potential of the nervous system and promoting holistic well-being.