AskDefine | Define kinesis

Dictionary Definition

kinesis n : a movement that is a response to a stimulus but is not oriented with respect to the source of stimulation

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From Ancient Greek κίνησις (kinesis) "motion, movement", from κινέω (kineo) "to move, to put in motion".

Noun

kinesis
  1. the movement of an organism in response to an external stimulus
  2. Kinesis, like a taxis, is a movement or activity of a cell or an organism in response to a stimulus. However, unlike taxis, the movement can be in any direction or even random. Its rate—that is, the frequency of turning or reorientation, or of activity—depends on the intensity of the stimulation.

Related terms

Extensive Definition

For the band, see Kinesis (band). For the ergonomic keyboard, see Kinesis (keyboard).
Kinesis, like a taxis, is a movement or activity of a cell or an organism in response to a stimulus. However, unlike taxis, the response to the stimulus provided (such as humidity, light intensity or ambient temperature) is non-directional.
The two main types of kineses include:
Orthokinesis: in which the speed of movement of the individual is dependent upon the intensity of the stimulus. Take, for example, the locomotor activity(see Animal Locomotion)of a woodlouse in relation to temperature. With increased humidity there is an increase in the percentage time that the woodlouse will remain stationary.
Klinokinesis: in which the frequency or rate of turning is proportional to stimulus intensity.
Both orthokinesis and klinokineses result in aggregations. However, it must be noted that the stimulus does not act to attract or repel individuals.
The same prefixes used with "taxis" can be applied to kineses; see also -kinesis.

References

  • Kendeigh, S. Charles. 1961. Animal Ecology. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 468 p.
kinesis in Japanese: 動性

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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