INTRODUCTION TO OUR SENSORY BUDDIES

What's that smell? Do you hear that noise? Taste this! Look at me! Feel this, isn't it soft? When you hear, or even use these phrases, you probably don't stop to think about why we use them. Well, it's because of our senses. Without us even knowing, our sense organs (nose, eyes, ears, tongue,skin, bones and joints) are taking in information and sending it to the brain for processing. If we didn't have them, we would not be able to move, smell, see, hear, taste, or touch anything! Talk about a boring life.

Each sense collects information about the world and detects changes within the body. Both people and animals get all of their knowledge from their senses, and that is why our senses are so important.

All senses depend on the working nervous system. Our sense organs start to work when something stimulates special nerve cells called receptors in a sense organ. Once stimulated, the receptors send signals to the brain. Your brain then tells you what the stimulus is. For example, your sound receptors would be bombarded by billions of sound waves. When these signals reach the part of the brain called the cerebral cortex, we become conscious of the sounds.

Sense - Sational Facts

• Headaches after near stress, even after a couple minutes of use.
• Blurry vision at near or in the distance after sitting and performing near tasks.
• Double vision when tired.
• Words appearing to move around on the page when trying to read.
• Loss of place while reading, and difficulty remembering what has been read.
• Tilting the head when performing vision tasks.
• Squinting when trying to optimize vision.
• Eye rubbing when eyes feel tired or strained.
• Better grades with auditory learning rather than visual learning.
• Difficulty concentrating on a task, and becoming bored or antsy easily.

Gustatory

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I am the sense of taste. Was it bitter or salty? Maybe sour or spicy? Taste buds and saliva are the grounds for my great sensory contributions. I often get no respect but one thing’s for sure; I know “what I like!” Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I am intricately linked with Nose. We are the Twins.

Olfactory

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I am the sense of smell. I go way back in time – kind of a survival thing. Strong memories are associated with certain smells. I subjectively consider the odor, especially in combination with gustatory system. .

Smell is often our first response to stimuli. It alerts Us to fire before we see flames. It makes us recoil before we taste rotten food.

It is clear that our senses of taste and smell serve several purposes. But these two senses are less important than some of our other senses. The loss of our ability to taste or to smell would not have the same negative impact on our lives that sudden deafness, or even more so, blindness, would have. For many types of animals like rats,fishes,weasels, however, the loss of their sense of smell or taste could be life threatening.

Proprioception

2I’m very strong!

I can do heavy work like pushing, pulling and lifting, but I can also do gentle actions like stretching, prying and pressing.
 Information coming from my joints, muscles and tendons, helps me adjust my body position for smooth movements with just the right amount of pressure.

I am important for good “motor planning” when this information is accurate.

I am your best buddy too. Roll and I are partners. Don’t go to the gym without us. Proprioception dysfunction leads to clumsiness & uncoordinated movements.

Proprioception doesn't come from any specific organ, but from the nervous system as a whole. Its input comes from nerves from inside the body rather than on the surface. Proprioceptive ability can be trained, as can any motor activity.

Without proprioception, drivers would be unable to keep their eyes on the road while driving, as they would need to pay attention to the position of their arms and legs while working the pedals and steering wheel. And I would not be able to type this article without staring at the keys. If you happen to be snacking while reading this article, you would be unable to put food into your mouth without taking breaks to judge the position and orientation of your hands.

Learning any new motor skill involves training our proprioceptive sense. Anything that involves moving our arms or legs in a precise way without looking at them invokes it — cricket, basketball, painting, you name it. Proprioception is often overlooked as one of the senses because it is so automatic that our conscious mind barely notices it. It is one of the oldest senses, probably even more evolutionarily ancient than smell.

Kinesthetic awareness, or the ability to know where your body parts are in 3-dimensional space, is required for every movement we make. So it's not surprising that balance can be learned, challenged, and improved. We can train our bodies to improve the proprioception within the muscles, just by creating balance challenges for ourselves.

Auditory

icons.jpgDo you hear what I hear?
Listen to me please, I’m all ears. It’s not just about volume – consider also tone, pitch, rhythm and sequence of sounds. Processing me can be difficult but it is necessary if I am to be understood.

I am so lucky to have 6 good friends to help out. If not, I’m just noise… sigh.

Visual

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Do you see what I see?
I’m on the lookout to deliver valuable details about what I see.
Line, shape, form, contrast, color and movement have a part in how you perceive the world.
My messages (with my sense friends) help determine what to pay attention to and ignore, and to help direct your actions and movements.
I will let you on a small but very important secret, I am very closely related to the vestibular system not many know this but without me your balance is 50% gone.

Some signs that may indicate Vision Related Learning Problems would be:

• Headaches after near stress, even after a couple minutes of use.
• Blurry vision at near or in the distance after sitting and performing near tasks.
• Double vision when tired.
• Words appearing to move around on the page when trying to read.
• Loss of place while reading, and difficulty remembering what has been read.
• Tilting the head when performing vision tasks.
• Squinting when trying to optimize vision.
• Eye rubbing when eyes feel tired or strained.
• Better grades with auditory learning rather than visual learning.
• Difficulty concentrating on a task, and becoming bored or antsy easily. The visual system in humans allows individuals to assimilate information from the environment

Vestibular

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I’m very important because of my sense of balance & sense of spatial orientation. I am your gravitational guide, telling you what's up and what's down. I tell you know where you are in space. Because of me, you can deal with gravity when you are standing or sitting still, even when you are moving, no matter the direction or speed. I’m your best buddy. Don’t go to the gym without me. Children with vestibular sense problems may overreact or under react to movement.

Tactile

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I am the sense of touch I not only make you feel things around you but also understand thier different shapes n textures. I am essential for normal social, motor and emotional development. From head to toe and all over, my skin keeps me in touch with the world and inside my mouth I feel things too. Pain… Oh! I better say the others first. Touch, deep pressure, hard or soft, sharp or dull, vibration and temperature are understood because of my existence. Children who have tactile defensiveness are sensitive to touch sensations and can be easily overwhelmed by, and fearful of, ordinary daily experiences and activities.