Neuroscience is the study of the functions of the nervous system and the brain. Neuroplasticity describes the brains amazing ability to grow new neural connections throughout life, as a result of new experiences.
What is neuroscience?
Neuroscience is the study of the functions of the nervous system and the brain.
Neuroplasticity describes the brains amazing ability to grow new neural connections throughout life, as a result of new experiences.
How does the brain learn?
The brain learns through the senses and the muscles. A person’s ability to gauge, understand, and experience the world around them is dependent on the body’s ability to sense, filter, and perceive stimuli from the environment. The quality and efficiency at which the body senses, filters, and perceives this incoming information influences how a person will interact with their surroundings. Too much information without filtering (hypersensitivity) or too little awareness (hyposensitivity) to environmental stimuli leads to difficulty with regulation, attention, and orientation impacting engagement and participation in daily life. The sense receptors, located in the inner ear, when stimulated create an electrical impulse that travels through the central nervous system to the brain where the signals can be decoded through a process known as transduction. The Brain’s ability to interpret the incoming information is known as perception.
Why are our senses so important?
Most people recognize the external senses (hearing, sight, touch, smell, taste) but we also have internal senses that are equally important. The internal senses are proprioception (self-movement and body position) and interoception (conscious or unconscious knowledge of the internal state of the body) and the vestibular system which is vital for co-ordinating movement, balance, spatial orientation and sensory regulation.
Watch this video for a brief explanation of how the vestibular system works:
People who have some degree of sensory dysfunction can feel irritable, impulsive, hyperactive, anxious, defensive, distractible, frustrated, emotional, sensitive….. This makes learning and co-ordinating movement extremely difficult because the brain doesn’t receive accurate information at the same time and therefore it cannot process or respond to that information as it should.
The ear is the ONLY sensory system that cannot be turned off. This is a safety mechanism for survival. We cannot turn off our hearing BUT we can choose to listen.
The human brain
The brain is divided into different regions, each with different functions.
The brain begins development from the “bottom up” so the frontal lobe develops later and is not fully developed until adulthood. The younger the child the more they need to move and integrate their senses to aid brain development.