Kinesthetic Sense

Any part of the mind can be accessed and entered at any point (much like the internet that you can access it at many different sites). This can happen through the ear, the hand, the eye, the nose, etc. (Pert, Candace, PhD. Your Body is Your Subconscious Mind (audiocassettes). CO: Sounds True, 2000.)

The five senses react most strongly to change. When the same stimulus is presented continuously, receptors undergo adaptation—they accept the signal as routine and the messages in the brain weaken in intensity. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. p 72-73. NY: Vintage Books, 2002.)

Ageusia is the term for a loss of the ability to taste. This may result as a complication of radiation therapy that can damage nerves from the taste buds to the brain, or it can result from head trauma that can damage the cortex’s ability to recognize taste signals. Total ageusia may result in which people have no taste buds or papillae. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. NY: Vintage Books, 2002, p 74)

Ample evidence that being out in the real world and engaging all the senses (including emotional and social senses) is essential to a healthy brain and an active memory, especially as the brain ages. (Katz, Lawrence C., PhD and Manning Rubin. Keep Your Brain Alive. p 29. NY: Workman Publishing Company, Inc., 1999.)

The timing of sensory events is the job of large neurons with rapid dynamics. Their signals are conducted to the brain along large high-speed fibers, so you are alerted to any changes that might indicate danger or opportunity. (Greenfield, Susan, con. Ed. Brain Power. p 56-57. MA: The Ivy Press Limited, 1999.)

Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington on the impact of custom animation in PowerPoint lectures: although students appear to like the animation, it is actually entertaining distraction for the brain. Students seeing the non-animated lecture performed much better in subsequent tests of content than those who watched the animated lecture. Conclusion: animated slides meant to present information incrementally actually require greater concentration, which makes it harder to remember content as well as reducing overall exposure time to the "complete" slide. (The Dark Side of Animation.)

Specific anosmia is the name for odor blindness. Age brought with it little decline in smell ability among respondents. (Gilbert, Avery N., and Charles J. Wysocki. The Smell Survey. 1.5 million participants. p 514-523. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, October 1987.)

Research by Weiner and Brown, 1993: certain aromas inspire individuals to set higher personal goals, take on greater challenges, and get along better with others. Neurologist Alan Hirsch discovered that groups exposed to the aroma of peppermint solved puzzles 30% faster than the unexposed control groups. Basil, lemon, cinnamon, and rosemary seem to have a similar stimulating effect. (Teaching tips in a nutshell, University of Colorado. Brain-based Learning 1—Optimal Environments.)

Also see Smells – Odors (below).

Taylor’s Sensory Preference Assessment is available at the following locations:

  • Taylor’s website homepage - www.arlenetaylor.org
  • MindWaves - The Concerned Group (book)
  • Wired by God - Focus on the Family (book)
  • Your Brain Has a Bent (not a Dent) – amazon.com (book)

The brain synthesizes separate sights, sounds, and sensations into a whole. Each lobe (occipital, temporal, parietal, frontal) is anatomically and functionally specialized. The occipital processes only vision. The other three each dedicate a small portion (about 25%) to simple sensory civilities with 75% making up the association cortex. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mysteries of the Mind. p 20. Washington, D.C., National Geographic, 2000.)

Adult brains tend to use the simplest, fastest route to identify objects, while infants and children more often use several senses. This tends to increase the number of associations in the brain. (Katz, Lawrence C., PhD and Manning Rubin. Keep Your Brain Alive. p 95. NY: Workman Publishing Company, Inc., 1999.)

The more information that is received through a variety of paths the more likely the person is to remember things. (Einberger, Kirstin, and Sellick Janelle, MS. Strengthen Your Mind. p 7. MD: Health Professions Press, 2007.)

You have about 18 seconds to catch another brain’s attention—assuming it is tuned in from the beginning. Data from visual, auditory and tactile stimulation are retained or dropped in 3/4 of a second or less. (Barron, Maria Almendarez.)

Studies at McGill University: When human beings are learning to talk, the brain receives at least two types of feedback information. One type involves auditory information from the sound of the person’s own voice. The other involves information from receptors located in the skin (the largest organ of the body) and in the muscles. (Breakthrough in understanding of speech offers hope to the deafSept., 2008.)

The first embryonic cells are sound sensitive, and by and one half months in the womb, a baby’s auditory system is virtually complete. Every cell in the body is influenced by the energy reflected in sound waves. (Pearsall, Paul, PhD. The Heart’s Code. p 110. NY: Broadway Books, 1998.)

Studies: Females tend to demonstrate greater auditory perception, centered in the left hemisphere. They tend to make fewer errors in auditory tasks (e.g., talking on telephone, taking dictation, interviewing others, listening for malfunction indicators in machinery). (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 700-706. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

Most auditory input is processed on the opposite side of the brain to the ear through which it enters. (Carter, Rita. Mapping the Mind. p 10. CA: University of California Press, 1999.)

Auditory pathways continue to develop until age 7-10 years. Music, human speech, and environmental sounds are all important in a balanced auditory diet. (Healy, Jane M., PhD. Your Child’s Growing Mind. p 34-35. NY: Doubleday, 1987, 1989.)

One way to deal with mixed messages is to literally shut out the sense. Those that cut off the auditory portion are going to hear voices. (Bandler, Richard, and John Grinder. Frogs into Princes. p 53. UT: Real People Press. 1979.)

Most of the sensory problems in autism involve vision, touch, and hearing oversensitivities. With hearing, they receive disordered, inaccurate information about their environment because their perceptual systems become oversensitive and because they process incoming stimuli slowly. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. p 78-91. NY: Vintage Books, 2002.)

Behavioral Kinesiology (the study of muscles and their movements) played a part in revealing how closely connected the mind is with the body. The mind “thinks” with the body itself. (Hawkins, David R., MD, PhD. Power versus Force. p 1-3, 41-43. CA: Hay House, Inc., 1995, 2002.)

Change blindness refers to the frequent inability of your visual system to detect alterations to something staring you right in the face. Since far more information lands on your eyes than you can possibly analyze, the brain screens visual stimuli using bottom-up or top-down attentiveness. Bottom-up (e.g., wildly waving hand) can get your attention because it sticks out. Top-down is a volitional act where you turn your “spotlight” of attention toward something specific (e.g., finding your suitcase on an airline baggage carousel). (Angier, Natalie. Blind to Change, Even as It Stares Us in the Face. April 2008.)

Less than 2% of the population has some form of color blindness in the U.S. (National Geographic. “The Smell Survey, 1.5 million participants.”) (Gilbert, Avery N., and Charles J. Wysocki. p 514. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, October 1987.)

The X chromosome carries all genes for red/green color vision. Only 1 in 230 females is born with red/green color blindness; 1 of 8 males has some red/green color vision deficiency. (Fisher, Helen, PhD. The First Sex. p 90-91. NY: Random House, 1999.)

The human body does, in fact, give off certain radiations (e.g., electromagnetic from the electrical activity of the nerves, sonic waves from physical actions within the body, and chemical emissions that may be detected at times as body odors. (Nickell, Joe. Real-life X-files Investigating the Paranormal. p 42. Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 2001.)

Exposure to stimulation (e.g., sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell) lead to growth and development of motor, cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social functioning. (Harris, Maureen. Music and the Young Mind. p vii, xi. NY: MENC with Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2009.)

Hearing, a small part of vision, touch, and taste all enter the brain through the brainstem and are passed up to the thalamus. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. p 63. NY: Vintage Books, 2002.)

Thalamus: directs attention and switches sensory input on and off. Except for olfactory signals, sensory stimuli go through the thalamus that directs the incoming information to the appropriate portion of the cortex for further processing. (Carter, Rita. Exploring Consciousness. p 11, 29, 115. CA: University of California Press, 2002.)

Most sensory information from the outside world enters the lower brain stem. The brain stem’s thalamus then classifies this information (visual, auditory) and relays it to the appropriate part of the cortex. Incoming information may be amplified or reduced as it passes through the Thalamus. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD. The Roots of the Self. p 52-53. NY: HarperCollins Publishing, 1995.)

Sensual experience (e.g., auditory, visual, tactile, and olfactory) typically travels first to the neocortex for analysis. When accompanied by a strong emotional impact, they may go directly to the amygdala (bypassing conscious choice) which mobilizes the organisms for fight or flight. All of this can happen in an instant—without input from rational processing by the neocortex. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 40. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

In most people (97%), both Broca's area (spoken speech) and Wernicke's area (heard speech) are found in only the left hemisphere of the brain. (Chulder, Dr. Eric. The Brain and Communication. Think Quest.)

Conscious thought occurs in the cerebral layer. The pre-frontal cortex handles most of our decision making, and helps to process a variety of sensory stimuli. The other two brain layers are the brain stem and the limbic system. (Gurian, Michael, and Patricia Henley with Terry Trueman. Boys and Girls Learn Differently! p 17-20. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Company, 2001.)

The prefrontal systems of the brain are involved in the volitional control of conscious sensory experience. (Schwartz, Jeffrey M., MD, and Sharon Begley.The Mind & the Brain. p 312-315. NY: Regan Books, 2002.)

The five senses of the left hemisphere (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell) correspond to senses of the right hemisphere. However, right-brain senses are not the senses of sight and hearing in the so-called normal manner, Rather they involve the ability to see, hear, and sense things through waves translated into images. Thus includes the ability to retain complete image of things seen at a glance in the memory, serving as the receptacle for inspiration and the site of expression for image abundant creativity, and the abilities to visualize images and the realization of those images physically. (Loh, Andrew. Brain Development Centers.)

The visual brain can reorganize in small ways in as little as thirty minutes. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. p 52. NY: Vintage Books, 2002.)

The brain multi-processes, constantly registering perceptions, including more than 36,000 visual cues per hour. (Jensen, Eric. Brain-Based Learning (Revised). p 13. CA: The Brain Store, 2005.)

Refer to Cellular Memory for additional information.

The centers for sound, sight, and other sensory data can be altered by experience and necessity. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 153-154. 2003.)

In their early years, children use all their senses to learn about the world. They handle a new object, look at it from all sides, listen to any sound it makes, smell it, and often put it in their tongue. (Williams, Linda. Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind. p 144-145. CA: Touchstone Books: 1986.)

Color is the brain’s neural interpretation of various light frequencies. The eye and the visual system in the brain help with the differentiation. (Newberg, Andrew, MD., and Mark Robert Waldman. Why We Believe What We Believe. p 56. NY: Free Press, 2006.)

Prisoners in red and yellow wings were more inclined to violence than those in the blue and green wings. Yellow is highly stimulating—a possible relationship between violent street crime and sodium yellow street lighting. (Graham, Helen. Discover Color Therapy. p 13. CA: Ulysses Press, 1998.)

When the content of the presentation has emotional significance, the use of a colored background in overhead transparencies/PowerPoints can influence the brains of listeners to go to a subconscious memory (e.g., abuse or trauma), involving that color. Even if the memory is positive it can distract the brain from absorbing information from the current presentation. (Discussion with brain researchers.)

Pink has been found to have a tranquilizing and calming effect within minutes of exposure. People cannot be aggressive even if they want to because the color pink saps their energy. (Graham, Helen. Discover Color Therapy. p 13. CA: Ulysses Press, 1998.)

Most people spend at least 75% of waking time communicating with others. Mehrabian (1967 study) estimates the meaning of the message is conveyed: 7% by verbal cues; 38% by vocal cues; and 55% by nonverbals (facial expressions). Percentages can be altered by a variety of factors. (Nonverbal Communication. Article (website).

CTA requires that the neural taste and the nausea-producing stimulus come together synaptically at individual neurons. The parabrachial nucleus is likely involved in the conditioning of taste by nausea. Other areas may be involved as well (e.g., damage to the cortical taste area and the central amygdala has been shown to interfere with CTA). (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self. p 126-127. NY: Penguin Books, 2002.)

Studies from before the 70s have revealed the importance of nonverbals in conveying the meaning of the message in communication (e.g., 55% from nonverbals per Mehrabian, A. and R. Ferris in 1967). The match between one’s verbal and non-verbal communication indicates the level of congruency. (James, Tad. What is NLP? 2005. Website)

The pre-frontal portions of the brain play a role in the “volitional control of conscious sensory experience.” (Schwartz, Jeffrey M., MD, and Sharon Begley. The Mind & the Brain. p 313-315. NY: Regan Books, 2002.)

It takes one-thousandth of a second for sight, sound, smell, emotion, thought to travel down a nerve ending to your brain. It takes 999 thousandths of a second more for what you heard or read to be relayed to your conscious mind. (Stine, Jean Marie. Double Your brain Power. p 79-80. NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997.)

Consciousness of objects is enhanced when we receive information about them from more than one sense (e.g., a flash of light is more likely to be registered if the observer is simultaneously touched on the same side of the body from which the light shines). (Carter, Rita. Exploring Consciousness. p 267-269. CA: University of California Press, 2002.)

The sensory and motor systems are part of both the brain and body, and their proper development is a prerequisite to successful cognitive functioning. The senses are the means by which we take in information. (Williams, Linda. Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind. p 144-145. CA: Touchstone Books: 1986.)

You can also translate between representational systems with couples. Examples of kinesthetic male partnered with a visual female. (Bandler, Richard, and John Grinder. Frogs into Princes. p 4. UT: Real People Press. 1979.)

Jump-start creativity by using your senses. If auditory, open or close your ears. If visual, close eyes and create images in your head/concentrate on other senses, or open your eyes and become aware of specifics in your surroundings. (Greenwood-Robinson, Maggie, PhD. 20/20 Thinking. p 144-145. NY: Avery, Putnam Special Markets, 2003.)

Most sensory input to the brain crosses over from the incoming side to the opposite hemisphere for processing. Once the information enters one hemisphere it is swiftly sent on to the other via the corpus callosum. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 35. CA: University of California Press, 1999.)

Known as the cuddle hormone, oxytocin is released when a person is cuddled or the skin is gently stoked. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. p 236-238. NY: Broadway Books, 1998.)

After birth the brain wires up differently in different cultures; even their visual systems are not exactly the same (e.g., people who grow up in forests lack depth perception that others have). You can remake yourself in adulthood to some degree, but can never abandon your inherent nature. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD. The Roots of the Self. p 12. NY: HarperCollins Publishing, 1995.)

The male brain takes in less sensory data. The female brain is better at dealing with sensory data (e.g., hear, smell, touch, taste, see); the male brain with spatial data (e.g., dimensional depth perception, distance, abstract skills). (Gurian, Michael. The Wonder of Boys. p 16-19. NY: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1996.)

At any given moment, the five senses are taking in more than 10,000,000 pieces of information. The eyes alone receive and send over 10,000,000 signals to the brain each second. People can process consciously about 40 pieces of information per second. (Wilson, Timothy D. Strangers to Ourselves. p 24. England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002.)

Ear canals in boys undergo growth spurts that can cause a temporary form of deafness, particularly as they approach puberty. They are equipped for more effective seeing than hearing. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. p 31-32. NY: Broadway Books, 1998.)

The decision about what sensory information travels to your brain and what gets filtered out depends on what signals the receptors are receiving from the peptides. (Pert, Candace, PhD. Molecules of Emotion. p 146-147. NY: Scribner, 1997.)

By 4 months of age, babies totally deprived of vision from birth are blind. Children who grow up alone or in the wild without exposure to language until age ten cannot ever learn to speak. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 22-23. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

The same area of the brain that responds to offensive tastes—the anterior insula—is also activated when one person sees another make a face showing disgust. The brain combines senses to improve your chances for ongoing existence. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. p 75. NY: Vintage Books, 2002.)

Dreams are essentially visual experiences. Homing ability to visualize can bring us into closer contact with our inner selves. Waking and dreaming visualizations are part of the same process. (Fontana, David, PhD. Teach Yourself to Dream. San Francisco, p 31-34. CA: Chronicle Books, 1997.)

Dysgeusia can result when a taste nerve is damaged, causing a person to perceive tastes that are not there, notably salty, metallic, or bitter sensations. Can also be a side effect of certain types of drugs. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. NY: Vintage Books, 2002, p. 74)

The sensitive periods or plasticity for most lower-level neural pathway circuits end relatively early in life, often by 4 years of age. In contrast, sensitive periods for some high level circuits remain open (plastic) for a longer period. This may be a reason why, with proper treatment of dyslexia, normal neural pathways can be established. (Mustard, J. Fraser, MD. Early Childhood Development: How does experience in early life affect brain development? 2008. p. 13.)

Refer to Dysfunctions of the Brain for additional information.

The ear translates the potential of vibrational stimuli, that come via the skin, to the brain. (Tomatis, Alfred A, M.D. Editor Timothy M. Gilmore, PhD, et al. About the Tomatis Method. p 214-216. Canada: Listening Centre Press, 1989.)

Infants with recurring middle ear infections may not have normal development of their neurons for sound. This is one reason why infants with repeated middle ear infections do poorly in language and literacy in later life. The sensitive periods or plasticity for most lower level neural pathway circuits end relatively early in life, often by 4 years of age. In contrast, sensitive periods for some high level circuits remain open (plastic) for a longer period. This may be a reason why, with proper treatment of dyslexia, normal neural pathways can be established. (Mustard, J. Fraser, MD. Early Childhood Development: How does experience in early life affect brain development? 2008. p. 13.)

Refer to Electromagnetic Energy for additional information.

Studies: When you engage not only the analytical mind but also emotions and intuition, your senses and emotional intelligence enable you to scan in moments through hundreds of possible choices or scenarios to arrive at the best solution in a matter of seconds instead of hours—the answer will be as good or better than if you relied solely on intellect. (Cooper, Robert K., PhD., and Ayman Sawaf.Executive EQ. p xii-xiii . NY: Grosset/Putnam 1997.)

Refer to Emotional Intelligence for additional information.

Researchers at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, have identified spatial signatures of emotion in the primary auditory cortex (temporal lobes at the side of the brain responsible helping to decode the sensation of sound). This area reacts more strongly to anger, joy, relief, and sadness than to neutrality. These findings may help researchers to better understand conditions such as Schizophrenia, Autism, and even depression, since reading emotions is critical to good social skills. (Fisher, Helen. Emotional Speech Leaves Signature on the Brain. NewScientist, 2009.)

Refer to Emotions and Feelings for additional information.

The electrical energy from your heart is transmitted to another person’s brain when you touch that person, and vice versa. We affect each other at the most basic electromagnetic level. This has huge social implications. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution. p 159-160. CA: Harper SF, 1999.)

Refer to Energy and the Brain for additional information.

Scientists at the University of Rochester have discovered that the hormone estrogen plays a pivotal role in how the brain processes sounds, in the way in which it extracts and interprets auditory information. There needs to be a “right balance” of this hormone for the brain to not only process the sounds but also to lay down memories of the sounds. (Estrogen Controls How the Brain Processes Sound. Psysorg.com, 2009.)

Refer to Substances and the Brain for additional information.

Only two hours after birth newborns can follow a slowly moving light in front of their eyes. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD. The Roots of the Self. p 38. NY: HarperCollins Publishing, 1995.)

The eye pupil tends to enlarge when person is confronted with a pleasant stimulus. (e.g., heart uses the brain to help it take in energy). Also when the heart is energetically opening up to either absorb the beauty of a positive info-energetic event or to become more alert of negative energy around it. (Pearsall, Paul, PhD. The Heart’s Code. p 50-51. NY: Broadway Books, 1998.)

The eyes receive radiant electromagnetic energy. (Ornstein, Robert. Multimind. p 43. NY: Doubledday, 1986.)

Because they are more sensitive to auditory stimuli, females become fatigued more readily in a noisy environment. Males don’t, but they do become fatigued more readily in a visually chaotic environment. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 700-706. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

The nervous system cannot take everything in, rather it scans the outer world for material that it is prepared to accept due to its wiring, own internal patterns, and past experience. (Pert, Candace, PhD. Molecules of Emotion. p 146-147. NY: Scribner, 1997.)

A woman’s fingertips are usually more sensitive than a man’s. (Stump, Jane Barr, PhD. What’s the Difference? p 80. NY: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1985.)

Five senses: taste, smell, sight, hearing, and kinesthesia (feeling sense). We make most of the decisions that affect our behavior primarily using only three sensory systems: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic systems. (Robbins, Anthony. Unlimited Power. p 40-44. NY: Fireside, 1986.)

When impressed vividly upon the brain, images can recur unbidden. Results can range from anxiety to PTSD. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain. p 76-77. PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Refer to Dysfunctions and the Brain (PTSD) for additional information.

Study by Dr. Jenkins, Director of the Clymer Health Clinic in Pennsylvania: A room lighted with florescent lighting is less than on-tenth as bright as the area under a tree on a bright sunny day. (Colby, Barbara, ASID. Color & Light: Influences and Impact. p 75. CA: Barbara Colby, 1990.)

All physiological stimuli evoke responses over a wide area of the frontal cortex (perhaps 1% of the total excitable tissue in any particular area)...the human frontal lobes are an integral part of the sensory system. (Luria, A. R., edited by K. H. Pribram. Psychopahysiology of the Frontal Lobes. p 114. NY: Academic Press, 1973.)

Girls take in more sensory data than boys. On average, they hear better, smell better, and take in more information through fingertips and skin. 9Gurian, Michael, and Patricia Henley with Terry Trueman. Boys and Girls Learn Differently! p 27. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Company, 2001.)

At two months of age, boys are particularly attracted to visual stimuli, a tendency that seems to persist throughout life. Girls respond more to auditory stimuli. This also persists throughout life. (Stump, Jane Barr, PhD. What’s the Difference? p 33. NY: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1985.)

Female brain is organized to respond more sensitively to all sensory stimuli. (Moir, Anne, and David Jessel. Brain Sex. p 17. NY: Carol Publishing Group, 1989, 1991.)

Women have more finely tuned sensory skills than men. Women have superior sensitivity in differentiating tone changes in voice volume and pitch, and at differentiating sounds. Men are better at identifying where the sounds are coming from. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. p 31-32. NY: Broadway Books, 1998.)

There is evidence to suggest that fetus can hear, see, taste, feel, and experience movement throughout the last half of pregnancy, and that these capabilities don’t change dramatically at the moment of birth. (Ludington-Hoe, Susan, PhD, with Susan K. Golant. How to Have a Smarter Baby. p 15. NY: Bantam Books, 1985.)

Astrocytes, a type of glial cells, respond to visual stimulation. They participate in vision by controlling neurons. (Fields, R. Douglas, PhD. The Other Brain. p 49-50. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2009.)

Refer to Glial Cells - the Other Brain for additional information.

The brain has neural receptions for various colors including black and white – there are none for gray. Seeing the color gray is simply a thought. (Newberg, Andrew, MD., and Mark Robert Waldman. Why We Believe What We Believe. p 57. NY: Free Press, 2006.)

The majority of hallucinations (in the U.S.A.) are auditory, because people in this culture do not pay much attention to the auditory system. In other cultures, hallucinations tend to cluster in other representational systems. (Bandler,Richard, and John Grinder. Frogs into Princes. p 50. UT: Real People Press. 1979.)

Prenatal hearing, learning, and behavioral responses to a melody played earlier in pregnancy, occurred before or at the beginning of the third trimester. After birth, behavioral responses were specific to the tone to which the fetus had been exposure during gestation. (Harris, Maureen. Music and the Young Mind. p 2-3. NY: MENC with Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2009.)

The skin is a piece of differentiated ear. The ear translates the potential of vibrational stimuli that come via the skin, to the brain. (Tomatis, Alfred A, M.D. Editor Timothy M. Gilmore, PhD, et al. About the Tomatis Method. p 214-216. Canada: Listening Centre Press, 1989.)

Hearing is the passive perception of sound. Listening is an active and focused process involving a quick and precise analysis of sounds that are heard. (Tomatis, Alfred A, M.D. Editor Timothy M. Gilmore, PhD, et al. About the Tomatis Method. p 18-20. Canada: Listening Centre Press, 1989.)

The ability to hear higher frequency ranges decreases with age (e.g., speak in a lower register to be better heard by the elderly). (Dychtwald, Ken, PhD, and Joe Flower. Age Wave. p 316-318. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1989.)

Infants with recurring middle ear infections may not have normal development of their neurons for sound. This is one reason why infants with repeated middle ear infections do poorly in language and literacy in later life. The sensitive periods or plasticity for most lower level neural pathway circuits end relatively early in life, often by 4 years of age. In contrast, sensitive periods for some high level circuits remain open (plastic) for a longer period. This may be a reason why, with proper treatment of dyslexia, normal neural pathways can be established. (Mustard, J. Fraser, MD. Early Childhood Development: How does experience in early life affect brain development? 2008. p. 13.)

The left hemisphere processes words, definitions, and language. The right hemisphere processes inflection, tonality, tempo, and volume of communication. Female brain processes both language and feelings at the same time far more efficiently than the male brain. (Jensen, Eric. Brain-Based Learning (Revised). p 16-19. CA: The Brain Store, 2005.)

Males tend to hear in one ear better than the other. Females hear as well with both ears and tend to hear more data. (Gurian, Michael. The Wonder of Boys. p 16-19. NY: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1996.)

Study at University of Sheffield and published in the journal Neurolmage: males processed female voices in the auditory part of the brain that processes music (rather than in Wernicke’s area as is used for processing male voices). The female voice is more difficult for males to listen to as compared to a male voice. (Source.)

On average, females have superior hearing and are better at hearing high sounds, beginning in girlhood and increasing with age. They are more sensitive to loud noises. (Fisher, Helen, PhD. The First Sex. p 85-87. NY: Random House, 1999.)

When a child is deprived of hearing human voices, the connections that allow brain cells to process sound, and consequently language, can become ineffectual. The cells appear to be scrambled rather than appearing in neat columns characteristic of normal brain structure. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts from the Nursery. p 22-23. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

The right ear (connected with the left hemisphere) has an advantage for listening to language sounds. The complementarity of right and left ears/hemispheres permits the creative use of speech and language. (Tomatis, Alfred A, M.D. Editor Timothy M. Gilmore, PhD, et al. About the Tomatis Method. p 18-20. Canada: Listening Centre Press, 1989.)

Studies: children from poor families hear 30 million fewer words by the time they are four than do kids from middle-class families. This can impact the actual structural development of the brain. (Boitnott, John. Cal Study: Poor Kids Lack Brain Development. Poor kids' brains may behave like they are damaged.)

The five senses of the left hemisphere (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell) correspond to senses of the right hemisphere. However, right-brain senses are not the senses of sight and hearing in the so-called normal manner, Rather they involve the ability to see, hear, and sense things through waves translated into images. Thus includes the ability to retain complete image of things seen at a glance in the memory, serving as the receptacle for inspiration and the site of expression for image abundant creativity, and the abilities to visualize images and the realization of those images physically. (Loh, Andrew. Brain Development Centers.)

Humidity and low barometric pressure heighten the sense of smell. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 712. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

The locations of brain cells sensitive to the chemicals involved in the regulation of hunger and thirst are most likely distributed in a system within the core brain stem, rather than being concentrated in a single “center,” although nodes in the system can be identified. (Pribram, Karl H. Languages of the Brain. p 184-186. NJ: Prentice-hall, Inc., 1971.)

A state that can occur spontaneously in individuals engage in critical situations (e.g., downhill skier in a race, fighter pilot in a skirmish) who must make instantaneous decision based upon processing large amounts of sensory information. (Newberg, Andrew, MD, et al. Why God Won’t Go Away. p 40-42. NY: Ballantine Books, 2001.)

The five senses directly affect presence of mind. The brain is constantly taking in sensory data as the afferent nerves send visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, and gustatory messages. These messages vie for attention with other mental activities such as creativity, analysis, and inspection, all of which can be interrupted by sensory data. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 700-701. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

Hearing, a small part of vision, touch, and taste all enter the brain through the brainstem and are passed up to the thalamus. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. p 63. NY: Vintage Books, 2002.)

On average, girls take in more sensory data, hear better, smell better, and take in more information through fingertips and skin than do boys. (Gurian, Michael, and Patricia Henley with Terry Trueman. Boys and Girls Learn Differently! p 26-28. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Company, 2001.)

The sixth sense is intuitive flow, a feeling of spontaneous challenge and elation, and on occasion, rapture. You perform at a very high level of alertness and accomplishment. There is evidence people can choose to experience this state more frequently but most don’t. (Cooper, Robert K., PhD., and Ayman Sawaf.Executive EQ. p 209-212. NY: Grosset/Putnam 1997.)

Isolating each sense and learning to use it by itself can help you to use all the sensory systems together more effectively. This can enhance your memory. (Einberger, Kirstin, and Sellick Janelle, MS. Strengthen Your Mind. p 7. MD: Health Professions Press, 2007.)

When your conscious mind has a belief that is in conflict with “truth” previously stored in the subconscious mind, the intellectual conflict expresses itself as a weakening of the body’s muscles. (Lipton, Bruce, PhD. The Biology of Belief. p 158-160. CA: Mountain of Love / Elite Books, 2005.)

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario have provided some tips for those who have a kinesthetic learning style or who need to absorb information in that sensory system (hands on) in a specific situation. In a class: take a small object (e.g., stress brain or ball) to class to squeeze with in one hand while the other takes notes; participate through questions and discussions whenever possible; stand up and stretch at every break or negotiate with the teacher to allow you to stand quietly at the side or back of room as needed; select classes with 1-hour segments (rather than 3-hour sections) whenever possible; connect relevance and applicability of the topic to life in general or to your life in particular in a practical way. (Source)

Infants exposed to two languages (e.g., Japanese and English) in the first seven to eight months of life will easily develop the neuron functions that can differentiate the sounds of the two languages. This sets a base for fluent mastery of both languages without an accent later in development. Individuals who develop capability for two languages early in life have a larger left temporal hemisphere of the brain than do individuals with monolingual backgrounds. This may be, in part, an explanation of why those individuals can also more easily master other languages later in life. (Mustard, J. Fraser, MD. Early Childhood Development: How does experience in early life affect brain development? p 12. 2008.)

Children who grow up alone or in the wild without exposure to language until age ten rarely if ever learn to speak. (Karr-Morse, Robin, and Meredith S. Wiley.Ghosts from the Nursery. p 22-23. NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.)

Your senses determine how you perceive the world, and a person’s picture of the world. Some students work well at the back of the classroom. Others are so distracted by the students between themselves and the teacher that they can’t pay attention due to the way their sensory systems function. (Williams, Linda.Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind. p 49-55. CA: Touchstone Books: 1986.)

Some school children have problems learning due to a mismatch between the primary sensory preference of the teacher and that of the child. If neither has the flexibility to adjust, no learning occurs. A child can be labeled educationally handicapped one year and do fine the next year with a different teacher. (BandlerRichard, and John Grinder. Frogs into Princes. p 40. UT: Real People Press. 1979.)

The kinesthetic and tactile learning are sometimes linked together although they actually involve different systems. The tactile system involves receptors in the skin; the kinesthetic system registers movement (its receptors in the muscle and tendons provide information on body movement. (Williams, Linda. Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind. p 150-151. CA: Touchstone Books: 1986.)

The auditory, visual, and tactile-kinesthetic senses form the major learning modalities, the primary pathways by which information is taken in. (Williams, Linda. Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind. p 145-146. CA: Touchstone Books, 1986.)

For kinesthetic learners, physical movement is the mode of learning. Unfortunately children and adults who use kinesthesia as their primary source of learning are often labeled as hyperactive. (Koch, Liz. Whole Brain learning is a new frontier for science. Santa Cruz Style, May 7, 2005. )

Gifted students who were under-achievers (as compared with achievers) showed a strong need for tactile and kinesthetic modalities; intake of food, drinks, or both; sound in the learning environment; informal seating design; and dim lighting. They also perceived themselves to be nonpersistent. (Rayneri, Letty J., et al.Gifted achievers and gifted underachievers: the impact of learning style preferences in the classroom. Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, Vol. 14, 2003.)

The word light is a label for the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be detected by the human eye. (Ultraviolet light has wavelengths shorter than the violet light that can be seen; infrared light has wavelengths longer than the red light that can be seen but can be felt as warmth.) (Ornstein, Robert, PhD, and Paul Ehrlich. New World New Mind. p 78-79. MA: Malor Books, 1989, 2000.)

When studying under full spectrum lighting, students showed significant increases in visual acuity (perception) and were much less fatigued compared to those using conventional cool-white fluorescents. (Colby, Barbara, ASID. Color & Light: Influences and Impact. p 51. CA: Barbara Colby, 1990.)

Females are more sensitive to light than males are, beginning in infancy. (Stump, Jane Barr, PhD. What’s the Difference? p 118. NY: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1985.)

The lips and tongue are among the most sensitive parts of the body, even more sensitive than the fingertips. (Katz, Lawrence C., PhD and Manning Rubin. Keep Your Brain Alive. p 113. NY: Workman Publishing Company, Inc., 1999.)

On average, girls take in more sensory data, hear better, smell better, and take in more information through fingertips and skin than do boys. (Gurian, Michael, and Patricia Henley with Terry Trueman. Boys and Girls Learn Differently! p 26-28. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Company, 2001.)

Females have superior taste and smell senses. Most food tasters are females. Males score higher on discerning salty and bitter tastes, females in discerning sweet and sugar tastes. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. p 34-38. NY: Broadway Books, 1998.

Females have a better sense of smell. They have increased sensitive around the time of ovulation. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. p 34-38. NY: Broadway Books, 1998.)

Females have a better sense of smell than males from birth onward. (U.S.NEWS & WORLD REPORT. p 52. August 8, 1988.)

Women have keener senses of hearing smell and taste, men have sharper eyes. (Brynie, Faith Hickman. 101 Questions Your Brain Has Asked About Itself But Couldn’t Answer, Until Now. p 115. CT: Millbrook Press, 1998.)

Females can detect fainter scents than males, and can recognize odors more accurately. (Fisher, Helen, PhD. The First Sex. p 88-89. NY: Random House, 1999.)

In general, females are sensitive to bitter flavors and prefer high concentrations of sweet things. Males are attracted to salty flavors. The female nose and palate are more sensitive than the male.(Gurian, Michael, and Patricia Henley with Terry Trueman. Boys and Girls Learn Differently! p 30-31. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Company, 2001.)

Women are more sensitive to bitter flavors; males score higher in discerning salty flavors. (Moir, Anne, and David Jessel. Brain Sex. p 18-29. NY: Carol Publishing Group, 1989, 1991.)

Women have keener senses of hearing smell and taste, men have sharper eyes. (Brynie, Faith Hickman. 101 Questions Your Brain Has Asked About Itself But Couldn’t Answer, Until Now. p 115. CT: Millbrook Press, 1998.)

Females can detect fainter scents than males, and can recognize odors more accurately. (Fisher, Helen, PhD. The First Sex. p 88-89. NY: Random House, 1999.)

Females are 10 times more sensitive to touch than are males. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. p 236-238. NY: Broadway Books, 1998.)

Boys learn that touching is for little children or girls. “Only babies want to be held.” By the age of 7 or 8 he is already conditioned to feel embarrassed and resentful if he is hugged or kissed, particularly in front of his peers. . He also learns that touching girls implies sex—you only touch if your goal is to go to bed. (Goldberg, Herb, PhD. The Hazards of Being Male. p 63. NY: Nash Publishing, 1976.)

Scents activate the olfactory nerves that go directly to the limbic system. Aromatherapy (e.g., oil of lavender used properly) can help people to feel less stressed/depressed and enhance sleep. Cinnamon may work as a natural aphrodisiac for males. (Amen, Daniel, MD. Change Your Brain Change Your Life. p 75-76. NY: Times Books, 1998.)

Mirror neurons are brain cells that are an important element of human social intelligence. They assist you in understanding the actions and intentions of others. They do this by automatically mimicking the actions of others in your own mind's body (and you assume their intentions). Some of the same neurons that are active when you take a drink, are active when you think someone you can see is about to take a drink. Your brain makes a prediction (e.g., person is thirsty and will raise glass to lips and take a drink). It also runs a simulation, automatically and subconsciously. (Macknik, Stephen L. PhD and Susana Martinez-Conde PhD. Sleights of Mind. p 69-72. NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2010.)

Refer to Neurons and Neurotransmitters for additional information.

Olfactory receptor cells, the neurons in our nose that allow us to smell, are neurons that can regenerate throughout life. Although these cells are continually being born and dying, they maintain the same connections as their ancestors. The result is that once we learn a smell, it always smells the same to us—despite the fact that there are always new neurons smelling it! (Brain Facts.)

The vomeronasal organ (the sex nose), which detects pheromones, the scent essential for mating, is the only sense with a direct link to the limbic system. Nonsexual smell organs reach the limbic system only after they’re passed through the higher centers. Thus, they are under greater control. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 712-713. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

Specific anosmia is the name for odor blindness. (Gilbert, Avery N., and Charles J. Wysocki. The Smell Survey. p 514-523. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, October 1987.)

The olfactory tract is unique among the senses because its nerves bypass the thalamus and go directly to the amygdala and olfactory cortex. The olfactory nerves have a hotline to the emotional brain, and only then is the information sent to the orbitofrontal cortex for more associating, inhibiting, and further processing. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. p 63. NY:Vintage Books, 2002.)

The space immediately around you is part of your body, at least as far as your brain is concerned. Personal space different in different cultures and among individuals. But almost everyone has a strong intuitive sense of this space and tries to protect it. (Macknik, Stephen L. PhD and Susana Martinez-Conde PhD.Sleights of Mind. p 75-80. NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2010.)

Being around pets can encourage compassionate behavior and provides a socially acceptable outlet for touching, males as well as females. (Dossey, Larry, MD. Prayer is Good Medicine. p 115. NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 1996.)

The posture of the body is connected to the ear’s vestibular labyrinth, which keeps joints and muscles, and posture under control. (Tomatis, Alfred A, M.D. Editor Timothy M. Gilmore, PhD, et al. About the Tomatis Method. p 214-216. Canada: Listening Centre Press, 1989.)

Sensory Processing Disorder is a common but often misdiagnosed condition. In SPD, the central nervous system misinterprets messages that are received from the senses. The authors include information from recent research on vision and hearing deficits, motor skill problems, nutrition and picky eaters, ADHA, autism, and other related disorders. (Kranowitz, Carol, and Lucy Jane Miller. The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder, Revised Edition. NY: Perigee Trade, 2006.)

This website provides examples of signs and symptoms that might prompt a parent or teacher to obtain professional evaluation for a child who might have a SPD, including signs for:

Tactile Dysfunction
Vestibular Dysfunction
Proprioceptive Dysfunction
Auditory Dysfunction (with no diagnosed hearing problem)
Oral Input Dysfunction (hypersensitivity to oral input)
Olfactory Dysfunction (hypersentitivity to odors)
Visual Input Dysfunction (hypersensitivity to visual input)
Auditory-Language Processing Dysfunction
Social, Emotional, Play, and Self-regulation Dysfunction

(Source)

The vomeronasal organ (sex nose), which detects pheromones, the scent essential for mating, is the only sense with a direct link to the limbic system. Nonsexual smell organs reach the limbic system only after they’re passed through the higher centers. Thus, they are under greater control. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 712-713. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

Refer to Sexuality and the Brain for additional information.

The skin is a piece of differentiated ear. The ear translates the potential of vibrational stimuli that come via the skin, to the brain. (Tomatis, Alfred A, M.D. Editor Timothy M. Gilmore, PhD, et al. About the Tomatis Method. p 214-216. Canada: Listening Centre Press, 1989.)

If we are not exposed to certain scents during our early development we may permanently lose our ability to recognize them. In the same way, as with our other senses, we can train ourselves to smell better (e.g., perfumers have trained noses and make a living detecting just the right blend). (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. p 63. NY: Vintage Books, 2002.)

Scents activate the olfactory nerves that go directly to the limbic system. Aromatherapy (e.g., oil of lavender used properly) can help people to feel less stressed/depressed and enhance sleep. Cinnamon may work as a natural aphrodisiac for males. (Amen, Daniel, MD. Change Your Brain Change Your Life. p 75-76. NY: Times Books, 1998.)

Human behavior is more driven by our responses to smell than we might care to admit. Our choice of sexual partner, for instance, is very much influenced by personal odors, called pheromones, that we are hardly even conscious of…The tissue in the noise contains 40 million hair genes. (Greenfield, Susan, con. Ed. Brain Power. p 64-65. MA: The Ivy Press Limited, 1999.)

It’s only one synapse away from the nose to the amygdale, a nodal point that directly routes incoming sensory information in all forms to the higher centers of association in the cortex. This explains why associations with odors are so strong and memorable. (Pert, Candace, PhD. Molecules of Emotion. p 143. NY: Scribner, 1997.)

The olfactory system can distinguish million of odors by activating unique combinations of receptors in the nose. Each receptor is rather like a single note on a piano, while the perception of an odor is like striking a chord. The olfactory system is linked directly to the emotional center of the brain. (Katz, Lawrence C., PhD and Manning Rubin. Keep Your Brain Alive. p 91. NY: Workman Publishing Company, Inc., 1999.)

Newborns know and prefer the scent of their own mother. (Karen, Robert, PhD. Becoming Attached. p 41-42. NY: Oxford University Press, 1994, 1998.)

Females have a better sense of smell. They have increased sensitive around the time of ovulation. (Pease, Barbara and Allan. Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps. p 34-38. NY: Broadway Books, 1998.)

All of the receptor cells undergo a constant cycle of birth, development and death over an average period of 10 days for taste and 30 days for olfaction (unlike the sensory receptors in vision, hearing, and touch, which are fixed. (Ratey, John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. 71. NY: Vintage Books, 2002.)

Smell is a powerful trigger to memory and a key to rich associations of experience and emotion. (Williams, Linda. Teaching for the Two-Sided Mind. p 162-163. CA: Touchstone Books: 1986.)

Studies: woman can smell more acutely than can men. During pregnancy women may actually experience a diminished sense of smell. Nearly two persons in three have suffered a temporary loss of smell and 1.2% cannot smell at all. Specific anosmia is the name for odor blindness. (Gilbert, Avery N., and Charles J. Wysocki. The Smell Survey. p 514-523. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, October 1987.)

When people access smells, they flare their nostrils. That’s a direct sensory signal. (Bandler, Richard, and John Grinder. Frogs into Princes. p 43. UT: Real People Press. 1979.)

Smell is the exception to the cross-over rule. Odors are processed on the same side as the nostril that senses them. (Carter, Rita. Mapping the Mind. p 10. CA: University of California Press, 1999.)

The limbic system, sometimes called the emotional brain because it plays a primary role in a range of emotions (including pain, pleasure, docility, affection, and anger) is involved in processing odors and memory. (Tortora, Gerard J. and Sandra Reynolds Grabowski. Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. p 471-472. NY :John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003.)

Because of the way smells are processed neurologically, they have a much more direct impact on behavior and responses than other sensory inputs do. (Bandler,Richard, and John Grinder. Reframing. p 471-472. UT: Real People Press, 1982.)

Seven categories of odors include:

  • Minty
  • Floral (e.g., a rose)
  • Ethereal (e.g., a pear)
  • Musky
  • Resinous (e.g., camphor)
  • Foul or putrid (e.g., rotten eggs)
  • Acrid or pungent (e.g., vinegar)

These compare to four taste categories (sweet, sour, salty, and bitter). The remainder of the tasted sensations are actually attributable to smell. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s. p 712. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

Olfactory receptor cells, the neurons in our nose that allow us to smell, are neurons that can regenerate throughout life. Although these cells are continually being born and dying, they maintain the same connections as their ancestors. The result is that once we learn a smell, it always smells the same to us—despite the fact that there are always new neurons smelling it! (Brain Facts.)

Smell, more than any of the other senses, provides the surest way to enhance one’s emotional memory. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot. p 84-85. NY: Harmony Books, 2001.)

Females have a better sense of smell than males from birth onward. (U.S.NEWS & WORLD REPORT. p 52. August 8, 1988.)

Women have keener senses of hearing smell and taste, men have sharper eyes. (Brynie, Faith Hickman. 101 Questions Your Brain Has Asked About Itself But Couldn’t Answer, Until Now. p 115. CT: Millbrook Press, 1998.)

Females can detect fainter scents than males, and can recognize odors more accurately. (Fisher, Helen, PhD. The First Sex. p 88-89. NY: Random House, 1999.)

The vomeronasal organ (sex nose), which detects pheromones, the scent essential for mating, is the only sense with a direct link to the limbic system. Nonsexual smell organs reach the limbic system only after they’re passed through the higher centers. Thus, they are under greater control. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 712-713. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

Signals from taste buds pass to the same brainstem nucleus as the chemoreceptors in the arteries (taste acidity of blood) and those in the stomach (taste sweetness of food). Then the messages pass, via the thalamus, to the primary taste area in the frontal lobe of the cortex, where they combine with smell messages coming from the food. (Greenfield, Susan, con. Ed. Brain Power. p 64-66. MA: The Ivy Press Limited, 1999.)

Every human being has his/her own personal smellprint. After spending 2 hours with her newborn, a mother can accurately select a garment worn by her baby by smell. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD, and David Sobel, MD. Health Pleasures. p 70-72. NY: Addison-Wesley, 1989.)

You can taste because of taste buds (receptors) on your tongue and in other areas of your mouth and throat. They function in combination with the processing of odor molecules that can enter your nose through active sniffing or breathing or enter from the back of your throat during eating. You may have noticed that when your nose is stuffed up due to a cold, your sense of taste is often altered significantly. Unimpaired, your taste buds are able to differentiate between five general taste groupings: Salt, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. Salt (substances that contain sodium or potassium chloride). Sweet (substances such as glucose, fructose, sucrose, and aspartame). Bitter (substances such as caffeine and quinine). Sour (acidic substances such as citric acid). And Umami (substances such as monosodium glutamate or MSG). Some people prefer salty tastes, others lean toward sweet or even bitter tastes. It appears that the sensitivity of taste bud processing can alter with age. One way to help maintain the pleasure of processing of food flavors is to alternate bites of different foods. (Source)

Sucking is an infant's chief pleasure, and it may not be satisfied by breast or bottle feeding. It is such a strong need that some newborns are born with sucking pads on their fingers from in utero sucking activity. All babies suck on their fingers at some time during the first year of life. (Source.)

Thumb and/or finger sucking appears to be a natural phenomenon. Babies in utero have been observed on ultrasounds sucking their thumbs. Virtually all babies at one time or another will place a digit (thumb, finger, fist or pacifier) in their mouths to suck. In fact, all healthy newborns start life and sustain it with the urge to suck. (Metzler, Lisa Marie. When Baby Sucks His Thumb.)

Ultrasound and photography in the womb shows fetuses sucking their thumbs, but then breasts/nipples aren't available in the womb. Human children have sucking instincts that can persist until 7 or 8 years of age, or even longer, and must meet those needs somehow -- through thumb, finger, or pacifier, if not allowed to meet them at the breast. (Dettwyler, Katharine, PhD. A&M University. Is it “Normal to Suck Your Thumb?”)

Estimates: 1/3 to 1/2 of 3-5 year olds suck fingers and thumbs when tired; 13% of children who are entering kindergarten suck a finger; 6%, of 7-11 year olds suck fingers with the most occurring at night. Some quit sucking entirely once they begin preschool and peer pressure kicks in. Many children begin other oral habits as a substitute, however, such as pen chewing, a more socially acceptable form of oral stimulation. There are strategies parents can use to reduce thumb sucking. (Green, Shari. Dental Hygienist. Thumb Sucking.)

Studies: observed fetus in utero sucking its thumb through a cleft lip. (Basaran, AhmetIn Utero Thumb Sucking Through Cleft Lip and PalateJ Ultrasound Med.2009; 28: 836.)

The American Dental Association recommends stopping thumb sucking at an early age if possible due to problems that can result (e.g., germs, raised palate, speech problems, misaligned teeth). (ADA – Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Use.)

Some have recommended the “thumbuddy,” a finger puppet developed by Andrea Wulfing Van Ness. (Source). Others have recommended MAVALA, a product from Switzerland, that is available from several sources including amazon.com. (Source.)

When trying to change thumb-sucking behaviors avoid using negative reinforcement or punishment as this often causes the child to continue the behavior. Remind children they want their teeth to grow in straight and use positive reinforcement. Affirm them when you notice their fingers are out of the mouth. (Effects of Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Use on Teeth. Futuredontics, Inc.)

The electrical energy from your heart is transmitted to another person’s brain when you touch that person, and vice versa. We affect each other at the most basic electromagnetic level. This has huge social implications. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution. p 159-160. CA: Harper SF, 1999.)

In order to survive as a species, human beings need to utilize social interdependence. People need a more direct connection to other people (outside of the internet) to achieve a sense of balance, grounding, and perspective. People want and like high tech, but they need high touch experiences to remain healthy and vital. Remember that children in an orphanage died when they received inadequate touching and tenderness. ( Greenfield, David N., PhD. Virtual Addiction. p 166-168. CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

The human world is first primarily a “sight” world and secondarily a “sound” world. (Ornstein, Robert, PhD, and Paul Ehrlich. New World New Mind. p 75. MA: Malor Books, 1989, 2000.)

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