Sensory Preference Awareness

Lose anxiety, find purpose

Sensory Preference Awareness

May 19, 2017 Forms of Therapy 0

The term Sensory Preference refers to the type of sensory input that registers the fastest in a person’s brain. Research shows that the human brain processes information through three sensory systems: Visual (sight), Auditory (hearing), and Kinesthetic (taste, touch, smell). Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Yup! Those are your five senses you grew up learning about. You just probably never gave it much more thought past elementary school, (Research has since shown that there are actually SEVEN sensory systems and not just five – but that’s besides the point now). Occupational Therapists on the other hand have the praise-worthy work of having to integrate the sensory system in an individual and if you would ask them, (as we have) they would probably tell you they prefer to get the brain when its young and pliable. Here is why:

Research shows that between the ages of 0-3 the brain has the greatest amount of plasticity- meaning that the brain can be molded/shaped. Between the ages of 3-5 this plasticity still exists but not as much as the earlier year. Between the ages of 5-7 this plasticity starts to slow down.  This basically means that you can change a nervous system! The sensory system is meant to be used as one system – meaning, the individual can use all systems to take in information. If the sensory system has not been fully integrated by a certain age, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (a mental intervention) can be used to override integration issues.

That is where we come in. We deal with the mental aspect of the individual but happen to have the knowledge of the major role the neurological system plays in the deficits that our clients exhibit. Making clients aware of this phenomenon has proven to be beneficial in understanding the role their brain has in their mental process. This is especially true for clients struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. By educating our clients with this awareness, they learn to pinpoint where the information they take in is being processed most effectively.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *