Proprioception is an automatic sensitivity mechanism in the body that sends messages through the central nervous system relaying information to the body about how to react to stimuli and with what amount of tension. The muscles, joints, and connective tissues contain specialized sensory receptors that enable the body to process the information and turn that information into action. The skin, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and other senses coordinate together to communicate with the brain about muscle tension, weight shifts, load, and range of motion.1
The interaction of the mind and the body comes through the experiences of the senses. These experiences then contribute to brain development.1 Countless amounts of sensory information enter the brain all the time from not only the eyes and ears, but also from every area of the body. The brain organizes and integrates all of these sensations to help the person function normally.2
1. Frost, Joe L., Pei-San Brown, John A. Sutterby, Candra D. Thornton. The Developmental Benefits of Playgrounds. Olney, MD: Association for Childhood Education International, 2004. p. 208.
The vestibular system is the parts of the brain and inner ear that process the sensory information involved with controlling eye movements and balance.1 The receptors located within the inner ear respond to gravity and detect motion and change of head position. They interpret speed and direction of movement, relationship to gravity, and impact balance, posture, and bilateral coordination.2