The Importance of Sensation

Sensory development begins before birth. Shortly after a fetus’ cells begin dividing and becoming different parts, the sensory nervous system starts developing.

Prenatal Sensory Development, adapted from an image Robert Lickliter used in a scientific study

By the time a baby is born, it is primed to learn about the world around it largely through it’s sensory nervous system.

Image by Mysudbury from Flickr

Development and growth happen very quickly for the first five to seven years of a human’s life, then starts to slow. While much of early life is spent in sensory exploration, the rest of your life is built on what you learned about yourself and the world at an early age.

Critical periods, Image from an article on the Dana Foundation website

Your sensory nervous system’s most important jobs are to make sure you are safe and part of a loving, supporting community. There are many ways your sensory nervous system can get thrown off, with lifelong effects. The more challenging experiences you have early in life, the more likely your sensory nervous system will be primed to detect and react to danger, real or perceived.

Be ready.

The good news is that it is never too late to return to a sense of safety and connection… (read more)