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Sensory integration is defined as the neurological process that organizes sensation from one’s own body and the environment, thus making it possible to use the body effectively within the environment. Specifically, it deals with how the brain processes multiple sensory modality inputs into usable functional outputs. It has been believed for some time that inputs from different sensory organs are processed in different areas in the brain. The communication within and among these specialized areas of the brain is known as functional integration.  Newer research has shown that these different regions of the brain may not be solely responsible for only one sensory modality, but could use multiple inputs to perceive what the body senses about its environment. Sensory integration is necessary for almost every activity that we perform because the combination of multiple sensory inputs is essential for us to comprehend our surroundings.
1.1 Basic structures involved 1.2 Problems with sensory integration
2 History 3 Current research 4 Examples of sensory integration
4.1 Audiovisual system 4.2 Sensorimotor system
5 Further research 6 See also 7 References 8 External links
Overview It has been believed for some time that inputs from different sensory organs are processed in different areas in the brain, relating to systems neuroscience. Using functional neuroimaging, it can be seen that sensory-specific cortices are activated by different inputs. For example, regions in the occipital cortex are tied to vision and those on the superior temporal gyrus are recipients of auditory inputs. There exist studies suggesting deeper multisensory convergences than those at the sensory-specific cortices, which were listed earlier. This convergence of multiple sensory modalities is known as sensory integration. Sensory integration deals with how the brain processes sensory input from multiple sensory modalities. These include the five classic senses of vision (sight), audition (hearing), tactile stimulation (touch), olfaction (smell),
From the earliest times of neurology. The result was the conception of the first sensoryHomunculus. . and disorganization. upon which our interaction with the environment is ultimately based. This process led to the publication of his book. History In the 1930s. Patients who have this type of SID have incorrect processing of motor information that leads to poor motor skills. Penfield "pioneered the incorporation of neurophysiological principles in the practice of neurosurgery. which is characterized by postural control problems. the Occipital lobe. and would ask his still conscious patient what he or she felt. Penfield was interested in determining a solution to solve the epileptic seizure problems that his patients were having. However. called projection areas. responsible for conscious thought. This disorder can be further classified into three main types. Dr. P. and in different contexts. Mrs.and gustation (taste). It is important that the information of these different sensory modalities must be relatable.  Dr.  These lobes are the Frontal lobe. Wilder Penfield was conducting a very bizarre operation at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He used an electrode to stimulate different regions of the brain's cortex. Cantlie was the artist Dr. The "mapping" of the sensations his patients felt led Dr. Penfield hired to illustrate his findings. The lobes of the brain are the classifications that divide the brain both anatomically and functionally. The Cerebral Cortex of Man. lack of attentiveness. newer research has shown that that may not entirely be the case. Type 1 is when the patient exhibits a sensory modulation disorder. Type 3 sensory integration dysfunction occurs when the patient has a sensory discrimination disorder. responsible for visuospatial processing. Parietal lobe. the brain can relate all sensory inputs into a coherent percept. Problems with sensory integration Sometimes there can be a problem with the encoding of the sensory information. Penfield to chart out the sensations that were triggered by stimulating different cortical regions. or SID. responsible for the sense of sight. Through sensory integration. This disorder is known as sensory integration dysfunction. There are several therapies used to treat SID. it has been thought that these lobes are solely responsible for their one sensory modality input. Basic structures involved The dif ferent senses were always thought to be controlled by separate lobes of the brain. The sensory inputs themselves are in different electrical signals." which is all of the activities that a child performs that gives him/her the necessary sensory inputs that he/she needs to get the brain into better performing sensory integration. Other sensory modalities exist. Dr. and the temporal lobe. responsible for the senses of smell and sound. for example the vestibular sense (balance and the sense of movement) and proprioception (the sense of knowing one's position in space). where he/she seek sensory stimulation due to an over or under response to sensory stimuli. Anna Jean Ayres claimed that a child needs a healthy "sensory diet. H. Dr. Type 2 is when the patient exhibits a sensory based motor disorder.
in which individuals have comparable language skills to someone who uses his left hemisphere to process language. but they are also quite complementary. Research on sensory integration has much to offer towards understanding the function of the brain as a whole.  Current research There are still no definitive answers to the questions regarding the relationship between functional and structural asymmetries in the brain. yet they mainly use their right or both hemispheres. Although it may seem redundant that we are being provided with multiple sensory inputs about the same object. These cases pose the possibility that function may not follow structure in some cognitive tasks. however. Because of their novelty at the time. Current research in the fields of sensory integration and functional integration is aiming to hopefully unlock the mysteries behind the concept of brain lateralization. The Homonculus is a visual representation of the intensity of sensations derived from different parts of the body. There have been some cases. There are a number of asymmetries in the human brain including how language is processed mainly in the left hemisphere of the brain. The primary task of sensory integration is to figure out and sort out the vast quantities of sensory information in the body through multiple sensory modalities.Homunculus: Diagram showing position of regions of the human cortex corresponding to the respective afferent/efferent nerve region of the body. but that is not necessarily the case. Blue: sensory cortex. This so called "redundant" information is in fact verification that what we are experiencing is . Dr. they discovered that the functional maps of thesensorimotor and motor cortices were similar in all patients. These modalities not only are not independent. While performing these tests. This part could then be surgically removed or altered in order to regain optimal brain performance. Where one sensory modality may give information on one part of a situation. another modality can pick up other necessary information. Wilder Penfield and his colleague Herbert Jasper developed the technique of using an electrode to stimulate different parts of the brain to determine which parts were the cause of the epilepsy. Bringing this information together facilitates the better understanding of the physical world around us. Red: motor cortex. these Homonculi were hailed as the "E=mc² of Neuroscience".
But once one has the spatial mapping from the visual information. This occurs because of a pre-existing spatial representation within the brain which is programmed to think that voices come from another human's mouth. This prevents sensory misrepresentations. This sensory integration was necessary for early humans in order to ensure that they were receiving proper nutrition from their food. This then makes it so the visual response to the audio input is spatially misrepresented. the model that we create is much more robust and gives a better assessment of the situation.  Auditory information therefore is not spatially represented unlike visual stimuli. if any. gustation and olfaction developed together. Sensorimotor system . Audiovisual system Perhaps one of the most studied sensory integrations is the relationship between vision and audition.  Other spatial information is not as reliable as visual spatial information. and by combining the two. Integration between vision and tactile sensations developed along with our finer motor skills including better hand-eye coordination. While humans developed into bipedal organisms. Examples of sensory integration One of the earliest sensations is the olfactory sensation. Thinking about it logically. it is far easier to fool one sense than it is to simultaneously fool two or more senses. There are several other sensory integrations that developed early on in the human evolutionary time line. The sensory integration between visual inputs. These two senses perceive the same objects in the world in different ways. auditory and visual signals are not being processed concurrently.  This kind of integration can lead to slight misperceptions in the visual-auditory system in the form of theventriloquist effect. because through the combination of multiple sensory modalities.in fact happening. thus giving a less reliable spatial representation of the object. When you are speaking with someone or watching something happen. Sensory illusions occur when these models do not match up.  One example of this that has been observed is how the brain compensates for target distance. Vision dominates our perception of the world around us. The integration between vision and audition was necessary for spatial mapping. vestibular (balance) inputs. Sensory information informs these models. andproprioception inputs played an important role in our development into upright walkers. and also to make sure that they were not consuming poisonous materials. Evolutionary. balance became exponentially more essential to survival. There have been studies done that show that a dynamic neural mechanism exists for matching the auditory and visual inputs from an event that stimulates multiple senses. our auditory system can bring us back to a ground reality. The location of an object can sometimes be determined solely on its sound. but they are perceived as being simultaneous. Perceptions of the world are based on models that we build of the world. and there are few. and therefore misaligned. sensory integration helps bring the information from both the visual and auditory stimuli together to make a more robust mapping. but the sensory input can easily be modified or a ltered. external distortions that provide incorrect information to the brain about the true location of an object. This is because visual spatial information is one of the most reliable sensory modalities. where our visual system may fool us in one case. but this information can also confuse the models. they help us understand this information better. An example of the ventriloquism effect is when a person on the television appears to have his voice coming from his mouth. For example. rather than the television's speakers. Visual stimuli are recorded directly onto the retina. consider auditory spatial input. For example.
"Multisensory spatial interactions: a window onto functional integration in the human brain. Hernandez-Ribas R. Driver J.Hand eye coordination is one example of sensory integration. we might be able to program these robots to convey these data into a useful output to better serve our purposes. Trends in Neurosciences 28: 263–271. and what we tactilely perceive about that same object. If these two senses were not combined within the brain.1007/s00415-008-0915-6. The robot's sensory devices may take in inputs of different modalities. we require a tight integration of what we visually perceive about an object. and what they were touching and looking at. by learning more about how different sensory inputs can combine can have profound effects on new engineering approaches using robotics. that thing that's moving this object is actually a part of me. More research done on the sensorimotor system can help understand how these movements are controlled." Seeing the same thing that they are feeling is a major step in the mapping that is required for infants to begin to realize that they can move their arms and interact with an object. Lopez-Sola M. et al. Pujol J. "Wilder Penfield (1891-1976)". in that it doesn't move around much. Deus J. but the hands and other parts used in tactile sensory collection can freely move around. The infant picks up objects and puts them in his mouth. doi:10. 2. (2008).  This understanding can potentially be used to learn more about how to make better prosthetics. research on sensory integration will be used to better understand how different sensory modalities are incorporated within the brain to help us perform even the simplest of tasks.PMID 18500490. An example of this happening is looking at an infant. or touches them to his feet or face. For example. ^ a b Todman D. then one would have less ability to manipulate an object. Hand-eye coordination is the tactile sensation in the context of the visual system. The visual system is very static. Further research In the future. Journal of Neurology 255 (7): 1104–1105. ^ Macaluso E. 3. (2008). This is the earliest and most explicit way of experiencing sensory integration. All of these actions are culminating to the formation of spatial maps in the brain and the realization that "Hey. In this case. and eventually help patients who have lost the use of a limb. ^ Harrison BJ. (2005).". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States . we do not currently have the understanding needed to comprehend how neural circuits transform sensory cues into changes in motor activities. otherwise one would not be able to comprehend where they were moving their hands. This movement of the hands must be included in the mapping of both the tactile and visual sensations. but if we understand sensory integration better. Also. See also Anna Jean Ayres Sensory integration dysfunction Motor coordination Sensory-motor coupling References 1. "Consistency and functional specialization in the default mode brain network".
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