Commonly Used Terms and/or Definitions


Bilateral Coordination
Ability to use two sides of the body to work together


Body scheme
Internal representation of the body; the brain’s “map” of the body


Central Nervous System (CNS)
Structural and functional center of the entire nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord


Integrates incoming pieces of sensory information, evaluates the information, and initiates a motor response based on that information

Dissociation
Separation of movements from one particular part of the body

Example: moving the arms without having to move the head


Dyspraxia
A condition in which the individual has difficulty with praxis


Gravitational Insecurity
Condition in which there is a tendency to react negatively and fearfully to movement, particularly those involving a change in head position and movement backward or upward through space


Hyperresponsivity or Over-responsive
A disorder of sensory modulation in which the individual is overwhelmed by ordinary sensory input and reacts defensively to it, often with a strong negative emotion/reaction


Hyporesponsivity or Under responsive
A disorder of sensory modulation in which the individual tends to be relatively unaffected by sensory stimulation to which most people respond


Motor Planning
Process of organizing a plan for action


This aspect of praxis is a cognitive process that precedes the performance of a new action


Perception
The organization of sensory data into meaningful units


Proprioception
Components of muscles, joints, and tendons that provide a person with a subconscious awareness of body position


Signs of dysfunction include:

  • Clumsiness,

  • Decreased body awareness

  • Position in space

  • Body posturing

  • Delayed gross motor skill development

  • Decreased manipulation of small items

Praxis
Ability to conceptualize, organize, and execute motor tasks


Sensory Defensiveness
A condition characterized by hyperresponsiveness in one or more sensory systems


Sensory discrimination
Ability to distinguish between different sensory stimulation
Used to refer to the ability to make fine distinctions between stimulations


For example: discriminating between two points of touch or differentiating between similar sounds


Sensory Integration
Organization of sensation for use


Complex set of processes in the CNS that include modulation, perpetual, and praxic function


Sensory Modulation
Tendency to generate responses that are appropriately graded in relation to incoming sensation, neither under reacting nor over reacting to the incoming sensory input


Sensory Processing
Handling of sensory information by neural systems


Sensory Registration
Process by which the CNS attends to stimulation


Sequencing
Ability to appropriately order a series of actions


Important characteristic of motor planning


Ability to replicate a series of sensory stimuli in the correct order


Somatopraxis
Pertaining to the tactile and proprioceptive systems


Tactile System
Nerves under the skin’s surface that send information to the brain regarding: touch, pain, temperature, pressure


Signs of dysfunction or tactile defensiveness:

  • Resistance to hugs

  • Resistance to dirt or dirty hands

  • Resistive towards hair and/or nail cutting

  • Resistive towards washing hands/face

  • Manipulates objects with tips of fingers versus whole hand grasp


Tactile Defensiveness
Condition in which there is a tendency to react negatively and emotionally to touch sensations


Vestibular
Pertaining to the inner ear receptors and structures that detect head position and movement as well as gravity


Signs of dysfunction:

  • Fearful responses towards changing head positions

  • Apprehensive toward walking ascending/descending inclines or unstable surfaces

  • Appear unsteady in normal walking

  • Constantly moving and seeking stimulation

Visual Perception
Total process responsible for the reception and cognition of visual stimuli
Requires taking information in from the environment, interpreting it, and putting that information to use.