Monday, May 11, 2009

Touch your Mind

Place a cup filled with different coins in your cup holder. While at a stoplight, try to determine different denominations by feel alone. If your car is equipped with a change holder, then place the coins into the correct slots, using only your sense of touch. You can also do this exercise with other small objects of subtly different sizes or textures (various sizes and types of screws, nuts, earrings, or paper clips, 1-inch squares of material such as leather, satin, velour, cotton, or grades of sandpaper). Try to match up a pair of earrings or cuff links, for example.
Because we normally discriminate between objects by looking at them, our tactile discrimination abilities are flabby like underused muscles. Using touch to distinguish subtly different objects increases activation in cortical areas that process tactile information and leads to stronger synapses. This is the same process that occurs with adults who lose their sight. They learn to distinguish Braille letters because their cortex devotes more pathways to processing fine touch.

No comments:

Post a Comment