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Spirited Conversations - Engaging and Elevating Pediatric OT

21. Somatosensory Processing and Praxis

Join us as we explore the interplay between feed forward and feedback in the somatosensory system. Learn how this impacts our ability to perform skilled movements and how our brain prepares for the next action. Find out how inhibition plays a crucial role in allowing us to venture forward in novel experiences.


Check out DFX's learning journeys to build your clinical

reasoning skills with Tracy -->


Full transcription of our episode is available on our




0:00:00 Introduction and revisiting the topic of praxis

0:01:28 Difficulty of replicating human praxis in robots

0:02:48 Somatosensory basis of dyspraxia

0:05:01 Importance of enhancing somatosensation, movement, and vision

0:05:41 The dynamic and solidified body map of the homunculus

0:06:25 Purpose of somatosensory processing and sensory integrative processing

0:07:49 Treating the whole, not just practicing the end products

0:08:12 Understanding the homunculus and its dynamic nature

0:10:04 Feed forward and feedback happening simultaneously

0:11:35 Interplay between feed forward and feedback happening simultaneously in the brain

0:12:22 Peripheral receptors learning in the neural network

0:13:03 Neurodevelopmental changes in the peripheral and central nervous system

0:13:45 Preparing the body for the next activity

0:14:44 Sensitization of peripheral receptors in response to unexpected events

0:16:12 Pre-emptive preparation of the brain in eye movement control

0:17:19 Interplay between somatosensory, vestibular, and visual systems in response to uneven surfaces

0:17:50 Importance of somatosensation as a perceptual layer that supports skilfulness

0:18:58 The interplay between modulation and discrimination processing in novel experiences

0:20:40 Treating the modulation issue to clear the slate for discrimination to become relevant

0:21:57 Co-regulation through touch in discrimination processing

0:22:25 The spreading activation of the homunculus enriching the body map

0:23:10 The nervous system drawing somatosensory information to create inhibition and engagement

0:23:41 The somatosensory system as the primary inhibitory system

0:24:26 The whole process being somatosensory dependent

0:24:42 The valence and tipping in the somatosensory system

0:25:21 The role of the social engagement secretary in somatosensory modulation

0:27:01 Co-regulation and the importance of a partner in somatosensory experiences

0:29:20 The impact of not meeting a child's somatosensory needs on adaptation and efficiency

0:29:54 The power of OT observations in shifting perceptions and supporting children's sensory needs

0:34:20 The importance of separating modulation from discrimination in clinical reasoning for effective intervention

0:34:54 The interplay between modulation, discrimination, cognition, and executive function in treatment.


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