Recent research has shown the widely held and seemingly common sense view that we have five separate senses – hearing, seeing, taste, touch and smell – is fundamentally flawed. A series of experiments conducted at Harvard University by Alvaro Pascual-Leone has revealed the presence of what are called “multisensory” neurons, that is nerve cells which respond not just to one sort of stimulation – such as light or sound – but to a great many.
This has given rise to a belief that far from having centres in the brain dedicated to, say, vision or smell, each of these centres is capable of responding to all forms of incoming information even though they may tend to favour just one of them.
To test this remarkable theory Pascual-Leone blindfolded sighted volunteers and taught them, over a five-day period, to read Braille. As they were engaged on these, and other “touch” sensitive tasks he carried out scans to see what parts of their brain was most active. After five days of training he discovered that the visual centres at the back of the brain, which had previously shown no response to tasks unconnected with sight became switched on during touching and hearing.
In other words the nerve cells in the visual centres, no longer being needed to process images, were being called upon to help out other parts of the brain.
From this, says Professor Pascual-Leone, we can assume that: “Tactile and
auditory input into the ‘visual cortex’ is present in all of us and can be unmasked if behaviourally desirable.” (Nature, Vol. 401. page 587)
When we simply visualise an activity, therefore, we stimulate chiefly those areas of the brain specialised for seeing – which mainly comprises the occipital regions at the back of the head. During a Sensualisation, by contrast, many more parts of the brain are stimulated so producing not merely a far more intense construction or reconstruction of an actual event but also one that will exert a far stronger influence over both the conscious mind and the emotion driven limbic system.
Part of the value of Sensualisations is not just that they can help liberate you from performance restricting b-locks ( See the Bo-Tau breathing section of this web- site for further information about these blocks to achievement) but that they help you experience every aspect of the world about you more clearly, vividly and mindfully than you may have done for years. By fine tuning your sensations enabling in this way the transform even the most ordinary and mundane of surroundings into richly rewarding sensory experiences.