The brain will always respond to stimuli. While there is no meaningful response even a comotose patient may respond in some small way to the introduction of stimuli to the senses. Our brain is a fantastic muscle that can respond to the smallest touch, taste, smell, sight or sound. Our brain uses the connection to nerves and sense to judge, discriminate or estimate external conditions and learns how to verbally, physically or mentally respond to those situations.
- We use our senses to determine if a situation is safe or unsafe.
- We use our senses to judge if a person is going to be nice or aggressive.
- We use our senses to evalutate and execute our feelings, appreciation or understanding of another person.
- We use our senses to judge, discriminate or evaluate all forms of external conditions, sounds, textures, and smells.
- We use our senses to judge how we should feel emotionally, how to appreciate or understand some quality of humor, honor, love, friendship, etc.
- Our sense give us the ability to think or reason soundly.
- We can use our senses to build evidence and to judge behaviors, situations and people.
- We can use our senses to build links in our intelligence and to help make wise decisions.
- We can use our senses to make reasonable judgements and decisions about something that’s been said, written or talked about.
- We are able to take categorize and judge verbal situations and determine a range of proper responses.
- Senses help us reason.
Our five senses build what I call “highways” in our brain. We rush from one thought to another one each time we evaluate a situation. Over time we learn that if we touch a hot stove – we will burn our hand. We learn that if we yell at the bully, we will be bullied. We learn that if we throw the football in the house, we will probably break something.
Because we take one piece of “sensory” information and transfer it to other things – we must protect the information we receive and make sure that it doesn’t get corrupted and lead to negative or improper thinking. Our senses play a huge role in helping us determine how we will react in certain situations.
If a child watches hours of boxing on TV – what is he learning? If a child listens to violent music – what is she learning? If a child is never allowed to “feel” pain, regret, sorrow, remorse – what is he learning? If a child plays violent video games for several hours a day – what is the brain learning?
The brain is learning that you have to “kill” in order to make points. Making points helps you win the game. Killing therefore – is a good thing.
Most of us would have a horrible time with the images of a child being murdered. Seeing the blood, hearing the screams, watching the flesh…..I’m sick just thinking about it.
Yet…go back to the video games. If a child has heard loud music playing, feels good about making points and has watched blood and body parts tear apart – for hours at the time – what happens to the brain??? If the game has been set up to be a “solution” to a bully problem or some other negative situation – what does the brain learn? It learns that the only solution to a difficult issue with another human is to kill them.
The brain becomes sensitized. (WE will talk more about this when we discuss the entertainment arm) In other words the brain no longer “feels” bad about the effects of horror. What bothered the player the first few times no longer “feels” as bad. The brain has become accustomed to the loud noises and no longer thinks about the pain of the situation. Instead, the player is only focused on winning the game.
Could this cause a dysfunctional young adult to “feel” nothing when he shoots a small child. Absolutely. Could this desensitizing the brain cause you or your child to have a hard time being compassionate when others experience pain. You bet.
It is vitally important to “guard” our brain against desensitizing. We need to “feel” sadness, sorrow, happiness, pain, compassion, etc… Feeling – using all our senses – is the greatest gift we have and can keep us centered as we navigate through life. Be very careful parents that you guard your child’s brain. Always allow them to “feel” with all five senses. Yes, we should comfort them when they cry or hurt – but never remove the cause of the pain. Allowing your child to feel regret, to feel embarrassment or sorrow will help your child learn to avoid that situation in the future.