Nerve Inputs and nerve outputs to the brain explained simply and how it results in learning issues like dyslexia if they are not working properly
By Sue Cook, Jul 1 2019 07:59PM
By Sue Cook
In my work as a health scientist over the last twenty years I have worked with a lot of people but even now the process of neurodevelopment is still not well understood so I am aiming to explain it using imagery here.
The construction of the senses. They all must be working for the whole to work optimally. And when it does it allows the rest of the brain development to occur optimally.
An archway of rocks only holds up because all the rocks are in the right place. The arch depends on each piece to maintain the whole. Take one rock out and the whole lot comes down. It's tricky to build but solid when correct.
When development is stopped, or prevented from occurring optimally then the senses do not have optimal facility and this will result in learning issues usually, or sensory distortions.
How does this relate to brain development?
If the rocks represent the senses, then when the arch is built correctly all the senses work properly. They support each other and work together. The archway represents the brain stem. When the brainstem is formed properly then the hemispheres and other parts of the brain can work together. So, with my example, when the archway is here, the wall can be built around the arch. It is strong and the wall depends on the arch. But also, the archway is needed so that things (nerve information) can pass through it! Without the archway the communication is difficult because you have to shout through the wall to get heard, and then things get missed and so the functionality is not there.
If one rock is missing then the whole arch crumbles and there’s limited communication between the senses.
The components might be laying on the floor present but they won't work together functioning as they should. So you might see symptoms of slow processing, unable to remember, unable to read, poor balance, (or in other words the conditions we recognise as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADHD, Asperger's, autism etc). This is why when there are problems with the brainstem, then the memory and thought processing is problematic: the hemispheres are constantly affected by the brainstem issues.
See what I mean?
Another layer to this is the fact that, say, trees and barnacles don't have a brain. And they don't move.
Our senses develop because we move. Trees and barnacles don’t need a brain like we do and they don’t need to catch a bus, or climb stairs. Movement of the body stimulates brain development.
Our brains develop as a result of movement of the body.
The brain is like a relay station in that it responds to nerve input (what it sees, hears, smells, tastes, touches) and is able to react/respond.
So, of the inputs are not delivering the correct information because the arch way is not intact, then the outputs, which could be reading, playing sport, hearing language, may be distorted. This distortion could be minor, or totally disabling.
So the role of a neurodevelopment specialist is to recognise the current brain status of an individual, and help them develop the optimum brain function possible for them.
In other words we build the archway, and we do this by using the correct bodily movements in the right order (copying nature).
The brain chemicals that allow that are called nerve growth factors. These get triggered every time we repeat movements. And so nerve pathways get created in the right place in the right amount so that the senses work properly.
Whilst it may sound complicated, every single neuro typical person on the planet developed in the same way.
Can you see the brain growing in the time line represented by these pictures? That is in direct response to movement of the body.
In certain parts of the world where it's unsafe to place a baby on the floor, which relates to certain tribespeople who live in the jungle, they miss the crawling phase of development and so their nerves have developed differently and they have no written language yet they can fire an arrow with great accuracy over huge distances.
I have written about them before.
Applying this information to what we see in the world around us, the Romanian orphans who were strapped to their cots and were ten years old or so, had brains like babies in that they had not developed language or the ability to walk or be continent. This is because their brains had not been stimulated by the ability to move freely and thus their archways (to use my previous example) had not been constructed.
So you see the importance of movement and the correct kind of movement for the brain.
The nerve growth factors that I mentioned enable us to repeat the developmental process in anyone to learn anything, whether that's learning to drive, learning an instrument, learning a language, or to just repeat the normal development process of the brain on those who have had a learning issue as a result of a developmental issue.
That's how we facilitate recovery in those with learning issues.
In dyslexia for example the eyes must track along a line of text and then jump down to the next line and carry on.
The eyes must adjust to the words on the black board and then to what must be written on the page. Where the eyes have not got the required level of development to be able to do this we often show symptoms of dyslexia.
So when movement is used to reprogramme the correct parts of the brain then dyslexia goes.
I know because I did this with my son and over 1,000 families since despite being told by a tutor at the dyslexia institute in Chelmsford that 'there's no cure and you have to learn to live with it'.
We don't use that c word in practice by the way but that's what I was told.
To say there's nothing that can be done is to not understand the mechanisms that underpin reading within the brain and sensory structures.
When nerve inputs to the brain are working correctly then development has occurred typically. When there is a break in development then there is often a learning issue because the inputs cannot interpret the environment in the best way (problems with tracking or balance for example).
Nerves can grow. Proof of this is in the fact that we constantly learn. If we were unable to ever learn new things then we couldn't repair or brains.
The key to reconstruct the mechanisms required for reading, or other sensory function, is to implement the brains natural ability to repair.
This quick sketch shows nerve outputs from the brain, in other words ‘performance’ ability. Whether the person can read, balance, carry out usual activity. When the nerve inputs are working correctly, outputs work fine.
The flip side of reconstruction of nerve pathways is the 'use it or lose it' process of apoptosis (selective cell death). This is what happens when stop using a muscle and get wastage or reduction in size. The same happens in the brain. That's why the elderly lose their balance when they don”t do walking so much.
The brain is not a rigid fixed structure but one that changes and responds to the environment in which it finds itself.
Movement is the key, or more importantly the right kind of movement.
These are movements that engage the cranial nerves alongside bodily movement.
It's easy to teach and learn. See what I mean?
What you get at brainbuzzz is a programme to sort all this out. We work 1:1; remotely or in person; we have online courses to access the information wherever you are.
courses are on teachable at the College of Neuro and Sensory Development.