What is Proprioception?

Proprioception, the perception of the body in space and kinesthesia are sometimes called the “sixth sense.” These include the sensation of joint motion and acceleration and are the sensory feedback mechanisms within the body itself for motor control and posture. Proprioception allows you to touch your nose with your finger even with your eyes closed (such as in the field sobriety test used by police officers). Proprioception is important for learning new skills. Proprioception is what allows you to perform an action such as driving a car without looking at the foot pedals while driving. It is the force behind touch typing and even walking relies on it so that people can walk without having to look where they are putting their feet.

Who Is Affected

Individuals who have had a limb amputated may experience phantom limb pain. Alcohol abuse can lead to an impairment in proprioception, as can an overdose of Vitamin B6 or chemotherapy. In cases of serious brain damage, strokes for instance people may not recognize that their arm or leg belongs to them.

Looking at the Impacts

Proprioception allows a person to know where their body is in space, to perform tasks without having to think of the physical movements connected with the action. Individuals with proprioceptive disorders may have a hard time judging how much/how little force is needed to perform a task, where their body is in space. They may appear as being clumsy and loud. They may have difficulty learning tasks that involve automation reactions.