Visual and Auditory Relationships
Vision and audition are two primary sensory modalities that inform us about the location and identification of objects in the environment. They are intimately connected to somatosensory systems, helping us to orient ourselves in the environment through balance and movement. Therefore vision and audition are essential to both motor learning and planning in the course of normal development.
From a developmental standpoint, auditory perception mirrors visual perception. The subcategories of figure-ground, discrimination, memory, sequencing, and closure are common to both domains, and attention can be a spotlight as well as a bottleneck. As we age, there is presbycusis as there is presbyopia, and if we suffer acquired brain injury there are auditory processing changes analogous to visual processing changes. Auditory neglect or hemi-inattention to auditory space occurs analogous to hemi-neglect of visual space.
Lasting changes to the brain occur by a process known as neuroplasticity. This is the ability of neural networks in the brain to change through growth and reorganization .The more information that goes through a pathway in the brain, the stronger it becomes. When an individualized intervention applies engagement with multiple types of sensory pathways simultaneously, the brain’s ability to build newer and better network connections occurs.
Safe and Sound Protocol
The Safe and Sound Protocol, or SSP, is a non-invasive application of Polyvagal Theory, based on decades of research and developed by Dr. Stephen Porges.
In our clinic, we utilize this technology to help calm an overactive nervous system improve cognitive function and personal relationships for people living with TBI. By reducing stress and calming the nervous system we’re preparing the brain for deep and lasting change.
The Focus System is the core product for improving brain function through the implementation of the iLs method: brain and body integration through multisensory input.
The Focus System is a clinical-level intervention designed for home use, consisting of therapeutically-treated music combined with fun movement activities, and, when ready, cognitive challenges to further activate brain networks. In our office, we pair this with specific, individualized vision therapy techniques to create lasting change.
Therapeutic music is delivered via air and bone conduction headphones, providing auditory input to the brain and sensory input to the visual system and the body. Finally, cognitive activities, added later, challenge the brain to process multiple pieces of simultaneous information, which is reflective of demands required of the brain in our day-to-day world.