Proprioception

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Proprioception is the ability of our body to perceive muscle movement and joint position. It is associated with the other bodily senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste, but mostly touch).

Proprioception occurs almost automatically for most people, and the feedback from this system allows the body to function in a way that appears normal.

Certain diseases can dull, block or remove the nerve pathways for proprioception, and a person's body then appears to move in a jerky or uncontrolled manner as they must control muscles and joints by conscious thought, normally using their vision to provide information as to the place of their limbs in relation to other parts of their body.

Examples

Proprioception is illustrated by:

  • closing your eyes
  • raising a hand, and
  1. touching the tip of your nose, or
  2. brushing the hair on the back of your head.

Most people can do these without thinking. When done 'consciously', you become aware of the "position in space" of the various parts of your body.

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