We are all Sensory Beings Living in a Sensory World

Sensory babies, infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, and adults…we are all Sensory Beings living in a Sensory World! Sensory Development Sensations make up our sensory experiences. Sensory processing of these sensations underpins every human functional task and social interaction. Through sensory processing and sensory integration, we develop and grow our understanding of ourselves, others and the […]

Taste of Summer

Our sense of taste is a chemosensory system that evolved to help us be efficient at finding nutritionally useful foods and recognising harmful foods. Throughout the evolution of different species, dietary feeding behaviours and therefore taste perceptions have changed. As humans our evolution as omnivores means we have genes that encode our taste receptors to […]

Smell: Survival, social connections, Emotions, memory, feeding / eating tastes

In mammals, including we humans, the olfactory system plays an important role in searching for food, eating, and tasting. Its roles helps in avoiding danger, supporting social connections, finding partners for survival of the individuals and species as well as supporting memories and mapping the world. Smell gives us a chemical means of communicating that […]

Know your Neurobiology: Stress – Moving out of Homeostasis Part 2

Following on from our last blog post looking at Stress we thought we’d go over the neurobiology of the stress response. Monitoring for stressors is a constant activity of the Autonomic Nervous System(ANS) and associated structures. Stress, when registered, initiates an ancient, carefully orchestrated and instantaneous sequence of neurotransmitter & hormonal changes. These create physiological […]

Know your Neurobiology: Stress – Moving out of Homeostasis

April is Stress awareness month! So, we thought we’d take a look at what stress is all about. Our brain’s primary job is to keep us safe in the moment. It does this by ‘keeping an eye out’ for internal and external sensory cues that suggest something is amiss. Cumulative messages build pressure that overwhelms […]

Know your Neurobiology: Oxytocin

Oxytocin, a hormone known as the love hormone or cuddle chemical! As OTs we love that the acronym for Oxytocin is OT! Love is both the emotion and the biological process that creates the ‘calm and connection system’ designed to facilitate closeness, relationship, empathy and a sense of safety. And it plays a vital role […]

Know your Neurobiology: The Auditory System Development

Development The auditory system develops in a very specific way inside the womb. This process is interrupted and occurs differently when taking place outside of the womb due to a premature birth. The infant’s exposure to frequencies of sounds, noise, and noise levels is very different within the NICU. There are differing estimates of the […]

Know your Neurobiology: The Auditory System

Introduction Auditory processing supports us to connect with others and the environment across space. Our sense of hearing enables us to register, orient to, and process sound energy waves and create responses to those sounds. We often detect the presence and location of objects and activity before we can see them. We can respond to […]

Siblings in the Neonatal Unit

siblings in the neonatal unit

Having a sibling in neonatal care can be an incredibly stressful time for a child. Beavis(2007) describes how the disruption in routine, the financial, physical, and emotional strain on the family can evoke a strong emotional response in siblings. Trauma surrounding a hospital admission of a baby or child does not just impact on the […]

Pain and Stress in the Neonatal Unit

Managing pain and stress is the ethical responsibility of everybody who works in the neonatal unit. “All pain is stress, but not all stress is pain.” Mary Coughlin Pain and Stress Pain and stress are ongoing experiences to babies admitted to the neonatal unit. Carbajal (2018) reported an infant in ITU experiences up to 16 […]