Visual & Auditory System Integration
The visual and auditory systems work separately and in combination with each other and with the remaining sensory systems to inform and guide the body’s internal and external actions. The auditory system provides the body access to sounds and vibrations from nature, voices (others and their own), instruments, machines and more; distinguishing differences in volume, timbre, rhythm, pitch, modulation and frequency. When focus is required, auditory reflexes instantaneously block out unnecessary sound frequencies, and when general auditory awareness is required, the auditory reflexes just as quickly expand sound frequency access to ensure the central nervous system is provided with all the information it needs to respond appropriately. The visual system distinguishes variations in shape, color, brightness, movement, helping to distinguish familiar people, places and things from unfamiliar, to determine relative location, and detect visual input important to daily function and general survival. Visual reflexes adjust instantaneously from static and dynamic visual input that is near or far, blocking out extraneous visual input when visual concentration and focus are required, while remaining vigilant to unusual visual input important to productive functioning and general safety. While the visual and auditory sensory systems each provide the body access to unique forms of stimulus input, they also work together to coordinate “seeing-hearing” information and with each of the other sensory systems to inform and prioritize input for the central nervous system to guide and direct action in response to ever-changing conditions. Due to a number of issues (link to section “What can make reflexes dysfunctional), the auditory and visual systems can become hypersensitive or hyposensitive as defined below, or simply not function.
- Auditory hyper-sensitivity results in an over-reaction or intolerance to loud sounds, high or low frequencies of
sound, or other sound characteristics that do not cause disruption to others. People with a hyper-sensitive auditory
system often cover their ears and will in reaction to the discomfort various sounds cause
- Visual hyper-sensitivity results in an over-reaction or distraction to visual input that typically does not cause disruption to
others, i.e. bright or low lights, bright colors or complex graphic designs, static or dynamic visual stimulus relating to people, animals, objects, and more.
- Auditory hypo-sensitivity results in an under-reaction to sounds that typically engage others to act. Often auditory
hypo-sensitivity causes an individual to miss information important to learning, remaining safe and productively
functioning in the world. People with this challenge often remain oblivious to sounds that cause others to negatively
- Visual hypo-sensitivity results in an under-reaction to visual input that typically engages others to take action. A person
who is experiencing hypo-sensitive vision might look directly at bright lights that would cause other’s to cover their eyes,
might not react to movement that could cause harm, or have difficulty following people or objects with their eyes.
When auditory or visual challenges lead to reactions bigger or smaller than normal conditions would dictate, it is likely the challenged systems is not appropriately engaged and integrated. Regardless of which systems are causing the disruption, the emotions and behavior of a person experiencing any of these challenges often appears dysregulated to outside observers. MNRI Visual and Auditory Integration Program techniques work to engage and integrate the visual and auditory sensory systems to improve reflex function, which in turn can improve behavioral and emotional regulation, and enhance learning. We encourage parents and professionals with children or clients facing visual or auditory challenges to attend the MNRI Visual and Auditory Integration course. The course explores in great detail the physiology and psychology of the visual and auditory systems, the developmental effects of hyper- and hypo-sensitive challenges, and the important role the visual and auditory systems play in the integration of all motor reflex movements and patterns. Summarized below are the reflexes addressed by the MNRI Visual/Auditory Program, along with a cross section of specific exercises used to address various visual and auditory challenges.
We encourage parents and professionals interested in learning more about the MNRI Method and its various programs to attend this course early on, given the fundamental role it plays in emotional and behavioral regulation, and overall maturation and development. The Tactile Integration course explores in great detail the physiology and psychology of the tactile system, the developmental effects of over- and under-sensitive receptors, and the importance of an appropriately integrated tactile system to the process of integrating all motor reflex movement and patterns. Listed below are the four basic techniques used as part of the MNRI Tactile Integration Program to address various tactile challenges.
|Primary Motor Reflex Patterns|
|Asymmetric Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR)||Symmetric Tonic Neck Reflex (STNR)|
|Additional Motor Reflexes|
|Acoustic Reflex||Core Tendon Guard||Oculo-vestibular||Visual Figure-Ground|
|Auditory Figure-Ground||Eye Tracking||Primary Sounds||Breathing|
|Head Righting||Sound/Space Orientation||Vestibular Leveling|
|Auditory/Visual Integration Exercises|
|Body Cross Relaxing||Opening Windows||Ear Proprioception Activation||Green Light Tendon Guard Release|
|Temporal Bone Tapping||Hearing Proprioception Activation||Auditory Figure-Ground||Foramen Points Stimulation|
|Ear Plugs||Middle Clavicle Pendulum||Head Arch||Visual Patterns Reflex Activation|
|Cheek Bone Stretching||Eye Points Stimulation||Vestibular-Ocular Reflex Activation||Circles Around the Eyes|
|Eye Infinite Eights||Opti-Kinetic Reflex Activation|