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The blog that discusses, disseminates and shares the process of measuring human performance

Proprioception: Sensing position and movement

In November I wrote about the senses, in particular the ones beyong the usual 5. This post focusses on the group of senses that tells us the position and movements of our body, called proprioception (pro-PREE-o-SEP-SHUN). Proprioception is not a new discovery. The term proprio-ceptive has been used by physiologists since the early 1900s1, and the idea that the brain senses the body’s movements has been around even longer2. So what exactly is proprioception for? Overall, proprioception is the body’s sense of its own movement and position, as well as the force and effort applied to movement. This is quite different to the usual 5 senses. Vision, taste, hearing, smell and touch are all for sensing things outside the body (called exteroception). Proprioception is also different from sense of pain, hunger, and others that sense things...