January 28, 2021
Our fingertips hold the one of the keys to learning about our surroundings. Even in utero, the human brain processes its surroundings through touch. When working with young children it is important to encourage the touching of items. This helps to form important connections and also promotes language development. The concepts of hard, soft, hot, cold, and yucky are being labeled invisibly. Delicate nerve endings on their fingers are communicating these interactions with their brains. Think of all the information stored in your brain. Mind blowing right?
My friends always tease me when I shop for clothing. I like to touch all the fabrics as I pass by the racks. Just by touching the clothing, I know there are some items I would never think of buying. The transference between my fingertips and the cloth texture aids in my decision making. All of this from past experiences stored in my brain.
In the photo, a child sitting in the leaves, is touching the velvety turkey tail fungi on a log. While we see what the child is experiencing through touch we can’t see what is occurring between her fingertips and her brain. So much is being communicated on her own personal level. She is storing information that may or may not be used again.
The same can be said for the turkey tail fungi firmly attached to the decaying logs. On a microscopic level, it magically helps the log to decompose. The fungi taking what it needs to survive and doing its job. Just like the brain it is transferring its information invisibly.
In any given moment our fingertips are involved in undercover data gathering. We do so without attending to the magic of what is transpiring. So many pieces information are being sent to our brains. If we could apply sound to this process it would be so loud.
Perhaps we can take a moment to dwell on what is happening as we experience new and old tactile sensations, especially for young children who always love to touch stuff.