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Motor, Sensory and Perceptual Development Explicatory Essay

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Updated: Jun 28th, 2019

All living things need to react to changes in their environment to protect their bodies from injuries and at the same time get access to essential needs. The human body consists of millions of sensory nerves that detect and inform the body about unpleasant conditions around or within their bodies (Upledger 2010).

However, not all living things are born or reproduced with fully developed sensory networks and abilities to perceive changes in their environments.

Human beings and other mammals have five sensory organs used to detect and perceive external and internal conditions. These conditions are known as stimuli and control the activities of all living things. The common stimuli include smell, touch, pressure, noise, vision, temperature and chemicals (Karsenty 2012).

Mammals have five sensory organs that detect changes in their environment in order to carry out necessary actions to contain the effects of these stimuli. These organs are skin, eye, nose, tongue and ear. They have sensory nerves that enable them transmit impulses to the brain through the Central Nervous System.

Motor skills are body movements that people use to do their daily activities. These movements involve the use and coordination of various body parts to perform a task. Children are born with undeveloped motor skills and learn them as they grow up (Upledger 2010).

Even though, most motor skills are controlled by an individual’s environment genetic and brain disorders also influence the development of motor skills in children. Perception is an individual’s ability to know his or her surrounding through the use of sensory organs.

Past experiences play key roles in determining the development of perception skills in human beings and animals. However, natural instincts also determine how an individual will perceive and react to various environmental changes.

The development of sensory organs begins at conception and matures just before a child is born. However, most people think that children lack developed sensory cells due to their slow reactions to stimulus (Brodal 2010).

When a child is born all its five sensory organs namely the skin, eye, ear, nose and tongue are fully developed. These organs cannot be put to use if there is no stimulus around them.

However, it is easy to notice a child reacting to changes in its environment when it moves its eyes towards the direction of objects moving around the room. A child may not identify that the object is a person, animal or vehicle due to lack of experience and knowledge about the object.

In addition, a child will open its mouth to feed by sucking initiated by natural instincts and later through motor skills. Natural instincts help children during their initial stages of life and learning. Later, they become less useful as children learn to use repeatedly actions that give them pleasure and satisfy their needs.

A hungry child will instinctively cry forcing its mother to rush and investigate what is happening. Consequently, this child will realize that anytime it cries its mother rushes to its side and gives it milk or takes it to another place.

Therefore, the child learns that, in case, it feels uncomfortable due to hunger, fatigue, wetness or loneliness it needs to cry, and the noise will alert its mother (Greenspan 2007). Children learn that a cry is an alarm that alerts people around them that they need their help and attention.

Secondly, children use their sensory organs to learn various things in their environment. When a child touches fire or steps on a sharp object it will feel pain and realize that fires and sharp objects are dangerous to their bodies. As a result, they learn to avoid objects perceived to be hot or sharp.

On the other hand, children listen to their parents and other communication channels like radios and televisions to learn language skills. Later, they learn to utter some common words depending on the language used by their parents (Brodal 2010).

Most children learn to say “Papa” or “Mama” for father and mother respectively since these are common words used by many people. Repetition also determines the rate of learning and development of people’s motor and sensory skills.

Continuous use of similar objects develops familiarity and interactions between them; therefore, leading to the development of motor and sensory skills to enable children have correct perceptions regarding various stimuli.

Even though, children have the same rate of learning and developing their sensory and motor skills there are some factors that influence this rate among children of the same age.

The environment offers different stimuli to children and exposes them to various conditions. An urban environment offers more stimuli and a wider learning environment compared to a rural setting (Greenspan 2007).

Secondly, first born children interact with their parents, few relatives and neighbors compared to second born children that have their brothers or sisters to play and interact with during their free time.

Therefore, children born later in families have higher chances of developing their sensory and motor skills faster than those born as first children.

However, a child’s mental health determines its ability to develop an effective use of sensory skills. Cerebral Palsy is a common disease that interferes with the growth and development of the Central Nervous System and coordination of body parts.

In addition, accidents and infections like cancer affect sensory organs leading to their inefficiency (Brodal 2010).

Lastly, some drugs affect the rate of impulse transmission, brain functioning and coordination of body parts. Therefore, individuals portray unbalanced postures and awkward movements.


There is a close relationship between the motor and sensory organs and the development of an individual’s body. As people grow their organs, tissues and cells develop to allow the body function properly.


Brodal, P. (2010). The Central Nervous System. New York: Oxford University Press.

Greenspan, R. (2007). An Introduction to Nervous Systems. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Karsenty, G. (2012). Translational Endocrinology of Bone: Reproduction, Metabolism, and the Central Nervous System. Massachusetts: Academic Press.

Upledger, J. (2010). A Brain is Born: Exploring the Birth and Development of the Central Nervous System. California: North Atlantic Books.

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