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Sensory Stimulation Theory

Traditional sensory stimulation theory has as its basic premise that effective learning occurs when the senses are stimulated (Laird, 1985). Laird quotes research that found that the vast majority of knowledge held by adults (75%) is learned through seeing. Hearing is the next most effective (about 13%) and the other senses - touch, smell and taste account for 12% of what we know. By stimulating the senses, especially the visual sense, learning can be enhanced. However, this theory says that if multi-senses are stimulated, greater learning takes place. Stimulation through the senses is achieved through a greater variety of colours, volume levels, strong statements, facts presented visually, use of a variety of techniques and media.

Visual Stimulation in Your Accelerated Learning Environment

When considering visual stimulation, I believe what we take in through our eyes to be the most influential of all our senses. Our brain takes in and stores all the conscious and subconscious, subtle and overt nuances of all we see. These "imprints" can have a positive or negative influence on our ability to outpicture our natural genius abilities. For example, the picture below of a waterfall streaming down a mountain side in a tropical forest imprints our consciousness much differently than the picture of burning cars in war-torn Iraq.

Which of these two images provides the best type of visual stimulation for relaxed learning?

When we see these two images, one invokes peace, love and uplifting states of mind. The other invokes downward stressful feelings. Science shows we learn better when we feel at peace. Allowing our young children to see destructive images does not activate the parts the brain congruent with accelerated learning power. In stead, it actually blocks the types of learning we're discussing throughout this site.

Images and Distractions

Blue: Power, will, faith, protection, direction, courage, obedience to the direction of the higher Self.

Yellow, Gold: Illumination, wisdom, self-knowledge and Self-knowledge, understanding, cosmic consciousness, open-


Pink, Rose: Love, compassion, beauty, selflessness, sensitivity, appreciation, comfort, creativity, charity, generosity.

White: Purity, hope, joy, self-discipline, integration, perfection, wholeness, nurturing.

Emerald Green: Truth, vision, holding the highest vision of oneself and others, healing, wholeness, abundance, clarity, constancy, focus, music, science.

Purple & Gold: Peace, brotherhood, selfless service, right desire, balance, harmlessness.

Violet: Freedom, mercy forgiveness, justice, transcendence, alchemy, transmutation, diplomacy, intuition, prophecy, revelation.

So, to help move ourselves or our children into the most receptive state of mind for learning and help keep us focused on our learning tasks, we need positive visual stimulation such as images of nature that help us feel peace, love and harmony. Also, a neat and tidy room can help in improving concentration and focus. Having movies or games running on the computer in our room while studying, even if only in our periphery vision, can also be distracting and move our focus away from learning tasks. Remember, less is better - less distractions and less negative stimulus. If we look at the dwellings of yogis or monks, you'll find very little distractive elements in their environment. This allows for greater concentration and focus on their tasks, goals and aspirations. Also, consider the bombardment of visual and audio imagery coming from our TVs. These go into our subconscious mind and influence our thoughts and concentration. Think how many times a day scenes from a movie or TV show you saw last night pop up in your mind. It's difficult to keep all these mental distractions out but it can be done in two ways: 1. 2. Don't watch TV. If you do, try limiting your viewing to uplifting, positive topics - those related to your highest aspirations and goals. Learn how to release those subconscious images and emotions projected by the negative imagery through TV. Meditation is an excellent way to do this and it helps you focus and become aligned with your higher mind, which is where your true genius dwells!

Color Visual Stimulation in Our Accelerated Learning Environment

Colors can also play an important role in learning. Pastel colors are more soothing and relaxing than strong bright ones. Below is a chart showing what some experts say are the "positive expressions of color". There are lots of color variations so I just listed the ones below that invoke positive inner expressions. You may find this interesting!

You may have noticed that some of these colors tie directly into the right brain senses I mentioned in the introduction to this topic. If you paint the room your children study in one of these colors, it can help them - at a conscious and/or subconscious level - enter a state of mind best suited for accelerated learning. The colors not recommended for wide-spread use (such as on our walls) are: Reds (hatred, terror), black (human and spiritual pride), grays, brown (decay), lime or muddy green (envy, jealousy), bright orange hues (imperil, extreme fear) and hot pink (lust). Consciously or subconsciously, these colors can pull your energies downward into negative thought patterns and are not recommended for your accelerated learning environment.

Symbols and Thoughtforms Used for Visual Stimulation

In addition, some have found that certain visual stimulation symbols and thoughtforms can play an important role in helping the mind focus in higher states of consciousness. Some mothers place images of finely cut gems or perfect geometric shapes on the walls of their children's study area. Or, they may place images such as beautiful chalices, pictures of five- and six-pointed stars (turned correctly), the fleur-de-lis, angels, to name a few of the correct types of visual stimulation.

All these types of imagery have a positive "thoughform" associated with them. For example, finely cut gems carry a powerful geometry and some say an inherently powerful "energy". Some suggest that meditating on gems can build strong minds or even heal the ills in the body. Another example would be if your child shows interest in music, we would suggest placing posters on their wall of finely crafted musical instruments.

Distorted Visual Stimulation

Finally, let's discuss distorted visuals. The types of distorted visual stimulation found in most cartoons, some movies and pictures form the same distorted imprints on the conscious and subconscious minds of young children. Babies and young children take in everything at face value and cannot distinguish reality from unreality.

Although ugly to our innate programming, the emu above builds accurate memory patterns of what a large bird looks like. Accurate renderings of natural objects are highly preferred in your accelerated learning environment.

For example: Big Bird, a huge, cute, bright yellow talking bird from the popular Sesame Street children's show, is imprinted in the conscious and subconscious mind of babies and young children as reality, and improper brain connections are created about what a bird looks like and how birds communicate with us. For this reason it's best to show only undistorted real-life imagery to young children and babies so that the proper brain connections (based on what's natural and realistic) can be formed in the early stages of the child's development and learning.

A Great Exercises to Stimulate and Strengthen Your Baby's Visual Brain Pathways
A great way to give your baby's brain the types of visual stimulation that builds strong synapse connections. Here's what you can do:

When your baby is in your room with the lights on, turn the lights off so the room is dark and say, "Lights off". Wait a few seconds, turn the lights on and say, "Lights on". Do this a few times. Make some accurate shapes out of magenta colored construction paper and paste them on 11 x 11" white card stock. They can be geometric shapes, shapes of trees, motor vehicles, animals, cooking utensils - almost anything. (make sure they are accurate silhouettes). Write the name of what they are on the card backs. When your baby is happy and receptive, sit in front of him/her and hold the stack of cards about a foot away from the baby at eye level with the images facing him/her. Put the one from the back to the front of the stack so the baby sees it and tell him/her what it is. Put the next one from the back to the front and say what that is, etc. until about 10 cards have been shown. Stop for now and do it again later in the day with 10 different objects. If your baby shows disinterest or discomfort, stop the lesson. This only takes about 15 seconds per lesson but it's so important! You can also do the exercise above with small (undistorted) objects found around the house that you can keep handy in a box. A spoon, ball, Christmas card, pen, glasses, etc. It's endless! Another exercise you can do with your baby is point out and name everything you can as you move throughout your immediate environment. If you're all sitting at the table for dinner, point to the chair and say, "This is a chair". Hold up your fork and say, "This is a fork," etc. If you're walking through a shopping area, try to point out and name as many things as you can. It's fun! A great way to strengthen your baby's eye muscles is standing in front of your baby and moving your face from side to side and up and down. Your baby will usually follow you with their eyes. You can also try using a fun object that draws their interest. Move it from side to side, up and down, and diagonally from upper right to lower left, lower right to upper left and so forth. This exercise helps strengthen their eye muscles.

These will give you a good start with your baby. I'm sure you'll think of many more!

In Conclusion
The quality and quantity of visual stimulation changes the neural networks of the brain and changes the quality of output from the left brain as it develops. As your child grows, these subconscious patterns come into play and can affect their learning aptitude. The more realistic and life-like images and stimulation you can present to your child, the better they can have realistic and balanced thought patterns and outlook on life.

Auditory Stimulation in Your Accelerated Learning Environment

According to experts, some types of auditory stimulation can have a positive impact on accelerated learning while other types can have a destructive influence. We sort it out for you here.

Classical Music Auditory Stimulation

Experts in child brain development tell us Baroque (Largo tempo) is the best music to play while using accelerated learning methods because its cadence is the same as the alpha brain wave state (click here to see info on Alpha brain wave state). As mentioned earlier, the alpha state is the most receptive, alert state of mind we can be in for learning anything. Other classical music, such as waltzes, have a cadence that is in harmony with the cells in our body. The waltz actually raises our energies and consciousness upward. These types of auditory stimulation make great accelerated learning music for your learning environment. However, not all classical music is recommended. Vocals, choirs and those with instrumentals that stand out in the piece can be distracting. Generally, arrangements using only stringed instruments are your best choice. Click here to download a list of recommended Baroque music for accelerated learning.

Syncopated Beats

In contrast, music that carries a syncopated beat (such as rock music) is the worst type of music for accelerated learning. The cadence of this auditory stimulation has actually been proven to rewire the brain toward more violent, destructive, primitive and animal-like behaviors. In a controlled experiment with mice, one alarmed physicist found that all the mice he exposed to syncopated beats actually developed permanent brain damage. Click here to download more about this experiment.

An Incomplete Assessment About "Smart Music"

Stories you may have heard about classical music making you smarter is an incomplete assessment. Classical music like that recommended above can help move the brain into a state where the student can learn faster and retain more, but music in and of itself does not make people smart. In addition, if other negative factors are present in the learning environment such as anger, TV, bad smells, etc., even the right types of auditory

stimulation wouldn't necessarily help the student become relaxed enough for accelerated learning methods to be effective or lasting.

Ambient Music and Meditation

Playing the right kind of music at a low volume while studying or using accelerated learning methods is a great way to "fill the air with harmony". The right types of music like that mentioned above is also great to use during meditation. Meditation in nature settings are also an excellent way to get the mind prepared for accelerated learning exercises.

Sounds of Nature
Another great stimulus are sounds of nature. The ocean, forest, etc. can be a great tool for putting you or your children in a relaxed state of mind and open the pathways for learning. There are great CDs on our site, for example, that use a combination of sounds of ocean waves gently crashing on the beach accompanied the by music of composers such as Mozart.

Positive Affirmations

In addition, positive affirmations are also a great way to raise up our mind, attitude and self esteem. They make a fantastic adjunct to learning, especially for children. The definition of "affirmation" is: The declaration that something is true or a positive. The power of positive affirmation can be witnessed in the children who daily listen to the 28 popular songs we carry on this site. They were specially written and performed using uplifting positive affirmations that children (and children at heart) love listening and singing to. See a great positive affirmations CD lower on the right!

Excellent Ways to Stimulate and Strengthen Your Baby's Auditory Brain Functions
Enhancing your baby's auditory synapse activity is simple. The easiest way is simply announcing the sounds he/she is hearing as you both go about your day together. When you start you car, say, "Do you hear that? It's our car starting." Sit at your piano with your baby and say, "This is a piano playing." and start playing. When in the bathroom and you turn on the faucet, say, "Your hearing a faucet with running water." You close doors, right? Just say, "This is a door closing." It's that simple! If you really want to accelerate you baby's auditory brain functions, Goggle "sounds", "animal sounds", "nature sounds", etc. There are many places that have free sound effects you can download and others you can buy. When one mother found out about this tip, she reported, "We collected hundreds of sounds for our babies. We just sat with our mp3 player, baby in arms, and announced what sound they were going to hear next and played it." We would add this tip: To be sure and stop if your baby shows any disinterest or discomfort. Be creative and have fun giving your baby the right auditory stimulation for accelerated learning growth!

Touch Stimulation for Your Accelerated Learning Environment

Touch stimulation includes the subtile influences of physical elements within our learning environment and various types of tactile stimulation. We'll discuss our learning environment first.

The Subtile Influences of Our Environment

When looking around your children's learning environment, our furniture and room accessories actually have a subtle influence on how they feel consciously and subconsciously. These feelings can come about by actually touching them by sitting, picking up, or by just looking at them or thinking about them. Let me give you an example of what I mean:

Childhood "Touch Stimulation" Memories

In my childhood home, I remember having the hardest time learning new things or doing my homework while sitting at my kitchen table. At the time, it was the only place I could sit and spread out my work. This table sat beside a tiled countertop which, oddly, came to long sharp point at one end right in the middle of the kitchen. In fact, the only way to get through our small kitchen was to walk around it. I remember when running through, sometimes I'd hit it with my arm or chest and it really hurt. Also, where I sat at the table, my neck and head are were actually situated right beside that same extruding point. This is an example of touch stimulation that had a negative influence - so much so that I believe it actually interfered with my ability to study in the only place available to me. In general, kitchens don't make good accelerated learning environments simply because of all the distracting inherent touch stimulation and scent stimulation. And, I think you can see from my story how elements in our environment can have a negative impact on learning. I hope the story above illustrated one way we can touch things with our mind. The stimulation we discussed above is a right brain sense.

Fill Your Accelerated Learning Environment With Objects That Invoke Positive Touch Stimulation
So look around the place where your children study or where you study. Cozy couches, big fat pillows or big stuffed chairs are great. Soft, round objects, rather than sharp ones can help keep the mind at ease. Hard, sharp plastic toys can be distracting. Things in our environment that can make us think about pain can even block the potential effectiveness of accelerated learning methods. I think you get the idea.

Tactile Touch Stimulation for Your Baby

A great way to stimulate your baby's brain is touch different areas of their body with physical items around the house. For example, what we did with our baby is gathered items such as sand paper (rough), cotton (soft), water (liquid), rock (hard), etc. We took one item at a time and gently rubbed them against baby's arms, hands, face cheeks and feet bottoms. With each, firest we showed it to them, then announced, ("This is rough.... This is soft.... This is plastic.... This is metal..... This is glass....., etc."). They loved it! This type of stimulation is a fantastic way to build powerful brain connections between the right and left brain functions. Also try this: Make sand paper letters and numbers by typing them out on your computer and printing them out on white card stock. Make them large - about 4 inches tall. Take some white glue and carfully glue inside the shapes then sprinkle some fine sand on the glue. Let it dry. Now, when your baby is in a receptive mood, Show them a

letter at a time, announce what the letter is then take their fingers and gently trace the letter/number forms while saying what it is again, ("This is an 'A'", etc.) Here's another great game that helps us visualize through physical stimulation (both powerful right brain activities): When our kids got a little older I would draw a large letter on their backs and see who could guess what it was. We took turns on each other's backs. At first it was hard to see in our minds what letter were feeling on our backs but pretty soon, we got to a point where we were drawing whole words on each other's backs. It was really fun and felt great too. Try it!

Our Smell Sense and How Scent Stimulation Affects Accelerated Learning

Our smell sense affects our brain chemistry and changes our moods in powerful ways. Certain types of scent stimulation like food can disrupt the accelerated learning functions of our brain. Chemical smells from air fresheners, perfume, and even some essential oils can also be distracting and block learning.

Smells Form Powerful Memories

Studies have been done on the effects of smells on our brain chemistry and its tie to our moods and emotions. It's a fascinating subject. I know someone who started a company that works with major hotels, resorts and casinos. His aroma therapy systems emit pre-selected aromas in the environment that are reported to stimulate certain moods in visitors. For example, at one resort, his system releases a special "tropical blend" in the lobby that invokes noticeable happy festive moods in its patrons. He's making a living simply by triggering people's sense of smell and making them feel happy!

The Science Behind Sense of Smell and Scent Stimulation

When we breathe in an aroma, the particles that make up the aroma are detected by the part of our brain that govern our sense of smell and emotions. Often, this has an instantaneous effect on our moods and emotions. Some experts tell us inhalation is the most direct route between the outside world and our brains.

Distracting Scent Stimulation

When I started this section on scents, I touched on how certain aromas can break our concentration - food being one of them. When we discuss our accelerated learning environment, food smells can be a major disruption as well as many other man-made or natural odors, as mentioned above.

Why our Sense of Smell is Important for Accelerated Learning

As I discussed in the section on "Our Right Brain Senses...", our right brain function has tremendous potential for mass-memory, automatic processing and more. In most people, this potential goes untapped or underdeveloped because the pathways between right and left brain functions haven't been built. When doing the exercises that build these pathways, we want to use the correct kinds of stimulation. And, when we talk about scents, we don't necessarily want the smell of, say, burnt toast to be associated with the accelerated learning method we're practicing.

A Great Scent Stimulation and Brain Strengthening Exercise for Your Baby
A fantastic way of stimulating brain connections in babies is gathering the essences of flowers, herbs, wood, etc. and placing them inside small labeled bottles. Be creative but don't mix two essences together - they need to be pure essences of one item per bottle. Also, don't make your essences too strong. When your baby is in a happy, receptive mood, sit in front of him/her and announce, "We're going to smell some scents now." Open one of the bottles, smell it yourself and tell your baby what the scent is, then put the bottle under your baby's nose and tell him/her what it is again. Close the bottle and open another, doing the same. Do as many as you can while keeping your baby's attention. Stop when he/she shows any disinterest or looks uncomfortable. We made a box of over 40 different scents for our children. They absolutely loved this exercise! So, in short, your accelerated learning environment should be free of all smells that distract our focus and concentration but use ones that can enhance our learning experience in a positive, memorable way. Some essential oils can be beneficial.

The Best Essential Oils for Learning

Below is a list of oils that have been known to enhance the brain's learning capabilities. This information comes from: Essential Science Publishing, Essential Oils Desk Reference (see at right). Frankincense. This oil stimulates the limbic system of the brain as well as the hypothalamus, pineal and pituitary glands. It has also been used to relieve depression. Rosemary. This helps clarify the mind and emotions. Peppermint. This is used to awaken the mind and heighten the senses. It is one of the best oils to boost energy, creativity and learning skills. Vetiver. This oil provides a grounding, stress-relieving and calming action for the mind. It is also used to relieve depression and helps children with ADD and ADHD to focus and learn. To use these oils, inhale a drop or two from cupped hands or use a diffuser to spread the fragrance through your room or house. If used topically, put a drop on the back of the neck at the base of the skull. This is the most effective place to apply oils for clear thinking and learning.

Sensory Stimulation and Ways to Enhance Your Children's Learning Experience

Studies by experts in child development show that the different types of sensory stimulation children receive through their environment can have a profound impact on their ability to learn. It's important that the child's home, school, personal and social environments provide the most positive, uplifting stimulation possible. Let's discuss this further.

Introduction to Sensory Stimulation from an Accelerated Learning Perspective

The Bad News First: What Types of Sensory Stimulation Blocks Accelerated Learning? The TV's blasting violent movies in one room and rock music is pounding in another. Toys and clothes, halfempty potato chip bags, candy wrappers - there's clutter everywhere. There's toast burning in the kitchen. We hear arguing, yelling and there's hitting and throwing.... Help! I can't even think straight here and I'm feeling a lot of "bad energy!" Did you feel a bit stressed reading above? Just think if you or your children had to live in it. For many families, at least some of this is their daily reality. Unfortunately, with these types of sensory stimulation, the part of our brain most acclimated for accelerated learning methods cannot be properly trained nor can the right brain connections be formed that unlock genius. In fact, experts say with the types of stimuli described, our brain can actually become wired in ways that block balanced thinking, true inner harmony, proper brain development and learning now, as well as later in life. What Supports Accelerated Learning? As mentioned in other sections, our brain handles many different body functions. Among these, science tells us our left brain handles the "outer senses" of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. Our right brain handles the "inner senses" of perfect memory, computer-like math calculation, rapid language acquisition, perfect pitch (musical aptitude), and intuition (your "voice of conscience"). When our immediate environment is relaxed and we feel calm inside, our right brain functions can take in massive amounts of information very easily if properly stimulated. Also, being in the right environment gives us the best opportunity to form strong positive brain connections between our left right brain functions when using accelerated learning techniques. When this occurs, were becoming a genius!

Brain Waves Experts in accelerated learning tell us that when our brain is in the alpha wave state, we are the most alert and receptive to right brain and accelerated learning methods (see chart above). So, it's important to have the right stimuli around us that encourages the right state of mind for your children's learning. (See our suggested music at right for getting your child in an alpha brain wave state)