Preverbal data collection

a nervous system WITH STORIES!

Hello there good reader

First of all?

I’m not quite sure where this piece goes in terms of the book.

I need to flush out ideas of ‘given circumstances’, ‘character’, ‘mask’, ‘role’, and ‘game’ first.

I also need to use less punctuation.


You are a preverbal visceral system of arousal!

Ummm? What?

You are currently experiencing a constant bombardment of sensory data. This data is reaching you through your senses, your viscera.  

When I use the term ‘senses’ I’m talking about much more than you sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch. You exist with a sense of balance, a sense of depth, a sense of motion and a sense of stillness. Wikipedia has a huge list of your senses including:

  • Balance and acceleration

  • Temperature

  • Proprioception - aka the space around you

  • Pain

  • Sexual stimulation

  • Next we have other  internal senses including:

  • Hunger

  • Pulmonary stretch which controls your respiration rate

  • Peripheral chemoreceptors that monitor carbon dioxide levels

  • Stimulation receptors in the esophagus control vomiting and swallowing

  • Cardioception refers to the perception of the activity of the heart

In addition to these, we have a chemoreceptor trigger zone which receives inputs from blood born drugs or hormones and communicates with the vomiting centre. Other chemoreceptors respond to our blood sugar levels. Receptors in our bladder and rectum result in sensations of fullness. This is important. It’s how we know we need to go to the bathroom. These are not conscious, cognitive thoughts that require language. Babies do this easily. They are preverbal stimulations and actions.

We have other senses that are more subjective as well. They include our sense of humour, sense of time, sense of agency, sense of familiarity and sense of justice. 

All of these are senses can be felt within the body

Humans are not rational. We are preverbal irrational animals cursed with the power of cognition. If you are reading this and think that you are a reasonable person, know this now: You’re not reasonable. Most of your vital systems happen long before the reasonable part of your brain kicks in. Still insist that you are rational and reasonable? Well then you’re an even bigger idiot than I am. Really. Hey you! I just called you an idiot. What are you feeling? Where do you feel that in your body? That’s an emotion. Emotions are not rational. And they happen much more quickly and powerfully than cognition. They happen whether you want them to or not. Any baby will show you two things: You don’t need words to have emotion. And your emotions are powerful and real. 

It is through these preverbal senses and signals that we know we are safe 

When you recognize your given circumstances, understand your role and the game being played, you then have room to become more aware of other sensory, preverbal inputs. These allow you to process more information and adapt your behavior to maximize connections with others. Some people call this stuff intuition. Still more believe it’s just something that people are ‘born with’. I disagree. Sensitivity - which to me means being aware of and able to process the data provided to us from as many of our senses as possible is something that you can learn. As such, it’s something that can be taught.

Are you intuitive and creative? then you are using your sensitivity and responding effectively to sensory data in relationship with your environment and with others. Well done. The more you can be aware of your pre-verbal sensory input, the more effectively you can manage your responses to others, becoming an intuitive and responsive, rather than reactive. And the more you can be aware that everyone around you is a water-filled bag of pre-verbal sensing systems, the more you can pay attention to their responses and reactions to you and their environment.

Use more data

So, if you aren’t using all of your senses - relying solely on ‘rational data’ you are probably also letting preverbal data impact your decision making unawares. Your data set is incomplete. Myself? More data and more information leads to better decisions. How do you use all of your senses in the data collection process? How aware are you of these preverbal motors to your behaviour? What is the cost of a missed connection or a strained relationship?

One Derful Thing

How we perceive things and how we make meaning from what our senses tell us? That stuff fascinates me.

I love taking in the world.

I’m fully in love with my sense of balance. I play with it while surfing, riding bikes, unicycles, slacklines, skateboards, skates, walking on big rocks.

There is little I love more than playing with balance things. Balance is such a dynamic game. The fun for me is in the noticing and playing.


Let’s play with balance.

Stand on one foot with your arms extended wide.

While keeping one arm extended, bring your other finger to your nose and then extend it again.

Repeat this with the other side.


Do the whole thing again with your eyes closed.

Can you practice this enough to have balance without sight?