Neural Priming


Neural Priming

Laterally Intermittent Priming
Neural Responses

Part IV: One Mid-Line, Two Hemispheres, Four Visual Fields, and Fluctuating Neural Responses

As clinical skill in facilitating Infinity Walk progresses, the clinician’s own learning curve allows for greater insight and faster and more skilled interaction with the Infinity Walker. At first, it is simplest to consider the Infinity Walk circuit as a method that gives the person’s body continuous opportunities to “cross the mid-line”, and shift sensory and motor demands across the corpus callosum to the contralateral side of the body.

As the clinician grows comfortable with observing these lateral shifts, more attention becomes available to observe hemispheric differences between the Infinity Walk’s clockwise and counterclockwise circling.  For instance, attention, gait coordination, eye tracking, neck reflex, speech, recall, and so on can vary between leftward and rightward circling when looking out at a visual target or conversing with the clinician while Infinity Walking. As a clinician becomes more familiar with Infinity Walk, the impact of hemispheric specialty and dysfunctional lateralized habits, become apparent in the inconsistencies of movement and responses along the circuit (1)

A third phase of Infinity Walk clinical skill building occurs when observation broadens beyond a simple bilateral model of understanding. For example, as the Infinity Walker moves along the entire figure-eight circuit while looking at a visual target, vision is stimulated across four visual fields as visual focus continually moves from central to peripheral and back to central vision. Central vision of each eye is processed through the same-side hemisphere; while peripheral vision in each eye is processed through the opposite-sided hemisphere. If any of these four visual fields, or the hemispheric processes that they are related to, are operating in a less than optimal manner, momentary loss of attention or fluidity in movement or speech will be observed. (2)

A fourth phase of clinical insight into the complexity of the neural processes that reveal themselves while Infinity Walking occurs when further sub-divisions of categories emerge. For instance, peripheral vision is more reactive to new stimuli; but, right peripheral vision is even more so. Research indicates that stimuli presented to the right peripheral field triggers a greater (survival) alert reaction than left peripherally presented stimuli. The efficiency of left vs. right central vision also varies with type of visual stimulus. These rapid shifts can be observed, and modified by correctly timed treatment invention, as the Infinity Walker passes through specific areas of the figure-eight pathway that demand more of the targeted visual field.

The researcher will be particularly interested in observing the subtly of such neural shifts along the Infinity Walk circuit. The targeted observation can be attentional, reflexive, motor, sensory-perceptual, cognitive-language, or socio-emotional in context.

The non-researching clinician is encouraged to stay fully present to and interactive with a person during their Infinity Walk training. Use the same rapport building and clinical expertise in working with an Infinity Walker as one would if the person was sitting quietly. In other words, use Infinity Walk as a tool to enhance established, effective clinical methods rather than as an isolated behavioral-motor exercise. Infinity Walk’s capacity to expedite and enhance clinical treatment, by progressively adding known clinical methodology to it, is perhaps Infinity Walk’s greatest contribution to health care.

To learn more about this topic, read Deborah Sunbeck’s 2002 text, Infinity Walk: BOOK I: The Physical Self. 


(1) E.g., A number of research studies have provided evidence for an innate asymmetry of brainstem motivating systems, which anticipate experience and signal the need for neural alertness or “priming”. Trevarthen C. Lateral asymmetries in infancy: implications for the development of the hemispheres. Neuroscience Biobehavioral Review 1996 Winter;20(4):571-86.

Recent evidence that right hemisphere contributes to language, speech and motor planning of action for the whole body.  Richards L, Chiarello C.  Activation without selection: parallel right hemisphere roles in language and intentional movement?  Brain Language 1997 March;57(1)-78

Control of motor speech is available to the right hemisphere.
Baynes K, Wessinger CM, Fendrich R, Gazzaniga MS. The emergence of the capacity to name left visual field stimuli in a patient: implications for functional plasticity. Neuropsychological 1995 Oct;33(10):1225-42

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