Proprioception is the ability to sense or perceive the spatial
position and movements of your body and the strength of effort
that is needed in movement. This ability usually occurs at a
subconscious level. That is, you are not usually aware of it.
Proprioception helps you stay aware of where your limbs are in
space and if they are moving, without using your eyes.
Proprioception occurs when sensory information is sent to our
brains from the ends of sensory nerves in tendons (groups of
fibers that attach muscles to a bone) and muscles, as well as
from the vestibular system, which is a bodily system (e.g., inner
ear) responsible for balance. This is why an inner ear infection,
for example, can impair proprioception. If you lost the sense of
proprioception, you would easily fall over when closing your
eyes but you would be able to walk adequately with the eyes
open by using the sense of sight.
Thus, proprioception helps tremendously in the everyday functioning of blind people.
There are specific nerve receptors known as proprioceptors that help process
The word "proprioception" comes from the Latin word, "proprius," which means "one's
own," and the Latin word "capio" or "capere" which means "to take."