We have seen that there is a pattern
linking our activities that can be summarised thus: sense - process - do. This pattern can be applied to the cellular
level and levels above. For example, we have different types
of sensory receptors that respond to a variety of incoming
stimuli, and that information is relayed to the central
nervous system for processing. Then some appropriate response
is initiated in muscles and glands. At its simplest this
pattern of communication is seen in reflex arcs, and at its
most complex the quality of consciousness is involved.
At the whole-person level, this
repertoire of activities can be very complex. Muscular
movements in the larynx, pharynx, and mouth can result in the
production of sounds - speech, singing, shouting, whispering.
Movements in the facial muscles can communicate expressions
of joy, despair, puzzlement, and curiosity. Facial
expressions, vocalisations, even body language allow us to
communicate our thoughts, moods, and attitudes to others,
just as we read these signs in others. Through these
interactions - not only with other people, but also with
other living and non-living systems - we develop our
understanding of the world and our place within it.
That completes our brief look at
communication and responsiveness. The only thing left to do
now is to place all these different activities we have looked
at into the context of the human lifecycle.