Neuro-occupation: A nonlinear dynamical system perspective to the brain’s neural mechanism

Document Type : Review Articles


1 PhD Student, Occupational Therapy Department, University of Welfare & Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD of Occupational Therapy, Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy Department, Pediatrics Neurorehabilitation Research Center, University of Welfare & Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Ir

3 OTD, MHE, OTR, Retired Associate Professor, Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Texas, at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, USA

4 Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Texas, at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, USA



AbstractIntroduction: Neuro-occupation is one of the newest models in Occupational Therapy (OT). The nature of this model is based on the coexistence and dynamic interactions between brain’s neural system functions and engagement of an individual in occupations. Neuro-occupation model holistically views the individual as a blending of neuroscience and occupation. The human brain is perceived to be self-organized, complex and adaptive system, which in order to achieve the ideal performance, must be in connection with the environment through occupations carried out by the individual. This paper introduces concepts and principles of the model in detail. Applying principles of this model, the behavior of a client with depression and diabetes was reviewed to demonstrate how this model guides thinking about the client differently when compared to other OT models. Since the studies pertaining to the model are in preliminary and basic stages and no experimental or observational studies have been made in this area by then, therefore,Materials and Methods: the method used in this article was narrative review, by which the Neuro-occupational model in OT was introduced.Results: The structure of Neuro-occupation model is based on the close relationship between neurological processes and occupation. The three stages of the model, ‘Intention, Meaning and Perception’, show how the function of the brain’s neural system, through finding the meaning while participating in purposeful occupations, regulates emergence as new adaptive behaviors thereby enabling the individual  to cope with life’s challenges.Conclusion: This model is applicable to a wide range of clients with diverse diagnoses. Therefore, with regards to the self-organization phenomena within the brain’s neural system functions, clients can be expected to pass through the distinct stages of Intention, Meaning and Perception.Keywords: Nonlinear dynamical system, Neuro-occupation, Neuroscience, Occupation, Brain

  • Receive Date: 16 April 2013
  • Revise Date: 15 April 2024
  • Accept Date: 22 May 2022