The word is also often used metaphorically. For example, an interesting or fun activity can be described as "stimulating," regardless of its physical effects on nerves.
It is also used in simulation technology to describe a synthetically-produced signal that triggers (stimulates) real equipment, see below.
Use in Simulators and Simulation Technology Stimulation describes a type of simulation whereby artificially-generated signals are fed to real equipment in order to Stimulate it to produce the result required for training, maintenance or for R&D. The real equipment can be radar, sonics, instruments and so on. In some cases the Stimulation equipment can be carried in the real platform or carriage vehicle (that is the Ship, AFV or Aircraft) and be used for so-called `embedded training' during its operation, by the generation of simulated scenarios which can be dealt with in a realistic manner by use of the normal controls and displays. In the overall definition of simulation, the alternative method is called `emulation' which is the simulation of equipment by entirely artificial means by physical and software modelling
It is hypothesized and commonly believed by some that psychological habituation to a high level of stimulation ("over-stimulation") can lead to psychological problems. For example, some food additives can result in children becoming prone to over-stimulation, and ADHD is, theoretically, a condition in which over-stimulation is a part. It is also hypothesized that long term over stimulation can result eventually in a phenomenon called "adrenal exhaustion" over time, but this is not medically accepted or proven at this time.