Since our childhood, we have been taught that humans have five senses. Maybe up until this time, you still believe the idea. Yes, humans have five senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste.With the help of ourfive sense organs, our brain receivesinformation that helps us understand and perceive everything around us. Butmore than those fivesenses, humans have other powerful senses that we mightnot know yet.
Sense of touch
According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, a sense oftouch is the first human sense to develop. It consists of several distinctsensations communicatedto the brain through specialized neurons in the skin.
Pain, pressure, temperature, light touch, and other sensations are part of touch sense and allattributed to different receptors in the skin. Touching is also a significantexpression of love, care, and compassion with others.
The studies by psychologists at Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University published on June 24, 2010, touch influences on how humans make social judgments and decisions.
Sense of sight
Can you imagine how challenging life would be without your sense of sight? Thanks to its complex processes and parts that make people perceive things and see the beauty of the world.
Even in the case of blindness, the brain can rewire itself in a manner to the use of theinformation at its disposal so that it can interact with the environment moreeffectively, said Dr. Lotfi Merabet, director of the Laboratory for Visual Neuroplasticity(Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear).
Sense of hearing
In the absence of sight,the sense of hearing can help in identifying happenings in your surroundings.Also, the sense of balance is affected by the Eustachian tube or
pharyngotympanic tube found in the middle ear. It equalizes the air pressurethere with the air pressure in the atmosphere. The vestibular complex containsreceptors that regulate a sense of equilibrium is found in the inner ear, andthe inner ear connected to the vestibulocochlear nerve carries sound andequilibrium information to the brain.
Sense of smell
According to theAmerican Rhinologic Society, humans can smell over 1 trillion scents with the olfactory cleft on the roof of the nasal cavity, next to the olfactory bulb andfossa, which are “smelling” parts of the brain. Nerve endings found in theolfactory cleft transmit scents to the brain.
Sense of taste
Humans taste foodsthrough the taste buds. Adults have 2000-4000 taste buds and most of them areon the tongue, and others line the back of the throat, the epiglottis, thenasal cavity, and the esophagus. There are four differenttastes that people have known- salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. However, thereis also a fifth taste, defined as umami or savory. There may be many otherflavors not yet discovered. Also, spicy is not a taste. It is a pain signal,according to the National Library of Medicine (NLM).
But don’t you know that we are capable of sensing much more than these five senses?
Here are some of our lesser-known senses:
Proprioception – It is the sense knowing which parts of your body are where without looking. We can walk, not even looking at our feet, eating not looking at our hands, and typing without looking at the keyboard.
Kinaesthesia – It is the senses of limb position and limb movement.
Thermoception – It is also called thermoreception or the sense knowing whether the environment is too hot or too cold which is essential in the survival and health of humans.
Nociception – It is the sensory nervous system’s response to certain harmful or potentially harmful stimuli. When there is intense chemical, mechanical, or thermal stimulation of sensory nerve cells, nociceptors produce a signal which usually results in subjective experience, or perception, of pain in humans.
Chronoception – It is the sense that refers to the subjective experience of time. We naturally have “perceived duration,” the perceived time interval between two successive events. The concept of time may seem like a human construct, but it is also one that is reflected in the rhythms of nature and other creatures.
Incredibly, we have these additional complex senses in our bodies that we have been using but never knew that we have them.