19 April 2011

How Many Senses We Got, Just Five?

Sometime when we say something from our intelligent guess work, we say for fun "You know, I've got sixth sense". What make us say so is the assumption that man has only six senses and extra sense is surely superhuman. But how many of us knows that we have got far more number of senses. I'm not talking about any para psychological concepts. Although definitions vary, physiologically number of senses we got varies from at least 9 to more than 20!
The five senses we always talk about are sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. These five senses were identified and listed by Aristotle in the 300 BC's. But modern science has identified many more senses. I'll tell you a few examples I know:
1. Equilibrioception- It is the sense that prevents us from falling while walking and standing.i.e., the sense of balance and equilibrium[Read more]
2. Nociception- This is nothing but the sense of pain. When you touch a hot iron box, you are not sensing 'touch', are you? Pain is a different perception than touch.[Read more]
3. Proprioception- It is the sense that helps you know the position of your own body parts. Have you ever thought a 'sixth sense' is working when you take food directly to your mouth without mistake even if it is perfectly dark?[Read more]
4. Thermoception- This you might have guessed. Yes, it is the sense that helps us know the relative temperature.When you say, 'Oh the climate is too hot', your thermoceptive sense is working. The exact mechanism behind this sense is yet to be known.

Some other senses that I don't know the names are the senses of time, itching, pressure, hunger thirst, fullness of stomach, need for urination and defecation( Number 1 and number 2!) and blood carbon dioxide level. So next time when you joke about your sixth sense, remember, six is too small a number!

1 comment:

  1. I feel so smart and overly proud because i already knew about all of those extra senses.