Did You Know

What are the Five Senses?

Traditionally, the five senses are recognized as sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.


The five human senses are the sense of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. These five human senses play a unique role by receiving signal information from the environment through the sense organs and relaying it to the human brain for interpretation. The brain on receiving and interpreting the information tells the body how to respond. These senses are contained in specially adapted body sense organs that include the eyes, ears, skin, nose, and the tongue.


The sense of sight manifests itself through the eyes, which detects color or light. The eyes have the ability to perceive images and see visible elements. Light enters the eyes and travels through the special eye features like the pupil, lens, and the retina to the special receptors in the brain through the optic nerve. The brain then interprets the images and sends it back to the eyes and hence one is able to see. The sense of sight is important to a human being, as without it or on the loss of it, one is not able to see. Light travels at a high speed and the eyes receive it equally fast and transmits it to the brain.


The sense of hearing manifests itself through the ears, which detect sound. Hearing is the perception of sound. Sound is detected by the ear through vibrations that enter the ear canal and vibrate the eardrum. The vibrations then extend to the inner ear through special bones called the hammer, anvil, and stirrup, which further transmit the information to the brain. The brain then advises on what one has heard like hooting, screaming, noise and so on.


The sense of touch manifests through the skin; the skin detects heat, cold, pressure, and pain. The skin has many receptors that sense the levels of pressure applied to it as well as the time of application. The skin has an ability to sense even the temperature and through its multiple receptors transmit the impulses through the peripheral nervous system to the central nervous system and the brain. The brain then interprets and one is able to know whether it is hot or cold and or when in pain or friction.


The sense of smell manifests through the nose. The nose helps detects scents and chemicals in the air. The olfactory receptors in the nose pick out chemicals in the air or from food. These scents travel directly to the olfactory cortex of the brain. The brain, on interpretation and sending back the information, enables one to detect these odors and recognize a particular smell. One is then able to know whether it is a good or bad smell and is able to respond accordingly.


The sense of taste manifests through the tongue. The tongue detects tastes: salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. Taste is the ability to detect different chemicals in food, minerals, and even poisonous substance. This happens through the taste buds, which are the sensory organs of the tongue. Using these tastes, the body is able to distinguish nutritious from harmful substances. The tongue distinguishes palatable and disgusting substances.


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