Friday, July 26, 2013

More than Five Senses

I've mentioned in previous blogs that my interest in "the sensory systems" was piqued early in life by my brother's dramatic dislike of moth balls. More specifically, the smell of moth balls. Most of us have become accustomed to thinking of the senses in terms of sight, sound, odor, taste, and touch. Recently I was reading "The Element," written by Ken Robinson PhD. According to Ken, "Physiologists largely agree that in addition to the five (senses) we all know about, there are four more." Two of them are listed below. The other two will be in tomorrow's blog.

1.  Thermoception - a sense of temperature. Human beings do not need to touch anything to feel hot or cold. This is crucial given that we can survive only within a relatively narrow band of temperatures.

2. Nociception - a sense of pain. Scientists now generally agree that this is a different sensory system from either touch or temperature. In fact, this sensory system is able to differentiate between pain that originates from the inside or the outside of our bodies.

Part 2, tomorrow.

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