The 5 Senses plus 3 more

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Beyond the 5 Senses

The human body is an amazing machine that is constantly monitoring the environment. Your body uses the 5 main senses, vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch along with other senses like
proprioception, thermoception, and equilibrioception to keep you alive and active in the world around you.

5 Senses

Your senses are a combination of receptors gathering data and then sending this information to your brain that processes the data.

In order to read this article, light must pass through the cornea, and pupil to the retina. The retina contains receptors called rods and cones that detect black and white along with red, green, and blue. This information is sent down the optic nerve to your brain that converts this information to a picture.

Your ears allow you to hear. The outside portion of your ear is designed to capture sound waves. The sound is funneled down the ear canal to the eardrum. The eardrum vibrates like a drum and sends these vibrations to 3 small bones. The hammer, anvil, and stirrup. also called the malleus, incus, and stapes. The stirrup sends vibrations to the cochlear which in turn sends impulses to your brain.

Your nose is designed to capture smells. When you breathe molecules from the air enter your nostrils and make their way to the back of your nose to a patch of skin called the olfactory bulb. It has a layer of receptors called olfactory nerves that sense smells and send signals through the olfactory tract to your brain.

Your tongue allows you to taste and is covered with bumps called papillae that contain taste buds. These receptors send taste information along cranial nerves to the brain.

Your skin helps you sense the environment. The skin contains several types of receptors. Mechanoreceptors detect pressure, vibrations, and texture. Thermoreceptors detect changes in temperature, and pain receptors detect pain. These receptors then send messages to your brain.

Proprioception helps your body know where it is in space.
For example, when you are hitting a pinata, proprioception gives your body feedback so that you know the location of your arm and hand.

Thermoception is your sense of temperature and allows us to sense if we are hot or cold. This allows us to sense if the environment is too hot or cold. When the temperature gets hot, say above 104 degrees Fahrenheit 40 degrees celsius a receptor is triggered and others are triggered when it is cold. Once triggered the receptors send a signal to your brain which alerts you of the temperature and you can then decide what to do.

Close your eyes and try to balance on one foot. This activity triggers your sense of balance called, equilibrioception which is our sense of balance. Your inner ear has three fluid-filled canals and tiny hairs that sense the location of your head and sends this information to your brain. Your brains then send this information to your eyes, joints, and muscles.


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