June 24 – Celebration of the Senses

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Today we celebrate the senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. But like a terrible infomercial, that’s not all! There are more than five senses, not including the once where you see dead people. Depending on how you measure a sense, humans have somewhere between fourteen and twenty. For each sense you experience, you need to have a sensor, and this sensor can only sense one particular thing. For example the sense “sight” is actually made up of two senses. One part of your eye senses light intensity and the other senses colour. This is also applicable to the term “touch” as a sense. You can feel texture, temperature (thermoception), pain (nociception) and itching, all of which are very different, and so are actually different senses.

In addition to expanding on the basic five senses people usually refer to we also have a variety of other senses that, if we were lacking in them, we would fine life very, very difficult. Vesitbular sense is your sense of balance; this sense, which I often feel like I have a severe lack of, is regulated in your inner ear like your sense of hearing, but is separate. Knowing when you have eaten enough is considered a sense as is being able to sense when your lungs are full and when you need to inhale or exhale and at what rate, determined by oxygen levels in your blood. Chronoception is your sense that allows you to feel time passing (remember when I wrote about biological clocks awhile ago? That. https://365reasonstocelebrate.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/april-28-biological-clock-day/ ). There’s also a possibility that humans have a sense of direction that is actually a sense, known as magnetoreception. 

While continuing to look at the screen in front of you, reach for an object and bring it back to your keyboard. This is my favourite sense. Proprioception is your ability to know where your limbs are in space without having to look at them, which I think is just awesome. 

~ Darcie Rae

Info-Links:
http://listverse.com/2013/04/30/10-lesser-known-but-important-human-senses/ 
http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/question242.htm

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