The Five Senses: Great Mysteries of our Perception

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

A person has primarily five senses that identify five tools that help us discover the world around us. What do you regularly use to comprehend the world around you? Your senses! The five senses are seeing,  smelling, hearing, tasting, and touching, and they help us understand our world, surroundings and objects.

Our five senses help us realise how our bodies learn about, explore, and interact with the world around us, and they are used whenever you consume a meal, do schoolwork, or play. Each of these senses uses a distinct body part to assist in gathering information.

The following details are provided for each of the five senses:

Sense of Sight

The sense of sight is one of the five senses that aids in seeing. Light is handled by the eye and transmitted to the brain, which interprets it. It also goes through the eye’s cornea to control the light that enters the eye so that it does not cause any damage to the eye.

The iris is the name for the coloured portion of the eye. What is referred to as the retina determines how light is focused inside the eye. It facilitates the transport of this light to the nerves, where it is then transmitted to the brain, which is eager to comprehend it.

The human eye is unique in several ways, including:

  1. One of the surprising facts is that the human eye contains around 100,000,000 nodes, 100,000,000 receptors, and 7,000,000 cone forms.
  2. The human eye can distinguish between two objects that are around 25 cm apart and have radiation levels of 0.0004 or less.
  3. The human eye is designed to see in weak light.
  4. The human eye can adapt to changes.
  5. The human eye has a special sensitivity to colour, which helps her to distinguish between about 150 colours.
  6. Via 10 billion networks of nerves, which collectively function as a specialised processor for visual data, the human eye transmits information to the brain.

The mechanism of the sense of sight

The light image travels via the eye to the retina, where it is inverted and

decreased. This process is accomplished through the optic nerve, which consists of From many nerve fibres. As the occipital lobe is received from the brain, then the message is received from within the retina, and the image is modified and enlarged.

Many people lose their sense of sight when this lobe is damaged, and it should be noted that the lights that are received by the vision receptors excite many electrical signals within the optic nerve, and then the electrical signals flow inside the nerve to the brain, which receives them.

Children’s sense of sight

Many recent types of research have shown that including DHA and ARA fatty acids in baby food plays a major role in improving this sense in children. Their eyesight, especially since newly born children suffer from unclear vision until they are over the age of six months.

How to improve and develop the sense of sight in children

A number of researchers explained in a study published by the Manila newspaper in news releases that infants and newborns scored the best eye tests and examinations, specifically when ARA and DHA fatty acids were included in their diet. Breast milk, in the opinion of many scientists, is excellent for a child’s health.

It provides him with more fatty acids than formula milk, and they recommend using geometric shapes, special games, and familiar images when dealing with children instead of direct contact, as this plays a major role in developing their sense of sight.

It should be noted that many signs indicate problems in the sense of sight when children, including frequent wiping of the eye, disturbance in focus, tracking of focus, and the presence of lines in the eyes when the child exceeds the age of six months.

Sense of Hearing

The sense of hearing is one of the five senses that uses the ear that represents the organ capable of hearing sounds, so individuals communicate together using words and sound, and the child can learn to speak by hearing the sounds emanating from the individuals around them so that they can later develop their ability to speak.

It is commonly known that there is one ear located on either side of the skull of every human. The ear’s component parts are joined to the skull. The three primary parts of the human ear are as follows:

  1. The pinna and auditory canal: there are two elements that make up the outer ear, those that are visible to the human eye and connect to the eardrum. The outside skin of the ear is covered in hair, and the inside glands secrete earwax, a yellow substance with a gluey consistency. It offers the required defence against dirt getting attached to the drum.
  2. The middle ear: includes the auditory ossicles that communicate with each other.
  3. The inner ear: contains the cochlea, similar in shape to a snail shell. The ear’s function in converting and transmitting nerve signals to the brain is crucial to the human body’s ability to hear.

They can perceive the vibrations transmitted through the air in the form of waves, which leads to the response of the head and its movement to audible sounds. The ear also contributes to maintaining the balance of the body and helping it to move accurately.

The mechanism of hearing

Hearing is an essential sense of the five senses, through which living beings are able to hear sounds and distinguish them, and through them, they can also communicate with their own kind and communicate with them, as the disruption of the functions of this sense necessarily means the disruption of its communication function, so it is called such Categories name deaf, dumb. The ear is formed in the fetus in the fifth month of pregnancy.

Its functions immediately begin to pick up the external vibrations that reach it through the amniotic fluid enveloping it in the womb, such as the sound of the placenta, stomach, and the mother’s heartbeat. Thus, the sense of hearing is the first sense that actually works in the human body.

The ability of the ear to detect the frequencies of sound waves transferred through various physical mediums, such as bodies, liquids, gases, or air, is referred to as the sense of hearing. The process of hearing is a complex process, everything that moves makes a sound, and these sounds consist of the vibration of air particles that travel in waves to the ear, where they are converted into vibrations again to be transmitted to the inner ear.

The auditory nerve, and then the part responsible for it in the brain, which in turn translates these nerve signals into the sounds we hear. Sounds differ in terms of frequency and intensity. Intensity is the amount of energy contained in a sound wave and is measured in decibels, whereas frequency is the number of sound vibrations that occur each second.

What is the importance of the sense of hearing?

The sense of hearing is of great importance, including:

  1. The sense of hearing is the means through which pronunciation is learned and communication with the outside world.
  2. If a person were born deaf, they would inevitably be deprived of speech due to their inability to acquire any linguistic stock during their life.
  3. It is one of the most important senses ever due to the occurrence of any problems in it makes it difficult for a person to adapt to their external environment, as they suffer from mental deficiency and a deterioration in their perceptions, awareness, and thinking, and thus they suffer from severe behavioural and physical disorders.
  4. It is closely linked to the higher thinking centres in the brain, and this is what made it precede the senses in importance, as the auditory centre in the brain is more advanced and developed than the visual centre and the rest of the other senses.
  5. The sense that controls the entire human body is considered to be balance, coordination of movement, and regulation of vital processes.
  6. It also has a major role in controlling the nervous system and influencing its functions.
  7. It is now proven that sound vibrations have an impact on how well the body functions generally.
  8. It helps maintain human balance thanks to the special organs it contains that respond to head movements, as it sends information to the brain about the existence of any change in the position of the head.
  9. The brain, in turn, sends nerve signals to all muscles to maintain the balance of the head and body, as is the case in standing, sitting or walking, as any defect in this function makes a person unable to perform the simplest movements, and makes him feel dizzy and fall.

Hearing Loss

The following are several variables and causes that contribute to hearing loss:

  1. Ageing: Scientists are unable to come up with a precise explanation for the deterioration in the sense of hearing with age; however, 30% of people between the ages of 60 and 75 are more likely to experience hearing loss, and this percentage is increased to 50% in people over 75. However, it is thought that genetic factors, noise exposure, and other damaging factors cause a gradual loss of hearing.
  2. Exposure to noise: 22 million American workers are exposed to potentially harmful noise levels at work, according to Centers for Disease Control studies. It should be mentioned that musicians are equally susceptible to hearing loss brought on by noise.
  3.  Noise: especially continuous noise, adversely has a negative impact on human hearing.
  4. Medications: More than 200 medications and substances have been demonstrated in studies to have the potential to result in hearing loss as a side effect of treatment, with some antibiotics, chemotherapy medications, aspirin, loop diuretics, and others being the most common, malaria medications, and some medications for erectile dysfunction.
  5. Diseases: Heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes are a few conditions that might impair hearing.
  6. A strong hit or bump: as in a skull fracture or perforation of the eardrum.
  7. Infection or earwax: This contributes to ear canal occlusion, which impairs hearing in the individual.

Signs of hearing loss

Even though it may be challenging in some circumstances to determine whether someone has hearing loss, there are a number of symptoms that may point to this illness. The most significant of these symptoms can be summed up as follows:

  1. Especially in crowded settings, having difficulty hearing others well and misinterpreting what they are saying.
  2. Requiring people to repeat what they say multiple times before it may be understood.
  3. Watching TV or playing music loudly.
  4. One of the most demanding and exhausting things for the injured person is having to concentrate on hearing what others are saying.

Hearing loss treatment

The treatment strategies used in each circumstance are discussed in the paragraphs that follow. The type of hearing loss affects how it is treated. A number of factors, such as issues with the eardrum, ear canal, or the middle ear and its tiny bones, have been linked to hearing loss. The treatments used to manage this ailment are described as follows:

  1. Medications: Chronic ear infections or chronic middle ear fluid are treated with antibiotics or antifungal drugs.
  2. Sound amplification: Depending on the state of the auditory nerve, amplification methods, such as conventional audio equipment, are employed and selected.
  3. Surgery: In addition to situations of congenital disappearance, abnormalities, dysfunction in the formation of the middle ear, or cancer cases, it is employed in many circumstances, including the lack of the auditory canal for congenital reasons or the failure of the auditory canal to open from birth. It may be resorted to in the event that hearing loss results from exposure to shocks, blows to the head, or sudden changes in air pressure, which may cause rupture or leakage of inner ear fluids that may be toxic to the ear.
  4. Hearing aids: These are prescribed in cases where hearing loss is irreversible, and surgical cochlear implantation is sometimes resorted to.

Sense of Smell

The sense of smell is one of the five senses that work on distinguishing smells spread in the air, as the human brain distinguishes a huge number of smells, and the process of smelling takes place by entering the body directly into the nose, then into the nose so that these bodies stick to the receptors that line the mucous membranes.

As the cells in the nose are neurons, and each cell of the receiving cells contains cilia at the end of the olfactory receptors. In addition to that, the cells contain thick cells called axons. As these nerve axons gather in the olfactory nerve that connects directly to the brain on the one hand and the outside world on the other hand, the signal reaches the brain to translate the information, and the smelling process takes place.

How does the human sense of smell work?

Smell molecules enter the nose through the nostrils and then travel to the top of the nasal cavity, including the nasal slit, where the scent nerves receive these molecules and work to distinguish and analyze them through the sensory receptors present in them in large numbers.

A group of active nerves works to transmit this information to the brain, it also memorizes all the smells that the brain smells, and according to a recent study, humans are able to distinguish more than a trillion different smells.

Why is it important to smell?

The olfactory bulb is known to have a major role in the sense of smell. It is located in the Limbic System, which is the area of the brain that controls man’s emotional functions. The sense of smell in humans is connected to the sense of taste because it aids in differentiating flavours in food. Smells also have an impact on human memory, mood, and behaviour.

The memory of smells often evokes a flood of memories and affects people’s moods and performance at work. When a person smells a new smell for the first time, the brain connects it directly to an event, person, thing, or a specific time, and when confronting the smell again, the link is called to elicit a memory or mood, so someone may feel an aversion to a particular smell because it evokes an unpopular memory without realising it.

Bonds are often determined in the embryonic stage of a person; therefore, we find that some children are comfortable with certain smells, such as garlic and smoke, that may disturb others because they have become accustomed to these smells since they were fetuses.

What is the mechanism of smelling?

The olfactory receptors in the olfactory sensory neurons in the olfactory epithelium in the nose take in odour molecules and produce nerve signals that are transmitted to the olfactory bulb in the brain, then to the Olfactory brain cortex, where olfactory information is translated to various scents. This process allows humans to distinguish between different odours.

The development of science helped to discover valuable information about the human sense of smell, including:

  1. The olfactory nerves are the only cranial nerves that are able to regenerate, as the body renews the smelling cells every 30 to 60 days.
  2. The sense of smell can distinguish the smell of fear and disgust from the odours that accompany the sweat secreted by the body in such cases.
  3. Compared to men, women have a keener sense of smell.
  4. The quality of the sense of smell decreases with age and into old age.

Disorders of the sense of smell in humans

The pathological disease known as anosmia is thought to be the most challenging of the sense of smell disorders, and it manifests in humans as a loss of the ability to smell odours or a change in how they identify aromas.

It is represented in the inability of the sensory receptors to distinguish smells at all. The pathological condition also causes Represented by a lack of blood level in a decrease in the ability of the sense of smell in humans, and some other disorders are represented in smelling non-existent odours or in the inability to distinguish odours.

What are the reasons for losing the sense of smell in humans?

The reasons that can contribute to losing the sense of smell in humans are as follows:

  1. Brain aneurysm.
  2. Ageing.
  3. Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. Brain injury or brain surgery.
  5. Hereditary conditions, such as Kallmann syndrome.
  6. Chemotherapy.
  7. Diabetes.

Sense of Taste

The sense of taste consists of cells on the human tongue that resemble bumps in their shape and help a person taste food and know the flavour of liquids, and distinguish between sweet, bitter and salty. These cells are spread throughout the tongue.

Cells in the foreground taste sweet food, cells in the bottom taste bitter food, and cells on either side of the foreground taste salty and sour food.

How do we taste food?

Thousands of sensory cells called “taste buds” are scattered on the surface and sides of the tongue, and they settle between the cells of the mucous membrane that covers the human tongue. At the same time, these cells gather together in the form of spindles and exit from their inner ends the nerve endings that carry sensation to send it to the brain’s nerve cells. These cells are responsible for the sense of taste.

Taste states and sensations.

There are four types of human taste sensations, which we call the sense of taste:

  1. Sweetness.
  2. Bitterness.
  3. Salinity.
  4. Acidity.

These four types can be easily identified, but on one condition, the substance that a person eats should be soluble in water. At the same time, this is necessary to feel the taste of these substances, as the substances that are insoluble in water are mostly tasteless and have no aftertaste. This is the function of saliva in the mouth.

Its function is to dissolve food when a person eats it. At the same time, this is due to the fact that the sense of taste is basically a chemical sense that is affected by the nerve endings associated with the buds of this sense.

What is the role of taste buds in tasting?

The different parts of the tongue have different roles with regard to taste sensations. The tip of the tongue is home to the majority of the taste buds that are influenced by sweet foods. The salinity-sensitive buds are also found on the sides and tips of the plants.

On the upper surface of the back of the tongue are the taste buds that are impacted by bitterness. Therefore we find that when a tablet of aspirin is swallowed quickly, a person does not feel its bitterness. However, if swallowed slowly, part of it will quickly dissolve in saliva, and bitterness will be felt when the tablet reaches the end of the tongue.

The importance of the sense of taste

The sense of taste gives a person the pleasure of feeling the taste of different foods. Whereas in the absence of this sense, all foods will have the same taste, which leads to boredom in humans, so they renounce their food and turn away from it. Thus, vital body functions are affected. The sense of taste also has the ability to easily distinguish between the various foods and drinks that a person eats, as well as determine the different degrees of concentration.

So, it is now clear that one of a person’s most important senses is their tasting sense. While only those who are deprived of it know its value. They make eating different foods a pleasure that is hard to describe. Therefore, a person does not adhere to one type of food but resorts to diversity and thus obtains a balanced and useful food as for how the nerve endings associated with taste buds know the type of food.

Sense of Touch

The sense of touch is the sense that is primarily dependent on human skin, and this sense aids in a person’s ability to identify objects and determine the extent of their hardness as well as the sensation of heat, whether cold or warm, that results from tangible objects, making the skin the first organ in the human body to be impacted by all external factors.

The cells responsible for the sense of touch are scattered throughout the human skin as it does not gather in one place only on the skin but rather are distributed irregularly over the surface areas of the skin. A person’s sense of touch increases with the density of nerve cells in that area. The body’s front of the tongue is said to be the most sensitive part. The nose’s tip and the palm’s back are the body parts with the weakest sense of touch.

The sensory cells that receive these stimuli are scattered throughout the entire surface of the human body. The process proceeds as follows: the heat intensifies in the summer, so those sensory cells present in the human skin feel it and transmit this feeling to the internal organs, which work to respond with appropriate responses.

As for the sensory cells that receive various stimuli in the body, each cell contains a moving hair or a fringe inside which two small central fibres pass, surrounded by a ring of nine pairs of small moving fibres. Cilia are in constant motion throughout a person’s life, where it works in search of various external influences so that she can realise the changes that occur in the surrounding world.

Types of sensory receptors in the skin

Sensory receptors in the skin can be classified into four types as follows:

1.      Mechanoreceptors

Mechanoreceptors in the skin respond to physical changes, such as pressure, vibrations, stretching, and touch. There are four types of mechanoreceptors in the skin that represent different functions, and they are mentioned in the following:

Ruffini ending

They are found in the deeper layers of the skin, deep in the dermis and tissues. Ruffini’s endings are sensitive to the stretching of the skin and contribute to the kinetic sensation as they help modify grip on objects. They act as thermoreceptors that respond for an extended period of time.

Meissner’s corpuscles

It is one of the adaptive receptors and is found in the upper layer of the dermis and epidermis, especially in non-hairy skin, such as palms, lips, tongue, soles of the feet, fingertips, eyelids and face and is responsible for sensitivity to light touch.

Pacinian corpuscles

They are found in the deeper dermis layer and along muscles, tendons, and joints. These particles adapt slowly and are responsible for sensitivity to vibration and pressure, as they help through the vibrational role in detecting surface texture, such as the distinction between rough and smooth surfaces.

Merkel nerve

These endings are found in the upper layer of the dermis in hairless skin. They are slowly adaptive and provide the brain with information about touch and pressure. An enormous amount of information about tactile tissue reaches the brain. The imprints of the limbs are filled with these sensitive mechanoreceptors.

2.      Thermoreceptors

The dermis layer contains thermoreceptors, which can be divided into two categories: cold receptors and heat receptors. Hot receptors detect when the skin’s surface temperature exceeds 30-46°C, and cold receptors detect when the skin’s surface temperature is between 25 and 30°C.

Heat receptors are found throughout the body, but cold receptors are dense than hot receptors. These cold receptors are concentrated in the face and ears, so the nose and ears cool in winter before the rest of the body.

3.      Pain receptors

These receptors pick up on pain or stimuli that could harm the skin or other body tissues, such as getting scratched, cut, burned, or stung by an insect. There are more than three million pain receptors in the human body, and they are distributed in the skin, muscles, bones, blood vessels, and various organs—for example, a hot stove. With the transmission of early warning signals to the brain, they play a significant part in protecting the body from severe harm or damage.

4.      Motor receptors

It is one of the types of cutaneous sensory receptors that can be classified from mechanoreceptors, but it is located deeper, as motor receptors are found in tendons, muscles, and joints.

Sense of touch and nerve signals

The sense of touch occurs when a group of nerve signals reach the brain, and neurotransmitters do this process by receiving and sending neuron messages to and from the brain, allowing communication between the brain and the body. The process of communication between the brain and the body can be explained as follows:

When the hand touches an object, mechanoreceptors in the skin are engaged. This starts a series of actions by alerting the closest nerve cell (neuron) that the hand has touched an object. The following neuron conveys this message to the one behind it, and so on, until the message reaches the brain.

After processing what was touched by the hand, the brain uses the same communication system to send signals back to the hand, informing it whether it needs further details about what was touched. As a result, the body responds and reacts by, for instance, preventing the hand from touching it and moving away from it.

The Sixth Sense

It is the expectation of things before they happen and feeling them. The researchers have indicated that feeling what will happen or expecting something outside the framework of the natural senses is not considered extraordinary. It can happen as a result of the brain storing various information regarding a subject, and therefore it is possible to replace The concept of the sixth sense in the concept of physiognomy.

  1. Physiognomy: the correct assumption resulting from scrutiny and scrutiny of the outward appearance of the matter in order to realize its inwardness, and it is divided into three types, namely:
  2. Mathematical physiognomy: or what is called the physiognomy of hunger and sleeplessness, so the individual must get rid of the troubles of the soul and anything that hinders their thinking.
  3. Congenital physiognomy: It is the physiognomy of physicians, with which they infer the morals of creation, so whoever has a normal and moderate character, their morals and actions are moderate. The qualities of the sixth sense are perceiving what others do not realize. See what others do not see. Feeling it before it happens.

What are the factors that affect the sixth sense?

Many factors affect the development of the sixth sense in an individual, including having calm nerves, a clear mind, and a moderate mood. Whenever the individual’s psychological state is good, the sixth sense is activated, and vice versa; when the mood is bad, the sixth sense weakens.

It is worth noting that the sixth sense does not depend on intelligence, as intelligence is included in logical, analytical thinking, which is believed to be used by the ancient idiots and primitives, but rather they have supernatural abilities that are stronger than others, as scientists believe.

Is the sixth sense fact or illusion?

The sixth sense has baffled scientists and researchers in its field. Where they differed about the fact that it actually exists in humans, whether it is real or is it a kind of imagination and delusion. Some of them are intended to be imaginary sensations that do not enrich or fatten from hunger.

Others suggested the possibility of their presence in humans, but they hardly feel them and do not use them except in the case of their feeling of fear and danger. Scientists call the sixth sense the individual’s fear and anxiety, love and hate, joy and sadness.

We can summarise this essay by saying that The five senses play a significant part in how we perceive the environment. Your five senses are how your body learns, explores, and interacts with the world around you, whatever you’re doing; eating a meal, listening to a song, completing homework, or playing. Each of these senses makes use of a certain body area to assist in information gathering.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you might also like these interesting articles as well Secrets Inside the Human Body, Hobbies to Boost Your Brain and Body, and Secrets about our Body Language.

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