21 senses or more !
"Equipped with his seven senses, man
explores the universe around him
and calls the adventure
Science." - Edwin P.
to grasp; understand
the idea that is
to become aware
of; to perceive
something sound or
a vague feeling or
the meaning of a
word or expression.
a capacity to
appreciate or understand.
one of the
meanings of a word or phrase.
the normal ability
to think or reason
an intuitive or acquired
perception or ability to
a perception or
feeling produced by a stimulus;
a meaning that is conveyed, as in speech or writing;
understanding or intelligence, especially in
what you must
know in order to determine the reference of an
perception by the sensory
organs of the body;
sensation; sensibility; feeling.
faculties of sensation as means of providing physical
recognition or perception
either through the senses or through the
interpretation, as of the significance of an event or the conclusions
reached by a group.
perception through the
recognition; understanding; discernment.
of or relating to the portion of the
strand of double-stranded DNA that
serves as a template for and is transcribed into RNA.
One of two
opposite directions in which a line,
surface, or volume, may be supposed to be described by the
motion of a point, line, or
Sound perception and
reasoning; correct judgment; good mental
capacity; understanding; also, that which is
sound, true, or reasonable;
Any of the faculties by
which stimuli from outside or inside the body are
received and felt, as the faculties of
possessed by animals, of perceiving external
objects by means of
impressions made upon certain
organs (sensory or sense organs) of the body, or of
perceiving changes in the condition of the body;
as, the senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, touch, and
philosophers have given a technical
signification to these terms, which may here be
stated. Sense is the mind acting in the direct
cognition either of
material objects or
of its own mental states. In
the first case it is called the outer, in the second the
inner, sense. Understanding is the logical faculty, i. e., the power of apprehending under general
conceptions, or the power
of classifying, arranging, and making
Reason is the power of
apprehending those first or
fundamental truths or principles which are the conditions of all
real and scientific knowledge, and which control the mind in all its
processes of investigation and deduction. These distinctions
are given, not as established, but simply because they often occur in writers
of the present day.
seven major sense
"He who sees, knows;
he who sees not, knows not."
"He who touches, knows; he who touches not, knows not."
"He who tastes, knows;
he who tastes not, knows not."
"He who hears,
knows; he who hears not, knows not."
"He who is in
balance, knows; he who is not in balance,
"Our senses are limited.
We 'see' only some wavelengths of light ;
we 'smell' only a range of odours; we 'hear' only a range of sounds. If we
see nothing, then this does not mean that nothing is
there. The extents of our senses, both quantitatively and qualitatively, are
also the results of an adaptive selection
process that must allocate scarce
resources. We could have evolved eyes that were thousands of times more
sensitive, but that ability would need to have been paid for by using
resources that could have been used
elsewhere. We have ended up with a package of senses that makes efficient use
of the scarce resources available." - John
Although human senses are
limited they are truly quite magnificent.
A human with normally functioning senses
feel on the fingertips or face a
pressure that depresses the skin a .00004 inch,
feel the weight of a bee's wing falling on the
cheek from less than half an inch away,
small candle flame from 30 miles away on a
clear, dark night,
distinguish among more than 300,000 different color
smell one drop of perfume diffused through a three-room
taste .04 ounce-of table salt dissolved in 530 quarts of
gauge the direction of a
sound's origin based on a .00003 second difference in its arrival from one ear
to the other.
21 senses or more !The commonly held
definition of a sense is any system that consists of a group
of sensory cell types that respond to a specific physical phenomenon and that
corresponds to a particular group of regions within the brain where the signals
are received and interpreted.
The commonly held human senses are as
Sight: This technically is two senses given the two distinct
types of receptors present, one for color (cones) and one for brightness
Taste: This is sometimes argued to be five senses by itself due
to the differing types of taste receptors (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and
umami), but generally is just referred to as one sense. For those who don't
know, umami receptors detect the amino acid glutamate, which is a taste
generally found in meat and some artificial flavoring. The taste sense, unlike
sight, is a sense based off of a chemical reaction
Touch: This has been
found to be distinct from pressure, temperature, pain, and even itch sensors.
Pressure: Obvious sense is obvious. ;-)
Itch: Surprisingly, this is a
distinct sensor system from other touch-related senses.
Ability to sense heat and cold. This also is thought of as more than one sense.
This is not just because of the two hot/cold receptors, but also because there
is a completely different type of thermoceptor, in terms of the mechanism for
detection, in the brain. These thermoceptors in the brain are used for
monitoring internal body temperature.
Sound: Detecting vibrations along
some medium, such as air or water that is in contact with your ear drums.
Smell: Yet another of the sensors that work off of a chemical reaction. This
sense combines with taste to produce flavors.
sense gives you the ability to tell where your body parts are, relative to
other body parts. This sense is one of the things police officers test when
they pull over someone who they think is driving drunk. The "close your eyes
and touch your nose" test is testing this sense. This sense is used all the
time in little ways, such as when you scratch an itch on your foot, but never
once look at your foot to see where your hand is relative to your foot.
Tension Sensors: These are found in such places as your muscles and
allow the brain the ability to monitor muscle tension.
Nociception: In a
word, pain. This was once thought to simply be the result of overloading other
senses, such as "touch", but this has been found not to be the case and
instead, it is its own unique sensory system. There are three distinct types of
pain receptors: cutaneous (skin), somatic (bones and joints), and visceral
Equilibrioception: The sense that allows you
to keep your balance and sense body movement in terms of acceleration and
directional changes. This sense also allows for perceiving gravity. The sensory
system for this is found in your inner ears and is called the vestibular
labyrinthine system. Anyone who's ever had this sense go out on them on
occasion knows how important this is. When it's not working or malfunctioning,
you literally can't tell up from down and moving from one location to another
without aid is nearly impossible.
Stretch Receptors: These are found in
such places as the lungs, bladder, stomach, and the gastrointestinal tract. A
type of stretch receptor, that senses dilation of blood vessels, is also often
involved in headaches.
Chemoreceptors: These trigger an area of the
medulla in the brain that is involved in detecting blood born hormones and
drugs. It also is involved in the vomiting reflex.
Thirst: This system
more or less allows your body to monitor its hydration level and so your body
knows when it should tell you to drink. Hunger: This system allows your body to
detect when you need to eat something.
Magentoception: This is the
ability to detect magnetic fields, which is principally useful in providing a
sense of direction when detecting the Earth's magnetic field. Unlike most
birds, humans do not have a strong magentoception, however, experiments have
demonstrated that we do tend to have some sense of magnetic fields. The
mechanism for this is not completely understood; it is theorized that this has
something to do with deposits of ferric iron in our noses. This would make
sense if that is correct as humans who are given magnetic implants have been
shown to have a much stronger magnetoception than humans without.
This one is debated as no singular mechanism has been found that allows people
to perceive time. However, experimental data has conclusively shown humans have
a startling accurate sense of time, particularly when younger. The mechanism we
use for this seems to be a distributed system involving the cerebral cortex,
cerebellum, and basal ganglia. Long term time keeping seems to be monitored by
the suprachiasmatic nuclei (responsible for the circadian rhythm). Short term
time keeping is handled by other cell systems.
Did you know humans have
the ability to ignore one or more of the sensory systems at any given time
"There is no way of coming at a
true theory of
society, but by inquiring into the
nature of its component
humanity in its combinations, it is
necessary to analyze that
humanity in its elementary formfor the explanation of the
compound, to refer back to the simple. We quickly find that every
phenomenon exhibited by an
aggregation of men, originates in some
quality of man himself. A little consideration
shows us, for instance, that the very existence of
society, implies some
natural affinity in its members for such
a union. It is pretty clear too, that without a certain fitness in
mankind for ruling, and being ruled,
government would be an impossibility. The
infinitely complex organizations
of commerce, have grown up under the
stimulus of certain desires
existing in each of us. And it is from our
possession of a sentiment to which they appeal, that religious institutions have been called into
This fact, that the properties of a mass are
dependent upon the attributes of its component parts, we see throughout
nature. Every social
phenomenon must have its
origin in some property of the individual. And just as the
attractions and affinities which are latent in separate atoms, become visible when those
atoms are approximated; so the
forces that are dormant in the isolated
men, are rendered active by juxtaposition
with his fellows.
This consideration, though perhaps
needlessly elaborated, has an important bearing on our subject. It points out
the path we must pursue in our
search after a true social
philosophy. It suggests the
idea that the moral law of
society, like its other laws,
originates in some attribute of the human
Had we no other inducement to eat than that
arising from the prospect of certain advantages to be thereby obtained, it is
scarcely probable that our bodies would be so well cared for as now. Or,
instead of that powerful affection by which men are led to nourish and protect their
offspring, did there exist merely an abstract
opinion that it was proper or necessary to maintain
the population of the globe, it is questionable
whether the annoyance, anxiety, and expense,
of providing for a posterity, would not so far exceed the anticipated
good, as to involve a rapid
extinction of the
species. And if, in addition to these needs of the
body, and of the race, all other requirements of our nature were similarly consigned to the sole care of the
knowledge, property, freedom, reputation, friends, sought only at its
dictationthen would our investigations be so perpetual, our estimates so
complex, our decisions so difficult, that life would be
wholly occupied in the collection of evidence, and the balancing of
Quite different, however, is the method of
nature. Answering to each of the actions which it is
requisite for us to perform, we find in ourselves some prompter called a
desire; and the more essential the action, the more powerful is the impulse to its performance, and the more
intense the gratification derived therefrom. Thus, the longings for
food, for sleep, for warmth, are
irresistible; and quite independent of foreseen advantages. The continuance of
the race is secured by others equally strong,
whose dictates are followed, not in
reason, but often in defiance of it. That
men are not impelled to accumulate the means
of subsistence solely by a view to consequences, is proved by the
existence of misers, in whom the love of acquirement is gratified to the neglect of the
ends meant to be subserved. We find employed a like system of regulating our
conduct to our fellows. That we may behave in the public sight in the most
agreeable manner, we possess a love of praise. It is
desirable that there should be a segregation
of those best fitted for each other's societyhence the sentiment of friendship.
May we not then reasonably
expect to find a like instrumentality employed in
impelling us to that line of conduct, in the due observance of which consists
what we call morality? All must admit
that we are guided to our bodily welfare by instincts; that from
instincts also, spring those domestic
relationships by which other important objects are
compassedand that similar agencies are in many cases used to secure our
indirect benefit, by regulating social behaviour.
Seeing, therefore, that whenever we can readily trace our actions to their
origin, we find them produced after this manner,that upright conduct in
each being necessary to the happiness of all,
there exists in us an impulse towards such
conduct; or, in other words, that we possess a "Moral Sense," the
duty of which is to dictate rectitude
in our transactions with each other; which receives gratification from honest
and fair dealing; and which gives birth to the sentiment of
"And so you think," says the patrician, "that the
object of our rule should be 'the greatest happiness to the greatest number.'"
"Such is our opinion," answers the petitioning
Whereupon, after some shuffling, our
petitioner is forced to confess, that he has no other authority but his own
feelingthat he has simply an innate
perception of the fact; or, in other words, that "his
moral sense tells him so."
In truth, none but
those committed to a preconceived theory, can
fail to recognise, on every
hand, the workings of such a faculty.
From early times downward there have been constant signs of its
presencesigns which happily thicken as our own day is approached. The articles of Magna Charta embody
its protests against oppression, and its demands for a better administration of
justice. By the passage of its subtle current is
that social electrolysis effected, which
classes men into partieswhich separates
the nation into its positive and negativeits radical and conservative
elements. From it, as from
a root, spring our aspirations after
social rectitude: it blossoms in such
expression as"Do as you would
be done by," "Honesty is the best
policy," "Justice before
Generosity;" and its fruits are Equity, Freedom,
But how, it may be asked, can a sentiment
have a perception? how can a desire give rise to a moral sense? Is there not here a
confounding of the intellectual
with the emotional? To elucidate this we must take
an example; and perhaps the love of
accumulation will afford us as good a one
We find, then, that conjoined with the
impulse to acquire property, there is what
we call a sense of the value of property; and
we find the vividness of this sense to vary with the strength of the impulse.
Contrast the miser and the spendthrift.
Accompanying his constant desire to heap up, the
miser has a quite peculiar
belief in the worth of money. The most stringent
economy he thinks virtuous; and anything like the most ordinary
liberality vicious; whilst of extravagance he has an absolute horror.
Whatever adds to his store seems to him good:
whatever takes from it, bad. And should a
passing gleam of generosity lead him on some special occasion to open his
purse, he is pretty sure afterwards to reproach himself with having done
wrong. On the other hand,
whilst the spendthrift is deficient in the instinct of acquisition, he also fails to realize the
intrinsic worth of property; it does not come home to him; he has little
sense of it. Hence under the influence of other feelings, he regards saving habits as mean;
and holds that there is something noble in profuseness. Now it is clear
that these opposite perceptions of the propriety or impropriety of
certain lines of conduct, do not originate with the
intellect, but with the
emotional faculties. The
intellect, uninfluenced by
desire, would show both
miser and spendthrift that their habits
were unwise; whereas the intellect,
influenced by desire, makes each think the other a fool,
but does not enable him to see his own foolishness.
Now this law is at
work universally. Every
feeling is accompanied by a sense of the
rightness of those actions which give it gratificationtends to generate
convictions that things are
good or bad, according as they
bring to it pleasure or pain; and
would always generate such convictions, were it unopposed. As however there is
a perpetual conflict amongst the feelingssome of them being in antagonism
throughout lifethere results a proportionate
incongruity in the beliefsa similar conflict
amongst these alsoa parallel antagonism. So that it is only where a
desire is very predominant, or where no
adverse desire exists, that this connection between the
instincts and the opinions they dictate, becomes distinctly
Assuming the existence in man of
such a faculty as this for prompting him to right dealings with his fellows,
and assuming that it generates certain intuitions
regarding those dealings, it seems reasonable enough to seek in such
intuitions the elements of a moral
code. Attempts to construct a code so founded have from time to time been made. Though
they have failed to systematize its utterances, they have acted
wisely in trying to do this. An
analysis of right and wrong so made, is
not indeed the profoundest and ultimate one; but, as we shall by-and-by see, it
is perfectly in
harmony with that in its initial
principle, and coincident with it in its results.
"If," say the objectors, "this 'moral sense,' to which all these writers directly
or indirectly appeal, possesses no fixity, gives no uniform response, says one
thing in Europe, and another in
Asiaoriginates different notions of duty in each age, each race, each
individual, how can it afford a
safe foundation for a systematic morality? What
can be more absurd than to seek a definite rule of
right, in the answers of so uncertain an authority?"
The force of the objection above set forth
may be fully admitted, without in any degree invalidating the
theory. Notwithstanding appearances to the contrary,
it is still possible to construct upon this basis, a purely synthetic
morality proof against all such
pointed out is not one of doctrine, but of application. Those who committed
it did not start from a wrong principle, but rather missed the right way from
that principle to the sought for conclusions. Confounding the functions of
feeling and reason,
they required a sentiment to do that, which should have been left to the
intellect. They were right
in believing that there exists some governing
instinct generating in us an approval of
certain actions we call good, and a repugnance
to certain others we call bad. But they were not
right in assuming such instinct to be
capable of intuitively solving every ethical
problem submitted to it. To suppose this, was to suppose that
moral sense could supply the place of
On reviewing the claims of the
Moral Sense doctrine, it appears that there is
à priori reason for
expecting the first principle of
social morality to
originate in some feeling, power, or faculty of the
individual. Quite in
harmony with this
belief, is the inference that as
desire is found to be the incentive to action
where motives are readily analyzable, it is probably the universal incentive;
and that the conduct we call moral is
determined by it as well as other conduct. Moreover we find that even the great
maxim of the expediency
philosophy presupposes some tendency in man
towards right relationship with his fellow, and some
correlative perception of what that right relationship consists in. There are sundry
social life, both past and
present, that well illustrate the influence
of this supposed moral sense, and which are not
readily explicable upon any other hypothesis. Assuming the
existence of such a faculty, there appears
reason to think that its
monitions afford a proper basis for a systematic morality; and to the demurrer that their
variability unfits them for this purpose, it is replied that, to say the
least, the foundations of all other systems are equally open to the same
objection. Finally, however, we discover that this difficulty is apparent only,
and not real: for that whilst the decisions of this moral sense upon the complex cases referred to it
are inaccurate and often contradictory, it may still be capable of generating a
true fundamental intuition, which can be logically unfolded into a scientific
morality." - Herbert Spencer
The truth is
found in the simple and intricate messages of smell.
I smelled the wind today.
What precisely it smelled like I can not say.
Only that there was a hint of spicy pine and the rich scent of wet
other smells, more
complex smells, but I found my nose was not up to the task of identifying what
they might be.
I have been
thinking about smells because I have never truly noticed them before. I live in a house
in the country, far beyond the limits of the
city and nestled along
the shores of Lake Superior. The area around me is heavily wooded with a
winding dirt road that cuts a clearing through the cedars, spruces and
birches. The dark recess of the
forest, just beyond the ditch that lines the
side of the road, is a hub of continuous activity. The light, playful sounds of
the many birds and squirrels, and the heavier cracks and thumps of
deer and other large animals as they go about their
day, are constant. Numerous small streams trickle
from within these hidden areas and run laughing through culverts under the road
to the waiting lake. In the summer, the floor of the
forest fascinates me with the soft moss and
flowers that carpet the ground
beneath the towering trees. In the winter,
I love the way the snow lies
heavily on the boughs of the evergreens and the
quiet the deep cold brings.
On a walk early one
morning, while I was admiring the melting snow and enjoying the warmth of
the sun on my back, that it hit me.
The wind had a smell!
just a smell, but every scent from every item in the vast
wilderness around me was carried
by the wind.
I was stunned, and although
I had not been
aware of it before,
perfectly that these scents contained a
If you and I should
wish to communicate, we would use
words and hand
gestures to make our message understood. But
animals have no such ability and must rely on the
messages of scent carried aloft by the wind to
understand what the
world around them has to say. I would like to learn, or to better
understand, what these
odorous reports convey.
prehistoric ancestors once mastered
the secrets locked in these
scents, but that ability has been lost to me: I can
understand, however, that
these messages cannot be unlocked by my conscious mind.
Somehow, I know that
they can only be translated by the
subconscious instincts within me.
I imagine that the
language of scent can be both simple and
At one time it can be a basic message of a dangerous predator
nearby, and, at another time, it
can be a message of surprising intricacy.
Who can say precisely what
the pheromone-laden musk that all animals (even
humans) emit has to say?
Is it simply
lust, a sign to indicate a willingness to mate
or is it something more?
A mother seal
can identify her pup from among thousands of identical-looking pups just by
Animals sniff their
learn to distinguish by smell what is
safe to eat and what will make them sick.
Each scent is unique.
lie and they cannot bluff.
no deceit or treachery in a smell; there is only the truth.
Perhaps this is why
humans have lost the ability to
language of scent.
We use our
language to hide, to
confuse and, only rarely, to tell the
We clog our
environment with man-made items,
removing nature from every aspect of our
We replace the complex messages
of the wind with artificial perfumes and
We shun our
own scents and consider the true
human smell to be derelict and dirty.
Humans have forgotten the
truth of nature.
truth is found in the simple and intricate messages of
Smell is the silent, fragrant language of nature.
- Lynley Scott, Canadian author