to interact with the exterior world, our body uses different senses. We usually
talk about 5 senses but recent studies count 21 senses in total. A consensus was
reached within the scientific community. It specifies 9 principal senses including
the five common ones.
sense is equilibrioception. The perception of balance is controlled by the
vestibular system. It represents cavities filled with a fluid and their interaction
with hair cells informs the brain on our movements. The equilibrioception is
strongly connected to the vision. Nonetheless, the absence of vision won’t
alter the equilibrium sense.
restricted effect of the equilibrium, the seventh sense proprioception may step
in. The spatial body awareness is the ability to determine exactly the localization
of each member of the body. It is considered as evident and people are usually unconscious
of its influence.
privation of equilibrium and / or proprioception may lead to dangerous situations
since the human won’t be fully aware of the way he evolves within this environment.
these dangerous situations are reported as physical. This eighth sense is called
nociception and represents the perception of nerve damage or tissue damage.
sense is thermoception. It represents the ability to distinguish the heat from the
cold through the skin and internal passages within the skin.
All the senses are considered as perceptions are decrypted
as sensory information by the organs.
Ø Sensory information and Sensory integration
Each sensory system of the body
sends some stimuli or sensory information to the brain. The sensory information
is transmitted to the brain through the nervous system. A structure of the
brain called thalamus receives the stimulus signals and relays them to the
appropriate area in the cerebral cortex in order to be processed.
In turn, the cortical areas (association
areas) send signals to the brain’s areas in order to combine information received
from the multiple senses. This process is called Sensory integration. The last
step is left to the brain to interpret those signals and come up with a
Sensory systems interact with
memory in a few different ways. In order to provide the best appropriate
response of a sensory stimuli, the brain may choose information from the memory
that has been stored previously. Hence, the sensory inputs that come from the
combination of different senses may be too much for the brain to process.
Therefore, sensory inputs are also
stored as part of a memory. It will represent the capacity to remember a place,
or a smell, or even a painful action. It serves as a sensory processing area
that has been activated in the brain.
Hence, the sensory inputs that
come from the combination of different senses may be too much to much for the
brain to process.