What are the 5 Senses: Location, Structure and Function of These Specialized Cells To Detect Sensations

The human body has a lot of senses and can perceive a lot of sensations.

The senses that are mainly studied and those that can be identified more easily are the following:

Sense of touch

The sense of touch, or tactile sense, is made up of a very fine network of receptors in the skin , forming the largest sensory system in your body. Because there are so many sensory nerves, the lightest touch can be felt.

The skin is the shield of the body, and the contact makes you aware of its limits. The sense of touch only gives you the experience of being touched by one ‘thing’. To know what touches you, observation needs to expand with the other senses: observing what is touching you, feeling the structure or the temperature of the object.

The sense of touch is made up of a large number of tactile organs located just below the surface of the skin, between the epidermis and the dermis. The tactile organs are simple receptors connected by nerve axons. The receptors sense pressure on the skin, and this is how touch can be felt.

There are tactile organs throughout the body. The distance between the receptors determines the sensitivity, which differs for different parts of your body. The fingers, tongue, lips, nose and forehead are very sensitive to touch, which means that these parts have a higher density of touch organs.

Not surprisingly, perhaps these are all important parts of the body to feel or touch. Other areas, such as the back or the soles of the feet, have a lower density of touch receptors and are less sensitive to touch.

It is necessary to use the other senses, such as movement or the sensation of temperature, if you want to know more than the simple fact that something touched you.

You can use the sense of movement to explore the object with your hands, to discover its shape, its external structure, etc. However, it is still difficult to determine what it could be. The sense of sight will give you more information.

The tactile sense outlines your body. Indicate where you end and something else begins. Without the sense of touch, you would not feel this limit, and you would not know where you stop being. Without a sense of touch, you would not have physical self-awareness.

Sense of smell

You smell things with your nose. Every time you breathe in, the new fragrance particles brush past the nasal mucosa inside your nose. The nasal mucosa is connected directly to your brain by a short nerve, so you can perceive odors almost immediately.

It’s so fast that it can take you by surprise when you suddenly smell something. You can’t block aromas without holding your breath, which you can’t do for long. When you have been exposed to a scent for a while, you will stop noticing it, and you will notice a gradual strengthening of the scent.

You only notice it if you walk away for a while and come back to it. In that case, you will probably be surprised that you haven’t noticed it before.

Since you have to keep breathing, you can’t help but smell the smells. There is no way to block them. You notice the scent immediately and classify it as unpleasant or tasteful, pleasant or unpleasant, vile or attractive. Smell strongly influences judgment.

Your experience tells you that bad things or things you don’t like always smell. Volcanoes, rotten food, and toxic substances smell foul.

Natural substances that are good for you generally do not smell bad. In this way, your sense of smell forms one of the foundations of your moral judgment. Your sense of smell helps you distinguish between what can be good and bad.

People can distinguish around 2,000 scents, from roses and chamomile to the scent of horses, goats and cows; from milk, wine, cola and beer to wood, cement, asphalt and stone, etc. You can recognize the scent of a cool spring day or a scorching summer afternoon.

You can also smell someone’s mood: someone who is afraid gives off different scent particles than someone who is comfortable. People respond to all of these smells, usually without being aware of it.

Smell observations differ from other observations of, for example, taste and sound because smells are difficult to categorize and describe. Smells are often described by association: the smell of roses, blueberries, fresh fruit, fat.

Odors can be described by using other observations that are associated with the odor. The chemical composition of an aroma can be determined and, in many cases, can be synthesized. Many of the artificial perfumes and scents (often called flavorings) are made chemically.

Smells can bring back memories suddenly and strongly. You may be walking down a street when a familiar smell suddenly takes you back to the past and the time you smelled it before. For a moment, he is immersed in memories. This often happens without being aware of having smelled it.

Smells and aromas can affect you more strongly in this way than observations made with other senses.

The human sense of smell is quite primitive compared to that of animals. A dog’s sense of smell is a million times more sensitive than human’s. A dog has no problem smelling fear from a passerby and responds directly.

Due to the short reaction time, instinct is closely related to the sense of smell. The behavior of an animal is thus largely determined by what it smells.

If the human’s sense of smell were as good as the animal’s, it would constantly make strong judgments and be incapable of more objective observation. Sensitivity to smells would leave no room for a personal response, and thoughts would be more instinctive. As a result, he would be at the mercy of what his nose told you.

Sense of taste

The tongue is the organ of taste. To taste something, you must put the food in your mouth. Also, the substance must be dissolved in water or saliva, as it can only taste liquids or soluble solids.

Taste observation is made up of two components, the actual taste of something and its smell. When something is in the mouth, its smell penetrates the nose. When something is put in the mouth, the smell can change as new aroma particles are released.

Actual taste is limited to four possibilities: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. If you cover your nose and put something in your mouth, you will only be able to distinguish these four flavors. There would be no olfactory observations. If you couldn’t smell it, all jams would taste the same: sugary and sweet.

The tongue cannot bear very strong tastes: except for sweet, too much taste quickly turns into an unpleasant experience.

Children have the greatest difficulty learning to appreciate bitter foods, since bitterness is quicker to taste. Even as adults, only a little bitterness can be tolerated.

Sour things are often perceived as refreshing, while salt is rarely perceived, but attracts the full palate of flavors. For example, a boiled egg without salt has little flavor, but once a little salt is sprinkled on, it tastes just like an egg.

The judgment of food, and whether it is healthy, is determined in part by taste. You can test if something is good for you or not, and you also know very well if you are taking that extra bite because you are still hungry or because you do not want to offend the cook. You can strengthen your emotional judgment by focusing your attention on how you know something.


The eyes are the most important sense organs. They are the only organs visibly located on the surface of your body. “Seeing” is often used synonymously with “observation” or “understanding.”

However, in reality, the eyes only see colors, light and dark. Shapes, movement and proportions can be seen because the eyes move and work together with the senses of movement and balance.

Visual stimuli are easier to block than smells or tastes. There is a distance between you and what you see and thus you observe more consciously. Of all the senses, sight contributes the most to consciousness.

The human being is a conscious thinking organism that is intricately involved with the act of seeing. This also means that it is easier to get confused by what you see than what you smell, for example. Sometimes your thoughts determine what you see. You can experience this in two of the exercises, below.

The sense of sight is the most popular sense for scientific observation. Everything is expressed visually, often in numbers, because the eyes are supposed to be more reliable than the other senses that are more primitive, such as smell and taste. The eyes are considered objective.

The eye is a transparent oval ball into which light enters. Light rays first pass through the cornea and then through the pupil. The pupil is subtracted and expanded, depending on how little or how much light there is. The pupil is located in the center of the iris.

After passing through the pupil, light is concentrated through the lens, passes through the eyeball, and falls on the retina. The retina has cone-shaped and rod-shaped receptors.

The eyeball is made up of a transparent, colorless and gelatinous substance that contains 99% water. The corneal tissue has a somewhat crystalloid structure.

Rod-shaped photoreceptors in the retina (optic pair) can perceive light and dark, while cone-shaped receptors (blind parasite) are sensitive to colors. Optical pairs adapt very well to changes in the degree of light, as you will have experienced when entering a dark room.

At first you don’t see anything, but after a while you can see quite a bit and find your way. You cannot see colors in the dark. The yellow spot is the most sensitive part of the retina and is made up only of pairs of cecum.

The place where the clustered optic nerve exits the eye is called the blind spot, since the eye has no receptors to register anything here.

Most people can see about 150 colors, although some can see more. Goethe discovered that colors are the result of the interplay between light and darkness. You can see red, orange and yellow when looking from dark to something light (dusk), and blue and violet predominate when looking from light to something dark.

Goethe put it this way: the victory of light over darkness results in active colors (red, orange, and yellow), while the victory of darkness over light brings out passive colors (blue, indigo, and violet).

This can be verified by looking at a rainbow. The sky is always darker at the top of the rainbow than at the bottom, and red is always at the top, where it is darkest, and purple is always at the bottom, where it is lighter.

Evidence of this rule can be found in brown eyes, where the iris is red closer to the pupil and green or bluish closer to the white of the eye.

The colors are arranged on a color wheel in a succession of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, purple, then back to red, and so on. Only the color can be arranged in a circle, it does not work with other observations.

When you stare at a color intensely for a moment and then look away, you will see an afterimage, an image whose color is the opposite, or the complement (on the color wheel) of the original.

For example, if you look at a red-violet object for one minute, you will see an after image made up of green and blue, as the green violet and blue complements complement the reds.

During prolonged exposure to a bright color, the cone receptors in the retina that perceive color become numb. The negative posterior image occurs during the recovery of the desensitized retina.

The color in the after image is not a physical or material color; rather, it has a persistent, unearthly, and transparent quality. You could describe it as an ethereal color.

The effect of colors on mood has been shown effectively in scientific experiments such as the following:

  • The subjects in this experiment did not know what the purpose of the experiment was. Half of the group were told to paint a certain painting with red paint, while the other half were told to paint the same image with blue paint.
  • After fifteen minutes of painting, the group using red paint was louder and more restless than the group using blue paint. This experiment showed how humor was affected by colors.

Another experiment was carried out in a factory. One room in the factory was painted in the usual colors and the other in soft tones.

In no time, the workers in the second room had achieved a 15% higher production rate and had taken 30% fewer sick leave than those in the first room.

Sense of hearing

The ears pick up their own sounds and those created by others, humans or animals. Unlike the eyes, the ears are located on the side of the head. The ears are open to the sounds of the whole environment; it is not necessary to place the ears directly in front of a sound.

He cannot close his ears, so that you are connected to the world of sound during all waking hours. You can’t help but listen to them.

Hearing “conscious hearing” requires silence. He should sit still and take a seat, so to speak. Listening is a social activity focused on others, but it is also an internal activity. How often did your teacher say ‘sit still and listen carefully’?

Animals can turn their ears to a sound source. Humans do not have this ability to ‘see’ with their ears. Animals hear well, but they do not listen, since they cannot get out of themselves and be silent. The hearing organ can be divided into three parts.

The outer ear, which consists of the shell and the ear canal, picks up sounds. The eardrum is located at the end of the ear canal. The middle ear carries sound further. The middle ear is made up of the eardrum which in turn contains the three ossicular bones (hammer, anvil and stapes) and the Eustachian tube that connects the eardrum with the throat.

The Eustachian tube remains open when swallowed, so that constant pressure is maintained on both sides of the tympanic membrane.


The inner ear is located in the temporal bone and consists of a labyrinth, a fluid-filled cavity that is made up of the vestibule, the cochlea, and three semicircular canals that are used for balance. The cochlea is the real hearing organ, where vibrations from the air are transformed back into sounds.

Three types of sounds can be distinguished. First of all, there are the common everyday sounds, such as the rustling of leaves, the wind howling around the house, and all kinds of mechanical noises, etc. The second type of sound is music, which is made up of sounds and tones. The third type of sound is human speech.

You can observe three aspects of each sound, regardless of what type it is: the volume, the tone, and the tone color.

You can also observe the distance to the source of the sound, since the sound does not reach both ears simultaneously. The second ear will hear the sound 0.001 seconds later, so it can estimate where the sound originated. Accurate evaluation of the distance and direction of a sound is a matter of experience.

Hearing declines with age, but to compensate, people are born with a wide variety of hearing. Children can hear 11 octaves, and even in old age they can still hear 10 octaves.

Looking at an object gives you an idea of ​​its exterior. Listening to an object gives you an idea of ​​what is inside. Often, for example, it is difficult to distinguish a glass panel from a plastic one by sight only. However, if you touch the panel, the sound will tell you what it is immediately.

Listening to people can also reveal information about their inner lives. People may seem upbeat, but if they feel bad inside it is immediately apparent in their voice. Someone’s intonation reveals whether they are sad, happy, or excited.

The resonance of sound by objects is always the sum of its parts, of substance and form. In order to resonate, objects must be solid and autonomous. A copper bell rings, but a bell standing on the ground is like a lump of clay: it makes no noise. Sound is considered a supernatural (immaterial) phenomenon.

Humans have a very fine perception of music and sound, and can feel intimately connected with tones and melodies. High tones are generally perceived as light, clear, crisp, and distinct, while low tones are perceived as dark, full, warm, large, and less defined.