Human beings are known for their five senses, namely touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing, but we rarely think that our body can perceive others. Researchers have now identified two additional senses that our bodies can use to perceive the world around us in their own way.
Discoveries about the existence of a sixth and a seventh sense have provided insight into various aspects of health and well-being. Ranging from neurocognitive issues such as synesthesia to motor control issues associated with proprioception. It’s time for us to explore more deeply how these additional senses could offer valuable assistance in functioning optimally in today’s complex environment!
According to the Spanish neuroscientist Nazareth Castellanos, researcher at the Nirakara-Lab of the Complutense University of Madrid, the five traditional senses that we all know (sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste) are perhaps not not be as important as previously thought. Neuroscientists are increasingly looking beyond the brain to understand how humans perceive their environment. Studies have revealed the existence of direct links between the intestines and the brain, suggesting that our body is endowed with more than five senses.
The 2 most recurring meanings that we don’t realize.
An internal sense – or proprioception –:
Proprioception is the ability to sense and feel one’s own body in space. This sense works through a combination of signals processed by receptors located in the inner ear, muscles, joints and skin. Proprioception informs us of our body position, awareness of limb and joint movements, and spatial awareness, even with our eyes closed. It also helps us maintain our balance while moving through space and maintain our posture.
Proprioception is essential for normal movement coordination because it allows us to make quick adjustments without using visual information. For example, when we close our eyes or move through a dark area, proprioception can still help us walk without any external visual cues.
An interoceptive sense or introception:
Introception is the ability to take an inward look at one’s own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. It refers to the process of self-reflection and becoming aware of one’s own mental state. It is a type of metacognition or “thinking your own thoughts” that allows us to become aware of our own cognitive processes and equips us with the tools to regulate our emotional functioning. A person who has developed introceptive skills can reflect on their own thought patterns, feelings, and emotions to better understand their behavior and how it affects those around them.
Introception also involves understanding why certain reactions occur in response to certain situations, as well as being able to recognize when one’s reactions are not productive or healthy. Also, through introspection, individuals can begin to shape their emotional responses by considering more positive alternatives. With heightened introspection comes greater self-awareness and personal growth, as individuals better understand their thought processes and behaviors.
Apart from these two senses, neuroscientists agree that humans have at least five other distinct senses.
These new “meanings” include:
- A vestibular sense that helps us keep our balance.
- A cognitive sense that allows us to process complex information.
- A nociceptive sense involved in detecting potentially dangerous stimuli.
- A thermal sense that allows us to detect subtle changes in temperature.
- A chemical sense that helps us detect pheromones and other chemicals in our environment.
This new understanding of the human senses has opened new avenues for research into how humans interact with their environment, both at a conscious and subconscious level. By looking beyond the traditional five senses, neuroscientists are now able to explore how different organs interact with each other to influence human behaviors.