I’m pretty sure more than half of us have seen or heard about the movie, “The 6th Sense”, which tells a story about a little boy who has the sense of seeing dead people. Scary, I know. But contrary to popular belief, all us has has a 6th sense, as well as as a 7th and an 8th sense – and none of them have anything to do with seeing our great aunt Myrtle. Let me explain a bit better.
The five common sense are also called our ‘Exteroceptors’, which is just a fancy word for receptors telling us what is going on outside our body. These senses are:
- Sight (Visual sense)
- Sound (Auditory sense)
- Taste (Gustatory sense)
- Smell (Olfactory sense)
- Touch (Tactile sense)
They are needed to protect us from and connect us with the outside world. They need to tell us who and how far away the person is who is walking in front of you, as well as where the car is coming from when crossing the street. They are also needed to inform us if the food that we are eating tastes fresh and whether it is too hot or cold. They remind us of a special memory when we smell something familiar and warns us if we touched a plate on the stove that was cooking our dinner a minute ago.
The other 3 senses that we have, are divided into 2 categories, “Proprioceptors” and “Interoceptors”.
Proprioceptors is the senses that tell us where our body is in space and how it is moving. The 2 senses is this category are called the:
- Proprioceptive sense
- Vestibular sense
The proprioceptive sense tells us where we are in space, as well us how we are moving. Without proprioception, it would be nearly impossible to walk from your bed in the morning to the kitchen, not even mentioning how difficult it would to drive a car. The vestibular sense tells us where our head is in space and how it is moving. It also gives us a sense of how gravity is pulling us down, as well as how we need to keep our balance.
The last sense I am going to tell you about today, is the visceral sense, which falls under the “Interoceptors” category. This sense is needed to tell us about the inside of our body. It tells you when you have a tummy ache, or when you need to use the loo and most importantly, how much you need to eat to last you until your next meal.
So, if the next time someone tells you about the scary movie about a little boy talking to the people on the other side, please inform them that the movie’s title is horribly incorrect, and should rather be called “The 9th Sense”.