The five (and more) human senses

There are five basic human senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. The sensing organs associated with each sense send information to the brain to help us understand and perceive the world around us. However, there are in fact  other human senses in addition to the basic five that you couldn’t live without. These lesser-known senses include spatial awareness and balance. Here’s how the human senses work.


A woman touching tall grass in a field

Touch is communicated to the brain through neurons in the skin. (Image credit: Westend61 via Getty Images)

Touch is thought to be the first sense that humans develop, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (opens in new tab). Touch consists of several distinct sensations communicated to the brain through specialized neurons in the skin. Pressure, temperature, light touch, vibration, pain and other sensations are all part of the touch sense and are all attributed to different receptors in the skin.

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