The pale gray surface layer of the brain in which information is processed.
A body organ or collection of organs that informs us of some aspect of the outside world such as odors (smell).
Small area in the brain through which most of the information received from the sense organs passes.
What’s that smell? Do you hear that noise? Taste this! Look at me! Feel this, isn’t it soft? When you hear, or even use these phrases, you probably don’t stop to think about why we use them. Well, it’s because of our senses. Without us even knowing, our sense organs (nose, eyes, ears, tongue, and skin) are taking in information and sending it to the brain for processing. If we didn’t have them, we would not be able to smell, see, hear, taste, or touch anything! Talk about a boring life.
Our senses are the physical means by which all living things see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. Each sense collects informaton about the world and detects changes within the body. Both people and animals get all of their knowledge from their senses, and that is why our senses are so important.
All senses depend on the working nervous system. Our sense organs start to work when something stimulates special nerve cells called receptors in a sense organ. We have five main sense organs. They are the eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and skin. Once stimulated, the receptors send nerve impulses along sensory nerves to the brain. Your brain then tells you what the stimulus is. For example, your sound receptors would be bombarded by billions of sound waves. When these signals reach the part of the brain called the cerebral cortex, we become conscious of the sounds.
|Many scientists say we actually have nine senses – sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, pain, blanace, thirst, and hunger.|
|Hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell are known as our external senses. They provide information about the outside world.|
|Pain, balance, thirst, and hunger are considered to be our internal senses. They provide information about the body and its needs. For example, the sense of hunger shows that the body needs food..
You smell these odors through your nose which is almost like a huge cave built to smell, moisten, and filter the air you breathe. As you breathe in, the air enters through your nostrils which contain tiny little hairs that filter all kinds of things trying to enter your nose, even bugs! These little hairs are called cilia and you can pretend that they sweep all the dirt out of the nasal cavity, which is the big place the air passes through on it’s way to the lungs. After passing through the nasal cavity, the air passes through a thick layer of mucous to the olfactory bulb. There the smells are recognized because each smell molecule fits into a nerve cell like a lock and key. Then the cells send signals along your olfactory nerve to the brain. At the brain, they are interpreted as those sweet smelling flowers or that moldy cheese.
Our sense of smell is connected really well to our memory. For instance, the smell of popcorn can remind you of being at the movies with a friend or the smell of tar can remind you of riding in a car to the beach.
Humans have seven primary odors that help them determine objects. Listed below are the seven odors. Camphoric, Musky, Floral, Pepperminty, Etheral, Pungent and Putrid. If your nose is at its best, you can tell the difference between 4000-10,000 smells!
The nerve endings in your skin can tell you if something is hot or cold. They can also feel if something is hurting you. Your body has about twenty differnt types of nerve endings that all send messages to your brain. However, the most common receptors are heat, cold, pain, and pressure or touch receptors. Pain receptors are probably the most important for your safety because they can protect you by warning your brain that your body is hurt!
Some areas of the body are more sensitive than others because they have more nerve endings. Have you ever bitten your tongue and wondered why it hurt so much? It is because the sides of your tongue have a lot of nerve endings that are very sensitive to pain. However, your tongue is not as good at sensing hot or cold. That is why it is easy to burn your mouth when you eat something really hot. Your fingertips are also very sensitive. For example, people who are blind use their fingertips to read Braille by feeling the patterns of raised dots on their paper.
Taste buds probably play the most important part in helping you enjoy the many flavors of food. Your taste buds can recognize four basic kinds of tastes: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.
.So, there you have it! Now you can add your own touch (your creativity) and Presto-Chango… You’re an Artist!
(from Oracle ThinkQuest)