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Ambar Kleinbort

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What are and how many senses do we have?

Simply from observing other animals we can realize there are things some creatures sense and others don't, like colors. What things can we not sense? or what things can we sense and we just dont realize? We have chemoreceptors responsible for smell and taste, does this make them 1 sense? We have photoreceptors of more than 1 kind, rod and cone cells, does this make color and the ability to see shapes 2 different senses? We have touch and pain receptors, are those 2 different senses?

How do we use our senses to explain reality? For instance, if we could not sense wind, would we have concluded trees move on their own? Do we define senses only as what we use to perceive the outside or is hunger a sense to? Of course, the way we chose to define a sense will establish how many there are, so how do we define a sense? And are they distorted by our brains, are colors or lightwaves symbols our brains interpret and in fact not actually real?

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    Apr 4 2011: There's a lot of stuff out there we cannot sense, For example X-rays, Odorless/colorless (for us) gases, gravity (which we only sense indirectly), ultrasound, etc. etc.
    It' not so much that we don't have the appropriate senses, but not enough resolution to perceive certain things. For example, our range of hearing has a max. and min. frequency. If below or above those limits, we just can't perceive it anymore.
    There also might be stuff out there which we are not even aware of, because we don't have any sense at all for it.
    For instance time is something we cannot sense, but it is vital for how we perceive reality.
    Which brings up my favorite question about how reliable is reality as we perceive it ?
  • Apr 3 2011: One of the things that has always intrigued me is the enhanced sensory attributes of many persons we deem to have "disabilities". My sister was a special education teacher for many years. One of her students, a young boy diagnosed with autism, was able to walk into a room with the lights turned off, and tell which ones were not working, and which ones would soon stop working. He was obviously able to "sense" something that we cannot see or experience otherwise. I am sure there are many other persons with similarly fascinating "sensing" abilities.
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    Apr 2 2011: .....cierto
  • Apr 2 2011: The classes of senses could be broken down further & even a few more added as we gain knowledge in various areas. Some sense that we observe in animals, we too have, just not as developed or we didn't do the right things growning up to develop them. One sense that I do wish we would work to enhance is "Common Sense."