The Special Senses

The Special Senses 2629
Photo by: Sean Gladwell

12 The Special Senses

The senses connect humans to the real world, allowing them to interpret what is happening around them and respond accordingly. The color of the sky at dusk, the sound of laughter at a party, the scent of eucalyptus and pine, the taste of freshly baked bread—all would be meaningless without the senses. They not only provide pleasure, but warn of danger. Traditionally, sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch have been considered the five main senses of the body. However, touch (along with the senses of pressure, temperature, and pain) is one of the general senses that has small sensory receptors scattered throughout the body in the skin (for a further discussion, see chapter 4). The other four "traditional" senses—sight, hearing, smell, and taste—are the special senses.

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