Gayathri Mani

Senses Study Guide

Human senses comprise of five basic senses. These five senses are touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste.


  • A sense is a capacity of organisms that provides data for perception.

  • The nervous system has a specific sensory nerve and a sense organ committed to each sense.

  • Humans have sense organs for hearing (audition, auditory sense), sight (vision, visual sense), taste (gustation, gustatory sense), touch (somatosensorial, somatosensory sense), and smell (olfaction, olfactory sense), which are often referred to as the five traditionally recognized senses.

Understanding The Human Senses



We have five sense organs that can receive and relay sensory information to the brain. These senses provide an organism with information crucial for perception. There is a sixth sense present in the human body. The sixth sense is proprioception. It is defined as our ability to sense exactly where our body is.

The Main Functions of the Five Sensory Organs



1. Eyes

Our eyes allow us to see. Sounds relatively simple, but in reality, they do more than just that! We can judge depth, interpret new information, and identify various colors using our eyes. The eyes are shaped like balls and located in bony-like sockets in the skull.

Eyes are very sensitive to light. They are the physical portal through which data from the environment is collected and sent to the brain for processing. The brain sends back messages through the optic nerve which allows you to see the visual information collected.

2. Nose

Noses are used to smell. They get a sense of what particles are traveling through the air, which can then help us identify if dangerous chemicals are nearby. The smell also has the strongest connection to memory; a familiar smell can remind us of things long forgotten.

The nose has nostrils through which one can breathe. Usually, animals have a stronger sense of smell than human beings. The nose regulates many other functions as well, a few of which are listed below:

• Primary pathway for breathing

• Humidifies the air of breath

• Cleans the air that is used while breathing

• Regulates the temperature of the breath

3. Ears

Ears allow us to hear sound and to detect vibrations in the air particles around us. In addition, the inner ear also helps us maintain balance and regulate sinus pressure.

Sound waves enter through the outer ear, move into the middle ear and finally reach the inner ear and it reveals data to nerves, bones, canals, and other cells.

4. Tongue

The tongue helps us taste food, figure out if something will be useful to our bodies or poisonous. It also allow us to sense hot and cold in food and liquids.

The tongue has various receptors which can detect whether the item consumed is salty, sweet, bitter, or sour.

The behind part of the tongue detects bitter taste, the frontmost part detects salty taste, the side part detects sour taste, and the middle and front part detects sweet taste.

5. Skin

The skin is the largest organ in the body and is responsible for the most important senses in the human body. The skin performs a huge number of functions. These include:

• Perspiration (sweating) to cool the body

• Protection from the elements

• Sensing what's in contact with our bodies

• Communication with other human beings through touch

• Storage of water and lipids

• Formation of vitamin D from the Sun

• Water resistance

• Heat regulation

Our brain collects information, like smells and sounds, through five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. Each of our five senses has its special sensor. Each sensor collects information from its surroundings and sends it to the brain.


  • With no sensory inputs, the brain cannot see, hear, smell, taste, or touch and could not sense bodily orientation, pain, and what position the body is in.
  • So sense organs are a necessity.


1. What are the 7 senses of a human being?

Sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, and vestibular (movement): The movement and balanced sense give us information about where our head and body are.

2. What are the 6 senses?

Sight, smell, taste, hearing, the sense of touch, and movement are the 6 senses.

3. What are the 5 senses and their functions?

The main 5 senses are sight, smell, taste, listen, and the sense of touch.

4. Do we only have 5 senses?

When we think of human senses, we think of eyesight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.

5. What are sense organs?

The sense organs are the body organs by which humans can see, smell, hear, taste, and touch or feel.

6. How do the five senses of humans work with the brain?

The sense organs associated with each sense send information to the brain to help us understand the world around us.

7. What part of the brain controls the 5 senses?

The parietal lobe controls the five senses of sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste.

8. How do the five senses affect perception?

Humans have five basic senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste. The sensory organs associated with each sense send information to the brain to help us understand and perceive the world around us.

We hope you enjoyed studying this lesson and learned something cool about Senses! Join our Discord community to get any questions you may have answered and to engage with other students just like you! We promise, it makes studying much more fun! 😎


  1. The Five (and More) Senses. https://www.livescience.com/60752-human-senses.html. Accessed 27 Nov, 2021.
  2. Psychology: How many senses do we have?. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20141118-how-many-senses-do-you-have. Accessed 27 Nov, 2021.
  3. Senses. https://flexbooks.ck12.org/cbook/ck-12-biology-flexbook-2.0/section/13.17/primary/lesson/senses-bio/. Accessed 27 Nov, 2021.