Sense Organs (5 Sense Organs): Introduction
The human senses or sense organs are organs of our body that are stipulated to help us distinguish and identify the world around us. Each of our senses is equally important and plays an integral role in our everyday lives. They help us build an identity for everything around us in our surroundings.
These senses recognise the things around us and send signals to our brains. The human brains and various other organs receive those signals to interpret those signals and understand the things around us. Our sense organs respond to the external stimuli in our environment to unravel the things around us.
What are sense organs?
The human body has 5 major senses through which we perform our everyday activities, namely –
- Sight – We see through our eyes the beautiful bounty of nature all around us.
- Sound – We hear through our ears the sweet chirping of birds and every other sound around us.
- Smell – We smell through our nose the wonderful fragrances of nature and the bad smell of garbage.
- Taste – We enjoy the tastes of delicious food through our tongues.
- Touch – We touch all objects around us through the skin on our body.
What are the functions of the human senses (five sense organs)?
Five sense organs name and main functions
1. Eyes (Sight)
- Eyes, in the human body, are the receptors of light.
- The eye receptors enable us to see everything around us by sending signals to the brain through the optic nerve. The brain then creates an image in our minds which makes us see all things around us.
- Due to these eye receptors, we are able to detect color differences, perceive depth and detect movement.
- The human eyes get their color from a chemical pigment called melanin. More melanin in a body, the darker the color of the eye will be (Brown). Less the melanin in a body, the lighter the color of the eye will be (Blue).
- All mammals have 2 eyes and some other living organisms may have one eye or no eyes at all.
Imagine if you couldn’t see yourself in the mirror!
2. Nose (Smell)
- The nose is responsible for the sense of smell in the human body.
- The human nose has 2 holes, called the nostrils. The air we breathe goes in through our nostrils into our respiratory system.
- The nose has 2 major functions –
- Breathing – The process of moving air in and out of our lungs through our respiratory tract is called breathing. The human body inhales air through the nostrils to absorb the oxygen in it and exhales to flush out carbon dioxide.
- Olfaction – The sense of smell is called olfaction. The upper nasal cavity in the respiratory tract is filled with olfactory cells which enable humans to have a sense of smell. The human nose can detect thousands of different smells.
- Every human has a differently shaped nose which is due to every person having different bones and cartilages.
- Animals tend to have a stronger sense of smell than humans.
Imagine if you couldn’t smell that delicious pizza!
3. Ears (Hearing)
- Ears are the organs that are responsible for auditory perception which help in hearing.
- The ears have 3 parts –
- Outer ear – The outer ear boosts sound pressure which makes humans hear sounds at very high frequencies.
- Middle ear – The middle ear transfers the sound in waves from the environment to the inner ear.
- Inner ear – The inner ear responds to simple tones, and the brain serves to process other increasingly complex sounds.
- Having 2 ears helps humans hear from both directions.
- Ears are able to detect sound even when we are sleeping. However, since the human brain is at rest. the sound does not get processed by the brain.
- The human ear has the smallest bone in the human body.
Imagine if you couldn’t hear all that amazing music in the world!
4. Skin (Touch)
- The skin is the largest part of our body and allows us to feel touch, temperature, pressure, vibration, pain, heat and chills, and all other sensations.
- The skin has 3 primary layers
- The epidermis – It is the outermost layer of the skin that is visible to us. It provides a waterproof barrier. It is also responsible for creating our skin tone.
- The dermis – It contains tough connective tissue, hair follicles, and sweat glands.
- The hypodermis – It is made of fat and connective tissue.
- The skin acts as our body’s defense mechanism against any toxins, radiation, and harmful pollutants.
- The color of the skin is created by special cells called melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin. Melanocytes are located in the epidermis
Imagine the human body without skin with the bones and blood vessels just hanging out!
5. Tongue (Tasting)
- The tongue gives living organisms their sensation of taste.
- The tongue is a muscular organ in the human body that is located inside the mouth.
- The tongue has 3 main functions
- Digestion – The tongue helps in transferring food from the mouth by swallowing.
- Speech – The tongue allows clear communication by working together with teeth and lips.
- Taste – The tongue has receptors that help us differentiate salty, sweet, bitter, or sour tastes.
- The tongue’s back section detects bitter flavor, the front-most part detects salty taste, the side detects sour taste, and the center and the front part detects sweet taste.
Imagine if you couldn’t taste all the yummy food in the world!
Aside from these five primary senses, humans have two more organs, namely –
The vestibular system is one of the sensory systems in the human ear. This system informs the human brain about –
- Balance – Maintaining proper body posture.
- Motion – Keeping the body in equilibrium.
- The location of the head and body in relation to your surroundings.
As for the major sensory organs, each organ would transmit signals to the brain to respond to external stimuli, similarly, Proprioception is a continuous feedback between sensory receptors throughout the body and the nervous system.
Our skin, joints, and muscles have sensory receptors. When we move, our brain senses the effort, force, and heaviness of our actions and positions and responds accordingly.
Proprioception gives us our ability to walk or kick without looking at our feet, balance on one leg, touch the nose with our eyes closed, and sense the surface on which we are standing.
Our body immediately starts functioning differently if it detects even the slightest bit of abnormal functioning in any of our organs. Therefore, it is important for us to take care of each of these organs so we can fully enjoy the world around us!
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