I think there are many, many more than six senses...
The Seventh Sense
Written by Zack Jordan on 16 September 2006
From childhood, we are taught that the human body has five senses. I’m sure we can all recite them: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. This list has remained unchanged since the time of Aristotle. To most people, a “sixth sense” refers either to one outside the realm of the scientific, or one that simply does not exist in most humans.
However, ask a neurologist how many senses the human body has, and you might get a surprising answer. Many identify nine or more senses- some listing as many as twenty-one. The first category of senses is the “special” senses, including the familiar sight, hearing, taste, and smell. The second category is made up of the somatic senses, which we usually lump under “touch”- including our perception of pressure, heat, and pain. The third category, however, is not nearly as well-known. These are the interoceptive senses- those that deal with data originating in the body itself.
It is fairly obvious what happens to a person when a sense fails. Many members of society are missing one or more senses. It is common knowledge that blindness is the absence of sight. Deafness, of hearing. Everyone knows what it’s like to lose taste and smell as well; this loss accompanies every head cold. But what happens when the body loses knowledge of itself is a far stranger occurrence.
The interoceptive senses are lumped together in various configurations, but there are basically three. The first– balance– is the sense of the body’s alignment. This is the sense that keeps an animal upright; the famous ability of cats to always land on its feet, for example, is due to this sense. The organic sense is what alerts the body to its internal condition; this is how you know that you are hungry or thirsty. The third sense is known as proprioception. This, put simply, is the brain’s knowledge of the relative positions of the body’s parts.
To visualize this sense, close your eyes and extend your hand in a random direction. Now identify in your mind its exact position and open your eyes. Note that your brain was well aware of your hand’s position, even though none of the “classic” five senses were currently detecting it. This is proprioception. If you want another example of this sense, try driving erratically enough to attract official attention. The familiar walk-the-line and finger-to-nose sobriety tests that you will be subjected to are yet more examples of what your body can do- or at least should be able to do- thanks to proprioception.
And then of course there are
Clairsentience, Clairalience, Clairambience
I have fully developed all these senses!
Wikipedia article on proprioception
Buy The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat on Amazonhttp://www.damninteresting.com/the-seventh-sense
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;"