7 Facts About Human Senses

Sense is the ability of a living thing to physiologically provide information in order for it to perceive that information. Though humans have many senses — some of which are up for debate — the traditional ‘5 senses’ are defined as sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste.

Here are 7 facts about the human senses.

1. Each one of your taste buds contains between 50 and 100 receptor cells

Diagram of taste buds.

Each receptor cell has a tiny taste hair sticking out of it which check the chemicals that dissolve into your saliva. Each taste hair responds best to one of the five basic tastes and sends an impulse to the brain.

2. There are about 10,000 taste buds in the mouth of an average human

Most of these are on the tongue but others are in the cheeks.

3. Your ears help you keep your balance

Balance organs of the inner ear.

The inner ear contains two balance organs. One detects the rotation of your head and the other detects the position of your head. These work with your eyes and receptors in your muscles (proprioreceptors) to stop you from falling over.

4. Your eyeballs are controlled by 6 muscles

Muscles of the eye.

These are called the extraocular muscles and are the superior and inferior oblique muscles, the superior and inferior rectus muscles plus the medial and lateral rectus muscles.

5. Your nose can discern about 50,000 different odours

The amazing thing about this is that your brain can remember every single one.

6. Women have a better sense of smell than men

The Monell Chemical Senses Center in the USA took 32 samples of smelly perspiration and mixed them with different fragrances. Women could smell the sweat in all but 2 of the mixtures whilst 19 of the fragrances blocked the smell for men.

7. Flavour is as much about smell as taste

Flavour is smell and taste.

Both taste and smell combine to produce the flavour, which is why food can seem bland when you have a cold.

Taught science for 16 years at a secondary school in the East Midlands.