Sensory organs

Human anatomy > Sensory organs

Our bodies have a variety of ways that it uses to perceive the world around us. There are many senses that constantly gather information about our environment, but the five best known senses are the senses of touch, taste, hearing, sight, and smell. Each sense organ is composed of special cells that are responsible for gathering specific data. These sense organs are connected to our brain by the peripheral nervous system, allowing us to process external information. Among our sensory organs, the organs responsible for sight and hearing are considered to be the most well-developed. 

Sensory organs

Touch

We feel objects that we hold because of nerve endings situated on our skin as well as in other parts of the body. Thus, our skins are our primary sense organs for touch. These nerve endings transmit information to our brains, allowing us to feel objects that come into contact with our skin. Some parts of our skin are more sensitive than others. This is primarily due to a higher concentration of nerve endings compared to the other parts of our skin.

Taste

Our sense of taste is possible due to the existence of special receptors called taste buds that can be found on our tongues. They can also be found in other nearby body parts, like the area near the pharynx and the roof of our mouths. Our taste buds are capable of responding to different tastes, like sweetness, saltiness, sourness, bitterness, as well as a fifth taste known as “umami.”

Hearing

The main sense organ responsible for hearing is our ears. The ear is made up of a number of parts that help to facilitate hearing. Our ears are composed of the outer ear, which helps collect sound and sends it to the inner ear; and the inner ear, which actually collects the audio information and sends it to our brains for processing. Our ears also have tiny hairs that can detect tiny vibrations. All of these information are relayed to the brain via the auditory nerves. The reason we have ears is for audio location. By comparing the sound we hear from each ear, we are able to figure out where the sound came from relative to our own spatial location.

Sight

Our eyes are the main sensory organs used for the sense of sight. Our eyes are very complex organs that collect visual information that is transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve. Our eyes have transparent lens that collect light and sends it to the retina. The retina is the part of the eyes that holds small receptors that are shaped like either rods or cones. The cone-shaped receptors are responsible for receiving colored light; while the rods are more sensitive, allowing us to receive information regarding the amount of light. These rod-shaped receptors are what we usually use when seeing at night or in low-light conditions. This is one of the most important sensory organs in the human body.

Smell

The nose is our main sensory organ for the sense of smell. The nose contains a mucous membrane with many smell receptors that receive information about smell. This information is then transmitted to the brain via the olfactory nerve. The receptors in our noses interact with scent molecules in the air, allowing us to receive information regarding smell. This is the second most well-developed of the sensory organs in the human body.


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