Until yesterday I was one of those who thought that the only ones with 7 senses were the Knights of the Zodiac, however in a meeting in which I was surrounded by health professionals, they were discussing the progress in the development of a child From their different disciplines (psychology, physiotherapy, medicine, etc.) and among the many medical terms that were used in that talk, 2 were mentioned that I could not understand, so in the end, I asked one of the doctors, what these 2 terms were discussed, and I was so surprised to learn that they referred to the sixth and seventh sense of the child.
As it turns out, at least at school they tricked me by teaching me that there are only 5 senses (namely: sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing) because in reality our human body has 2 additional senses, and I do not mean super powers, or the so famous sixth maternal sense (which according to my accounts would be the eighth) but to 2 basic and very important functions of our body that are actually part of our senses, I mean the sense of proprioception and the sense of equilibriumception. As I am not an expert in the field, and in the long run I could not memorize the explanation that the expert gave yesterday about these 2 senses, I am going to post here a little about what I find on the net.
Proprioception is the sense that informs the body of the position of the muscles, it is the ability to feel the relative position of contiguous body parts. Proprioception regulates the direction and range of motion, allows automatic reactions and responses, intervenes in the development of the body scheme and in its relationship with space, supporting planned motor action. Other functions in which it acts with more autonomy are the control of balance, the coordination of both sides of the body, the maintenance of the alert level of the nervous system and the influence on emotional and behavioral development.
In simpler terms, this which would come to be like the sixth sense, is the one that helps you to be aware of the relative position of your body in front of the environment. If you want to catch a ball that is on the ground, you use your own motion to manipulate your entire body and move it in the proper way to achieve your goal. The same applies when you then throw the ball to someone and the person who receives the ball adjusts the position of their body to receive it according to the trajectory they perceive.
Balanceception or sense of balance is one of the physiological senses. It allows humans and animals to walk without falling. Some animals are better at this than humans; for example, cats, who can walk over a very fine fence using their inner ear and tail for balance. All animals evaluate and respond to displacements from equilibrium, where the body is in equilibrium with respect to gravitation, acceleration, and other forces that affect its position and motion. Even jellyfish straighten themselves up after turning upside down. The first organs of balance evolved among fish, amphibians, and reptiles and had little or nothing to do with hearing.
It is incredible how something despite having called it for years “sense of balance” never considered it within the list of human senses. In short I can say that this is a new lesson learned. A little more to say about the sense of balance or also called the vestibular sense is that despite residing in the inner ear, it is not directly related to hearing. Basically it uses small channels that contain liquid and that help to perceive movements in all directions.
As if that weren’t enough with the sixth and seventh senses, now that I have started researching, I have found that there are even more senses (or functions of the body) that I did not know had names. It is not that it is a find that changes your life, but it is good to know the name of some senses that are present there.
Nociception: It is the neuronal process by which potentially harmful stimuli to tissues are encoded and processed. This activity is initiated by nociceptors (also called pain receptors) that can detect thermal, mechanical or chemical changes above the threshold of the system. In other words, it is the sense that helps us to perceive that something is wrong with our body through pain.
Interoception: This sense is exclusively internal, and is the representation of the state of the organs of our body. Each organ feels itself and that perception appears to us as strange sensations. For example: as everyone knows, we are composed of at least 70% water. But we constantly lose water (even when breathing), and a loss of 0.5% of body water already triggers the sensation called “thirst”, which is nothing more than an internal perception, the same happens with the intestines or the stomach when they shoot pain sensations if there is a problem with the food we eat.
Thermoseption: It is both the perception of heat and its absence (cold), which can be considered an intermediate step of heat. A separate sense of touch can be considered because the former would only be limited to the sensations of pressure on the skin.
And what happens if several senses mix at the same time? Well, here comes a concept that I already knew before and it did not seem appropriate to leave aside in this post since I am talking about the senses. In words plus words minus Synesthesia is the ability to perceive the sensations of other senses with just one jointly. This is how a synaesthetic can, for example, hear colors, see sounds, and perceive taste sensations when touching an object with a certain texture. It is not that I associate it or have the feeling of feeling it: you really feel it. Synesthesia is not just a genetic or developmental condition for some people, but it is also in some cases a common effect of some drugs, such as LSD, mescaline, or psilocybin mushrooms.
Synaesthetics frequently perceive correspondences between color tones, sound tones, and flavor intensities unintentionally. For example, touching a softer surface can make them taste sweet. These experiences are not mere associations, but perceptions, and depression tends to increase in strength. Another example, associating the color yellow with the number 7. Some see colors when they listen to music, others can feel the taste of words. Other people may perceive the letter A in red, the S in yellow, and the Z in black.