What are the senses?

We have seven senses which include:

A boy smiling

Visual (seeing)

Sight is processed through the ‘Visual’ sense. Visual stimuli is picked up by visual receptors located in the eye. Visual receptors are stimulated by light, colour and movement.

A young boy standing by a fence

Auditory (hearing)

Sound is processed through the ‘Auditory’ sense. Auditory receptors are located in the inner ear and identify loud, soft, high, low near and far noises in the environment.

A young girl looking at the camera

Tactile (touch)

Touch is processed through the ‘Tactile’ sense. Tactile receptors identify the sensation of touch and are all over our bodies in our skin. Some areas of our skin have more tactile receptors than other areas e.g. mouth and hands. The tactile senses are important for identifying touch, pressure, pain, temperature and texture.

Two boys playing football

Gustatory (taste)

Taste is processed through the ‘Gustatory’ sense. Taste is picked up by gustatory receptors which are located on our tongues and are linked to our olfactory senses (smell). Sweet, sour, bitter, salty and spicy flavours are processed through our gustatory sense.

A young girl playing with leaves

Olfactory (smell)

Smell is processed through ‘Olfactory’ receptors located in the nose. The olfactory senses can distinguish between a range of smells including pungent, flowery, putrid and musty.

A man with two boys and a dog

Vestibular (movement)

Movement and balance are processed by ‘Vestibular’ receptors which are located in our inner ear. Any activity which changes the position of our heads effects are vestibular senses. Usually the vestibular and visual senses work very closely together. Vestibular senses can distinguish between speed and direction of movement.

A boy jumping

Proprioceptive (body awareness)

Body awareness or where parts of our bodies are and how they are moving (e.g. hand waving beside head) are processed by the ‘Proprioception’ sense. Proprioceptive receptors are triggered by movement and muscle contraction (tightening).