Friday, 26 February 2010
How many senses do you have? Five?
Are you sure?
When I was little I had a very pronounced sixth sense, though I couldn't use it consciously: it seemed only to function while I was sleeping. I would, quite reliably, rotate in my bed to align myself north-south... and if my bed wasn't the right way round, I'd fall onto the floor.
Magnetoception is a recognised phenomenon in migratory birds, who use it to navigate, but humans aren't supposed to have it... personal experience suggests that's nonsense! Although I do wish I could use it consciously.
In fact, we all have more senses than we might be able to name. One of my favourite is proprioception, which relates to your knowledge of where the various parts of your body are at any given moment - and enables clever things like pushing a needle up through fabric in just the right place.
Check out the Wikipedia page on sense for a list of human senses, then come back and let me know if any of them surprise you. Which is your most important sixth sense?