Sense organs

How many communication channels does an organism possess? In how many ways can it get information?

The receivers for gathering information, the receptors, are what we commonly call the sense organs. Scientists distinguish six sense organs which they consider the prin­cipal ones: those concerned with vision, hearing, equilib­rium, taste, smell and skin sensibility.

As for the ‘non-principal’ senses, they are innumerable. The skin, for example, contains a great number of receptors. Some respond to a slight touch (these are responsible for the ‘sense of touch’), others respond to a stronger impact and their stimulation is perceived as pain. A third type responds to cold, and a fourth is sensitive to warmth. These are but a few of the long list of skin receptors.

The internal organs also have many specific receptors. There are receptors to determine the quality of the food that enters the stomach, others to measure the blood pres­sure, and still others to test the amount of carbon dioxide dissolved in the blood. We are never even aware that they are functioning. The information being constantly sent to the brain from the internal organs does not penetrate our consciousness.

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