Questions tagged [senses]

The physiological mechanisms by which organisms perceive their environment.

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28 views

Are there gaps in what our ears can hear?

I know about the hair cells in our Cochlea and it is the movement of the fluid that makes them vibrate. And it is this that activates the transmission of electrical signals to the brain that become ...
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1answer
25 views

Is there a scientific explanation for male and female fragrance preferences?

The following is only anecdotal evidence, but in my experience it's very consistent. When products have added fragrance (cosmetics, soap, air freshner, candles, etc), women often seem to enjoy the ...
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1answer
44 views

Do nerves work as I think they work and what does that mean for our senses?

Let me start off with a couple of metaphors. In the third Lord of the Rings film, a signal for help is sent from Minas Tirith to Gondor, using a chain of beacons. When the keepers of one of these ...
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0answers
30 views

Can creatures that can see color in completely different visible spectrum exists?

From wikipedia - "The visible spectrum is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye." So humans can see the light from 400-700 nm and this is because our eyes can ...
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1answer
26 views

A speculative question about sensation

I know this is rather speculative and I am not a biologist, but I have womdered about this for a long time. I have always been able to pinpoint the central line of any part of my body exactly as if ...
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0answers
24 views

Efficacy of sonic kangaroo deterrents

Bender (2003) tested the efficacy of sonic kangaroo deterrents. Their device is static (and apparently ineffective). Has there been any rigorous testing of the whistle-like 'kangaroo deterrent' ...
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1answer
155 views

How exactly does sensory substitution work?

Sensory substitution, when one of sensory modality changes into another sensory modality to help someone restore the ability to perceive defective sensory using a working sensory modality. For example,...
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2answers
37 views

why do we tighten out muscles against cold?

When I'm in shower and I want to open the cold water on myself suddenly I make my muscles so tight before I open the water and that helps so much in being able to handle the shock. Why does tightening ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the direction of the processing of light by the (human) retina and how does it happen?

Quoting Textbook of Medical Physiology by Guyton and Hall, 2016, page 647, ...the functional components of the retina, which are arranged in layers from the outside to the inside as follows: (...
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1answer
10k views

How do we sweat immediately after drinking water on a hot day?

On hot summer days, when I drink water to quench my thirst, my body immediately responds by sweating in 5 to 10 seconds or maybe less. How does our body detect the presence of water in the stomach so ...
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1answer
38 views

Are there organisms sensing conformations, which we humans can't sense directly? [closed]

Are there organisms which can sense the conformations, which we humans can't sense directly, i.e. without using any equipment? If there are organisms which can sense conformations ("the shape or ...
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1answer
178 views

What causes Pseudomonas fragi to smell sweet?

I am working with Pseudomonas fragi and I could not help but notice that it smells sweet, which probably explains its species name 'fragi' from 'fragum', strawberry in Latin. Does anybody know what ...
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2answers
8k views

Why don't chilli peppers taste as hot in space?

The following commentator writes: Chili peppers don’t taste as hot in space as they do on Earth. Nobody knows why. We know that the 'hot' feeling of chilli peppers is caused by Capsaicin. We read: ...
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1answer
137 views

Can platypuses communicate via electroreception?

I know at least some electroreceptive fish are capable of basic communication with other members of their species via varying their own bioelectric signals. However, I can't find any information as ...
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1answer
73 views

What are the response frequencies of sensory neurons?

Both visual and auditory stimuli are sent to the brain via ganglion cells (retinal resp. spiral). Both are the first cells along their resp. pathways that produce action potentials. My question ...
6
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1answer
251 views

Question to the color scientists

I have a question. if you look at these two spectral diagrams (SPDs) from two different televisions that is calibrated to the same white point (D65) 6500K with a spectrometer. The problem is that ...
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0answers
97 views

Cold water sour taste

Recently I underwent a wisdom tooth extraction, and while there is still numbness I have observed something peculiar. If I drink cold water, it tastes sour, however the same effect is not observed ...
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1answer
56 views

Do creatures exist which can stop their hearing at will?

Many people would love to have the ability to shut out noise while sleeping, in the same way that we have eyelids to shut out light. If this capability exists in nature, it could offer clues to ...
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1answer
181 views

How exactly do mosquitoes navigate directly on target?

There is a question on mosquito orientation in darkness, however the answer does not address it very specifically and I'm more interested in mosquito ability to lock on target than general navigation. ...
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3answers
1k views

How do our eyes detect light at different frequencies?

Here is my confusion: we can see colored light of different wavelengths: form red to violet. To my understanding, these stimuli cause a confirmational change in the photoreceptors in our eyes and ...
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0answers
33 views

Is perception contrast based?

If I understand it correctly, humans can discriminate shades and colours based on their inherent contrast, as in we can see colors because there are different colors. Same for shades and for acoustic ...
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0answers
181 views

Empty room, Room full with stuffs & Auditory adaptation to reflection of sounds

Background When a room is full with stuffs like furniture, electronic utilities, books etc. it's hard to hear reflections of sounds made by us (talking, playing an instrument, sound from falling ...
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4answers
1k views

Why do humans not have a powerful sense of smell?

It seems like a useful ability to be able to detect many different things about, say, another organism. A lot of mammals have this ability. Why not humans? Did we evolve it out or never develop it?
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250 views

Why bipolar neurons in retina transfer information via graded potentials?

Why should bipolar cells prefer graded potentials to action potentials? My attempt: I know that graded potentials are better in processing information since stimulus is directly proportional to ...
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1answer
349 views

Why does olfactory sensation need lateral inhibition?

Why does olfactory sensation need lateral inhibition? If it's not helping in spatial discrimination then why is it needed? Don't we just smell the odour which is more concentrated? My attempt: It is ...
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1answer
2k views

Do birds ever fly in clouds?

Do (some) birds ever fly in fog or clouds so that they would not be able to see either the ground or the sun? Assuming the visibility is good enough so they can see obstacles in time to avoid them. ...
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1answer
602 views

How does a tiny spider interpret/cope with gravity?

The Question: Does a tiny spider know that it is walking on a wall or a ceiling as opposed to the (horizontal) ground? Does gravity play a role in this knowledge? Further thoughts: I am interested ...
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1answer
46 views

Did some senses evolve from other senses or are they considered independent?

Are there evolutionary connections between different senses, in such a way that one sense is evolved from the other or from a common root, e.g. the possibility that hearing and touch are derived from ...
7
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1answer
205 views

Origin of logarithmic sense responses?

It's my understanding that most human sensory systems obey an approximately logarithmic stimulus/response curve. This includes the visual system, auditory system, and the smallest perceptible ...
7
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1answer
167 views

Can any organisms see non-electromagnetic radiation?

Some examples would be cosmic rays, neutron radiation, alpha radiation, beta radiation, muon radiation, and antimatter radiation. Some related questions: How is non-electromagnetic radiation detected,...
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0answers
64 views

How do we feel temperature? [closed]

Recently I watched a Youtube Video by Veritasium He said we are actually feeling the rate of heat transfer, not the temperature. But how do we feel temperature? How is feeling temperature different ...
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2answers
2k views

Do humans learn to distinguish different senses?

Does a human being learn to differentiate between its senses at some stage in their development? Is there a time when it, for example, cannot tell if an input is a taste or a visual image? The ...
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3answers
4k views

Are there animal species that sense infrared light with their eyes?

I asked a question earlier today about birds with infrared vision but this time I am asking about animals in general. I know that many snakes have receptors between their eyes and their snout that ...
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0answers
142 views

Can LSD in very small amounts increase mental ability?

Can one take a small amount of LSD(acid) and not trip but still benefit from the intended purpose? It was said the military invented it for extra sensory abilities. It has also been said it could ...
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1answer
240 views

Terminology regarding sensory receptors

I was recently asked the following question: Compare the following pairs of receptors in the same sensory system. Include in your discussion: The distribution in the sensory epithelium;...
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1answer
814 views

What would happen if you “rewired” your eyes with your nose?

The nose sends sensory input through transduction of chemicals in the air via the olfactory nerves/tracts to the primary olfactory cortex. The eyes send sensory input through transduction of light ...
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1answer
30 views

Does size correlate with sensory abilities?

On average, do smaller animals have senses inferior to those of bigger animals? I ask because it seems like a somewhat logical assumption: smaller eyes would in theory collect less light, and smaller ...
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0answers
224 views

Are Sharks able to detect electromagnetic waves using their Electroreception ability?

I will include some publications and links that may help. I could not concluded an answer with my limited knowledge on the subject. Shark Passive electroreception sensitive to low frequency (below 50 ...
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2answers
152 views

Do we know the physical-nature of “senses” or qualia? [closed]

We have a peculiar property/ phenomenon called having 'sense' or qualia, also sometimes called as consciousness. Such as, if we see a red flower; we perceive a particular colour, "red". That is an ...
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0answers
227 views

Why are interneurons needed in the spinal cord for polysynaptic reflexes and somatosensory tracts to the brain?

The single explanation I found for the polysynaptic reflex is that the interneuron diverges into more pathways, such as the efferent motor neuron, the inhibitory neuron to the opposite extensor muscle,...
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2answers
93 views

How well can humans detect vitamin-richness?

Humans do prefer fatty, sweet/starchy and salty. And fatty foods are rich in vitamins. How well can humans detect vitamin content apart from fattiness of food? Can humans choose the vitamin-richer of ...
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1answer
85 views

What evolved to produce sweetness, plants or consumers? [closed]

I couldn't find an existing answer on this site, although I may be wrong. What evolved to produce "sweetness", a pleasant reaction to the presence of sugar? (A) Plants, using it to lure in consumers ...
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5answers
1k views

What is the smallest difference in light wavelength that the human eye can detect?

Is there a lower limit to the difference in wavelength (colour) our eyes can detect? If so, is this consistent between individuals? Are there any other traits correlated with precise colour vision?
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2answers
237 views

Is it a coincidence that the sensory systems for smell, vision, taste, and hearing are all near each other in the head?

I was wondering if it's an evolutionary advantage to have many sensory systems in a small place of the body, the head. This applies to mammals, reptiles, synapsid, dinosaurs... and many more. My ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Can “red” cone cells actually see much red light?

In electronics, the most common color scheme is the "red-green-blue" (RGB) scheme. This choice is often justified by claiming that the long- (L), medium- (M), and short- (S) type cones in the human ...
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0answers
427 views

Is there a meaningful difference between direct and indirect light

I don't see a basis for a distinction, but I've heard several people distinguish between direct and indirect light for people, claiming that indirect light would be better in many cases. "Direct" ...
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1answer
596 views

Why is your taste affected due to sinuses?

I heard someone say "My sinuses are acting up, I can't taste the food." I don't think the person is lying, they probably believe this but I'm having trouble seeing how the sinuses would affect the ...
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1answer
5k views

Why does my eyes see a red spot when over exposed to light?

When I looked into my projector when it was on the blue screen it left a red spot in my vision. I should not have tried it but all the colors left a red spot. Why not a blue or yellow spot was left?
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1answer
242 views

Can magnetoreception occur in humans?

Magnetoreception is a sense which allows an animal to detect the Earth’s magnetic field in order to perceive direction, altitude, or location. Magnetoreception is present in bacteria, arthropods, ...
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3answers
794 views

How does the brain immediately know when one's thirst has been quenched?

The question struck me the other day when I drank a glass of water. I understand that there are at least two conditions under which the brain signals thirst: extracellular thirst, when there's not ...