Questions tagged [senses]

The physiological mechanisms by which organisms perceive their environment.

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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 ...
JM97's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
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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. ...
Jan Hudec's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
n1k31t4's user avatar
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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 ...
ali's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Sean Lake's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
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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,...
StarlightDown's user avatar
1 vote
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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 ...
Jyotishraj Thoudam's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
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 ...
B.Swan's user avatar
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3 answers
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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 ...
Semper Ambroscus's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
307 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 experimented with it for extra sensory abilities. It has also been said it ...
Muze's user avatar
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1 answer
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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;...
Tami's user avatar
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6 votes
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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 via ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
Zauberin Stardreamer's user avatar
1 vote
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275 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 ...
Hammar's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
186 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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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,...
Remus Cristian's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
132 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 ...
Jesvin Jose's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Zxyrra's user avatar
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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?
Marcel's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Santropedro's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
tparker's user avatar
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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" ...
Christos Hayward's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
J.Todd's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
7k 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?
Muze's user avatar
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1 vote
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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, ...
Ebbinghaus's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
Jonathan Quinth's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
5k views

What happens to a snail if we cut off its antennae?

First off, I don't know why snails have antennas. Are they eyes? And what if we cut those antennae off? If they are like eyes, could a blind snail survive somehow?
user46147's user avatar
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25 votes
1 answer
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Can we taste electrons?

Why does licking a 9-Volt battery elicits a taste sensation? Can taste be stimulated by electrical stimulation?
Muze's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
411 views

When and why did humans start disliking the way we naturally smell? [closed]

Like many animals, humans produce a myriad of scents from sweating, bacteria, possibly pheromones, etc. Many of these scents are used throughout the animal kingdom for mate choice, recognition of ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
705 views

Examples of seeking behavior by brainless animals

Are there any examples of brainless animals (e.g. jellyfish) exhibiting seeking behavior, such as following smell or light gradients towards food, or following hormones towards mates?
SuperElectric's user avatar
25 votes
3 answers
117k views

Why do I see different hues of colors between each of my eyes?

Frequently, I see colors with a slightly different hue when looking through my eyes individually. The right eye is more red-tinted ('warmer' hued) and the left is typically more blue-tinted ('cooler' ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
25k views

Are there animals / mammals which only have one eye?

Do all animals (of a certain size and not thinking about worms) have the possibility to perceive depth? Do all mammals have at least two eyes? Are there mammals with more than two eyes?
Martin Thoma's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
486 views

Can somebody be deaf to voices of some people only?

The voice of females is generally of high frequency, while that of males is generally of low frequency. Also, as we age, we gradually keep losing the ability of hearing sounds of high frequencies. ...
dryairship's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
241 views

Any nerves/fibers in foot similar to ulnar nerve in elbow?

I just noticed that when I gently run my fingers along the top of my right foot, I get the same exact "funnybone" sensation in my toes that I get when I hit the ulnar nerve in my elbow. So I ask: are ...
Manny Rodriguez's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
11k views

Why are plants classified in living things? [closed]

@Volunteers Beware that I am none of the biological magnates. Nor a philosopher. This is just a sign of curiosity. And, I want only an intuition that enables me to see the difference. As far as I ...
Sufyan Naeem's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
548 views

How does the "heat vision" of some snakes work?

Some snakes have an infrared sense which is used to track warmblooded animals. How does that organ work? And would a similar organ be possible in a warmblooded animal?
ratchet freak's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
6k views

How can some animals see ultraviolet or infrared light?

I know that some animals like birds, bees, and fish can see ultraviolet and infrared light. Whether it is to detect flowers that bear nectar, or the urine trails of prey. But what I don't understand ...
AyyAyyRon97's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
96 views

Is there a lower temperature limit, below which we cannot sense a difference in temperature?

At work I have to handle samples stored at -20 and -70 degrees Celsius, and they don't feel that different to me.
Ahmed Abdullah's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
8k views

Depolarization and hyperpolarization in stereocilia of the inner ear

It’s a well mentioned fact that when the stereocilia of the cochlear hair cells bend in one direction, the hair cell depolarizes, and when the stereocilia bend in the other direction, the cell ...
lightweaver's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
50 views

How does kinesthetic work and with what do we sense this?

I know that kinesthetic and proprioception are different things but, in contrast to proprioception, I don't know how kinesthetic works. A broad explaination as well as very specific(but explained ...
Jeroentetje3's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
112 views

What are the reasons that soap has so different smell and flavour?

Everybody has tried to taste soap in their childhood. One would think that if soap has a tasty smell it would have tasty flavor too. But we know it is not true (in the common cases). But why is there ...
blackcornail's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
5k views

Pitch shift in hearing after wisdom teeth removal

Yesterday I had my wisdom teeth removed. This morning, when I heard our phone ringing, it sounded a little lower-pitched than usual (I have perfect pitch). Sure enough, when I opened FL Studio (music-...
Drew McGowen's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
174 views

Why are our bodies created to itch when histamine is released by our immune systems?

Why do bug bites and cuts itch when scratching them clearly doesn't help us survive? Did our early ancestors need to rely on this itching sensation, or is it just that the receptors for itches just ...
moonman239's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
28 views

Peculiarity of chemo senses [closed]

We can easily recall our visual stimulus and auditory stimulus but why can't we recall chemical stimulus like smell and pain? We can recall a song or picture but we can't exactly recall smell and ...
Naveen Kumaar's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can bats hear such high frequencies?

I attended a talk that glossed over some biology as it was talking about a certain protein. The speaker mentioned humans can hear up to, often less than 20kHz frequencies, whereas bats can hear up to ...
James's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
444 views

External sensory stimuli that awaken a person from sleep

An external sound or touch can awaken someone. Can a light? It would have to be very strong, but part of the reason might be that it would have to penetrate the eyelids. And can a smell or taste? ...
h34's user avatar
  • 227
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Latency differences between our senses

I would be interested in knowing how long it takes between the moment something touches our skin and the moment something is activated in the brain. Also how long does it take in total until we ...
Mehdi's user avatar
  • 245
21 votes
1 answer
9k views

Why does mint oil feel cold on the skin?

When putting (japanese) mintoil on the skin it produces a cool feeling. You can experience this, when adding it to your bath or using a spray with mint oil on your skin. The cool feeling occures ...
Kaadzia's user avatar
  • 321
5 votes
1 answer
457 views

Can other animals see black differently?

I am not sure if this is the right place for this question, but this is a debate that has been going on between two colleagues for days and I need a resolution because it's driving me crazy. So any ...
Raiden616's user avatar
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