The sixth sense: balance

  • #1
DaveC426913
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The senses are, in a nutshell, methods by which we gather information about the outside world.

I've never understood why balance is not considered a sixth sense. It is a way that we gather information about the outside world that is unique from the other senses. It tells us which way is down.

The fact that our sense of balance is located in our ear is irrelevant - the ear is merely an organ.

The fact that balance uses tiny hairs and grains to do its sensing doesn't subsume it under touch. The hairs are not touching anything external. It seems to me a sense should be defined by the type of information it gathers, not by the implementation.

Is my logic flawed?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
russ_watters
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There is no "five senses", scientifically. That's just something Aristotle came up with that people still use because it's convenient for laypeople to remember. Scientists recognize that there are many more than that.
This is no firm agreement among neurologists as to the number of senses because of differing definitions of what constitutes a sense. One definition states that an exteroceptive sense is a faculty by which outside stimuli are perceived.[1] The traditional five senses are sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste: a classification attributed to Aristotle.[2] Humans also have at least six additional senses (a total of eleven including interoceptive senses) that include: nociception (pain), equilibrioception (balance), proprioception & kinesthesia (joint motion and acceleration), sense of time, thermoception (temperature differences), and in some a weak magnetoception (direction)[3].
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sense



We have had other threads on the subject (though it has been a while). You can do a search.
 
  • #3
DaveC426913
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There is no "five senses", scientifically. That's just something Aristotle came up with that people still use because it's convenient for laypeople to remember. Scientists recognize that there are many more than that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sense
Right. I guess I was relying on a grade school definition of the senses. Some reading is in order.
 

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