Introduction to Other Senses

What you’ll learn to do: describe the basic anatomy and functions of taste, smell, touch, pain, and the vestibular sense

Image of a hand reaching out to touch a floating piece of flower or dust, in front of a blue sky background.

Vision and hearing have received an incredible amount of attention from researchers over the years. While there is still much to be learned about how these sensory systems work, we have a much better understanding of them than of our other sensory modalities. In this section, we will explore our chemical senses (taste and smell) and our body senses (touch, temperature, pain, balance, and body position).

Learning Objectives

  • Summarize the chemical process of taste and smell
  • Explain the receptors that respond to touch
  • Examine the experience of pain, including how expectations and context affect pain and touch experiences
  • Describe the basic functions of the vestibular, proprioceptive, and kinesthetic sensory systems