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Webrain Reports Archive

#230 - Beyond Five Senses

The human senses are generally identified as sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell. In recent years, however, it has become clear that our senses are more complex and this simple list of five is incomplete and cannot account for all the sensations that the human body can detect. The exact number of human senses hasn’t been settled quite yet. Some say there are around 20, while others suggest that there are more than 70. The additional senses include "Thermoception" which detects heat and cold, "Proprioception" which tells you where your body parts are relative to other parts, and the "Sense of Time" which allows you to perceive the flow of time. 

In this report, Webrain focused in particular on the sense known as "Interoception." This is a set of senses that allow the brain to understand the internal state of the body and is a mechanism that monitors the body's internal organs, such as the cardiopulmonary and digestive systems, and alerts the body when abnormalities occur. Recent research has shown that problems interpreting interoception are also associated with anxiety, depression, PTSD, ADHD, OCD, and eating disorders. Some efforts are underway to alleviate these symptoms by improving the function of the interoception. This report also examines a range of other topics related to the human senses, such as neurodiversity (co-existence with people with atypical mental and behavioral traits) and the multi-sensory experience. Webrain believes that a better understanding of the human senses is critical not only in terms of well-being and mental health but also in terms of product development, maximizing customer experience and designing a better employee experience in the workplace.

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