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Q: Five senses ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Five senses
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: lynnes-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 04 Jun 2003 13:38 PDT
Expires: 04 Jul 2003 13:38 PDT
Question ID: 213094
I'm looking for anything on the five senses. I am interested in the
senses collectively, but predominantly require individual information
on sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. I want fact and fantasy,
mythology and anecdote, and cross-cultural perceptions.
Subject: Re: Five senses
Answered By: clouseau-ga on 04 Jun 2003 15:10 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello lynnes,

Thank you for your question.

The search for information on the 5 Senses brings about thousands and
thousands of pages, books, lectures, lesson plans, scientific
discoveries and art forms that would fill books to answer with a
complete study. However, I investigated several hundred sources for
you, categorized them and summarized some of the most interesting that
I found:


You can find hundreds of lesson plans and teacher's guides for the 5
senses ranging from kindergarten to college level. her are a few

A nicely done site:

"This is a project based on all of the five senses.  We have put
together this site after three weeks of research...
...Your five senses play in important role in your daily life.  Every
moment in your life, you use at least one of your five senses.   You
touch, hear, see, taste, and smell in order to adapt to a new
environment.   The five senses are important for everyone.  For those
who are blind or deaf, they still use the other three senses..."

Experiments for children on the 5 senses.

A number of good links on education and the 5 senses.

Another good collection of educational links.

And one more collection of links for education.

Education World's page on the 5 senses:

The Five Senses

See, smell, hear and touch ... Education World presents you with
wonderful ways to teach about the five senses!

Preschool links with songs, games, snack and more.

Another good collection of links:

"FUN, FUN, FUN With The Five Senses 
An Internet Hotlist on The Five Senses 
created by Rana Haltmeier
Mansfield Township Elementary

Would you like to learn all about your FIVE SENSES and have fun at the
same time? If you said 'Yes!', then you are at the right place..."

Film, literature and music:

The official site for the movie "The Five Senses".

"...Gabrielle Rose came to see Ruth as a woman who may use touch every
day in her job but "who is out of touch with people and hasn't herself
been touched for years."

The sense most deeply associated with human sensuality and intimacy,
touch is at the center of THE FIVE SENSES, illuminated by the story of
Ruth Seraph, the widowed massage therapist played by Gabrielle Rose.
Rose is best known for her stirring performance as a distraught mother
in Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter. Here, she is also a mother, but
this time one who watches in disbelief as her rebellious teenage
daughter accidentally loses a client's 2 year-old. From the moment the
child goes missing, Ruth's notions of what it means to be in touch and
to truly touch another person are altered..."

Yahoos links and reviews of the above movie:

"Five Senses is a carefully crafted drama pivoting around the five
senses - touch, taste, hearing, smell and vision - and the lives of
five characters, each searching for a significant and intimate human
connection. The story takes place over an intense three-day period in
which a child has disappeared, galvanizing the public and media's
attention. Against this dramatic backdrop, five people are engaged in
their own personal crisis. During the course of the film, each
character discovers an essential clue to his or her own true desire.
As the story of the missing girl is resolved, so are the stories of
these five characters..."

Listen or buy the song "The Five Senses":


Can you remember when you were once new 
Water flowing on your face 
Can you hear the distant calling 
Long before you joined the race 

* Five senses four fences three turns back to you 

Can you taste the joy of love 
Before you reach the jealous bone 
Did you smell the scent of hope 
Before the strain of guilt hit home 


Love is the answer faith is the truth 
Hope never ending… coming back to you.."

Writing Courses

Five Senses in Creative Writing
K30.1525 • Packard. 4 points.
May 20–June 28: M W 11 a.m.–2 p.m. (sec. 1).

Literature has long been created by utilizing and redefining the
evidence of the individual’s five senses. Creative writers are always
trying to develop new ways to approach their process. Documenting
experiences on the use of the five senses can be vital to one’s future
fiction, poems, or plays. The sounds of Chinese hand bells ringing,
the smells of Moroccan cuisine, the touch of New Zealand lamb’s wool,
the sight of Antarctica’s white terrain against a blue sky and water,
and the taste of France’s finest chocolate mousse are some of the
global exercises we explore in our minds. Every genre is attempted
once, and students select two authors and genres from foreign
countries for their inspirational reading. Further readings of Peter
Schaffer, Marsha Norman, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, Isak
Dinesen, and John Steinbeck are expected. Students create a 30-page
final piece in poetry, fiction, or playwriting and deliver an
excerpted reading to the NYU community.

Poe's Use of the Five Senses in His Poetry

Hi, I am writing a research paper on Poe's use of the five senses and
imagery in his poetry as a tool to draw in the reader and involve them
in the events. (I am sure there is something in this forum about it,
but there are SO MANY different topics, and my brain can't process
more then 1/8 of a thing at a time.) Anything you have to say on this
topic will be greatly appreciated. Thank you kindly.

Sight and sound predominate, as they would in a dream. They are much
more vital and common than other sensual detail especially for
symbolism. However Poe madeone comment picked up immediately by
Baudelaire that a color, for example can trigger a connection to
another sense or emotion. Baudelaire's poem "Les Correspondences"
details his understanding of this and is critical for the symbolist
movement. You can find this in translation in various places online.

"The Test of the Five Senses
by Deirdre O'Siodhachain

Wise Athena, pure maiden and warrior, hear my plea! In divine
inspiration you burst forth from your father's head, whole and
complete. Let my words come forth in like manner, and honor she whose
supplicant I am.

Not lightly do I attempt this writing, for the scholar should know her
limits. The world of the book seems remote from the battlefield. Yet
the goddess teaches mortals that the two may meet in the same soul,
and be the greater for it. Though the person of wisdom, her father
Jove, king of gods, gave her the aegis to bear, so all could see
Athena was both protector and teacher to her chosen people. Thus in
like spirit and with humbleness do I begin my task.

For many years have I sought learning about knighthood and chivalry,
reading the tales and treatises of the masters, and so have come in my
small way to instruct others in this knowledge. I am no warrior, and
hesitate to presume where offense could easily be given, yet dear to
my heart are these matters, and my pen will not be still.

Noble knights have asked me to instruct them and tell them how they
should know what conduct is fitting for a knight in the fullness of
chivalry. To they who have honored my learning, I offer this Test of
the Five Senses, so that all may judge what makes a true knight..."

Brief, but interesting advice for writers and the senses:

"Five senses--use them all!
by Will Shetterly

Writers naturally describe what characters see and hear. But if you
really want to immerse your reader in a character's world (whether
it's L.A. in 2001, Athens in 160 B.C., or Neverneverland in a
Nevernevertime), go beyond sight and sound. Include touch, taste, and
smell. If you say that a character is walking beside the sea, the
reader will imagine a generic seaside. But if you mention the cool,
damp sand underfoot and the salt in the wind and a lingering taste of
mustard on the character's lips, the scene becomes specific to your
story, and no one else's..."


Want to buy logowear with the 5 senses? This site has t-shirts,
jerseys, sweatshirts coasters and more.

An interesting metaphysical article:

"Is there more than our five senses are telling us?

Or are we missing something?

We are of course all familiar with the fact that we possess five
senses. We can detect by touch, taste, sight, smell and sound. Thats
it, there isn't any other way for us to detect the environment around
us. Evolution has decreed that we can get by with these five. Well,
yes we can, but it would improve our survival chances if we had more.

Suppose for example we were able to detect when we were in a deadly
radiation field, I think that would be quite handy, a sense that
enabled us to detect radiation. I'm not talking about detecting it
with the senses that we have, such as being able to see radiation for
example, but a new sense organ that would require a new description of
how it detected..."

A question at Ask Yahoo with interesting links:

"Dear Yahoo!: 

Which one of the five senses is the strongest or most well developed?

Amman, Jordan 
Dear Fadwa: 

It's very difficult to quantify the relative strengths of the senses.
Indeed, recent studies are suggesting that they are more
interdependent than we once thought. For most humans, however, sight
seems to be our most dominant and well-developed sense..."

SmartComputing on the 5 senses:

"Editorial Comment 

The Five Senses Of Computing: The PC’s Audiovisual Credentials Are
Secure, But Where Are Touch, Taste & Smell?
 Now that Windows XP is out with its myriad new features and
capabilities, what aspects of the OS (operating system) do you think
get the most press? After an admittedly unscientific survey that
involved scanning media headlines and exchanging anecdotal stories
over our virtual e-mail watercooler, we noted a handful of recurring
subjects. These include the new product activation scheme, the .NET
features, and the new Luna interface...

Unfortunately, the complete article require subscription.

Romance, the bedroom and the 5 senses:

"A Romantic Bedroom Should Appeal to All Five Senses

Practical Tips to Turn Your Bedroom Into a Love Nest

ALEXANDRIA, VA (January 2002) – A romantic bedroom should please the
senses. To enhance intimacy on Valentine's Day – or any day – the
Better Sleep Council offers tips and advice on how to transform your
bedroom into a love nest that appeals to each of your five senses..."

"Meet at the bridge of the Morinière on the commune of Rezé to
appreciate one of the delicious green slide of the agglomeration of
Nantes which, after the park of the Morinière (XIX, century), passes
the Sèvre nantaise and dives on the Vendée.

From the bridge, return to the center of Nantes by the road of Vertou
then by the boulevard of the General De Gaulle to access to the garden
of 5 senses. On 5 700 m2, the Green Space Service and the Environment
(S.E.V.E) has created in 1985 a garden centered on the hearing, the
view, the nose and the touch .

Senses that generate joy, melancholy, appeasement or excitation. ..
Initially destined for blinds, it has become a polyvalent green space.
Its main infrastructures are: the musical fountain that represents
some note music containing each a bell that releases a slide of water,
the sundial makes hot touches connected to cells photoelectric, the
trap to odors that distributes foliage and flower gasoline while the
pergola, adorned of fired earth tiles, representing the most common
leaves and fruits casting accompanied by their name registered in

Marketing and the 5 senses:

"Sensory Brand Management: It Makes (Five) Senses
› › ›   Brand Marketing

BY Martin Lindstrom | September 17, 2002

Most marketing plans appeal to only two senses: sight and hearing. Why
so limited? How come almost all marketing and brand building
concentrate on two senses when we know appealing to all five is likely
to double brand awareness and strengthen the impression a brand leaves
on its audience?..."

An extensive article on exercises for sharpening the senses as relates
to physic ability:

"...We are born with six senses: Seeing (eyes); Hearing (ears);
Touching (skin sensors); Smelling (nose); Tasting (tongue and mouth);
And a sixth sense (mind) which might also be called intuition or
psychic sense. The sixth sense can be extremely powerful, and yet few
people ever develop or use this valuable gift from our creator.

If the truth be known, most of us haven't developed our other five
senses to any great extent, either. We will deal with sensitizing our
first five senses now because our sixth sense utilizes all of the
other five senses from time to time in addition to using its own
mental abilities..."

An interesting set of links to books on the 5 senses.

Outdoor Photography and the 5 senses:

"Seeing With Outdoor Eyes 
Photography and Text By Philip Tulin © All rights reserved.
"Using your 5 senses to maximize your experience in nature." 

The native American scout was able to combine the senses of seeing,
hearing, touching, smelling and tasting to be able to open up a world
of nature awareness. What kind of  photography opportunities would
have a scout had? Probably unlimited. The scout would have seen the
fox feeding its young and all the other wildlife living life the way
modern world people only dream of. Most of the time, modern world
people see the deer from the behind bounding away in a fast pace,
birds fleeing to a higher branch, raccoons killed on the side of the
road by a car and seals hurriedly diving down into the ocean. Since
all modern world people see of wildlife is the outcome of an alarm
call, that is what they tend to believe that all wildlife's day-to-day
activities revolve around fleeing. So, how do photographers take such
wonderful photographs of wildlife in activities that we can only
imagine? It is because some modern world people have added a new
dimension to their awareness. They have also learned to combine all
their senses together similar to the native American scout. They have
learned to see with Outdoor Eyes..."


by Glen Penton

When God gave His People the Passover ceremony about three and a half
millennia ago, at the time He brought Israel up from the land of
Egypt, He gave this observance to point forward to His Messiah, Whom
He would send to make a greater freedom available from a far worse
slavery. So at the Lord's Passover Seder (or supper) which He
commanded through Moses, He taught about the coming Messiah not only
through words, but also through symbols that would be tasted, smelled,
touched and seen. This use the five senses makes and unforgettable
impression to prepare Israel to think deeply and creatively about Him
in preparation for His arrival..."

"God created us in a miraculous way giving us many things to be
grateful for!  The five senses — hearing, seeing, touching, tasting,
smelling — helps us to enjoy Him, but also to learn more about how we
may serve Him!..."

Medical and metaphysical:
A report for the Howard Hughes Foundation on Seeing, Hearing and
Smelling the World

This is an excellent site and can be downloaded in pdf format. Highly

From the Minnesota Deaf/Blind Institute:


Are all five major senses working?

The chart below is not based on any reliable data. Estimates are
quoted in the literature that the percentage of information that we
take in via our eyes is anywhere from 60 to 90%. Of course, if you are
listening to an audio tape, vision doesn’t matter at all. If you are
watching a film strip, hearing is of no consequence. In addition, some
people are visual learners and some people are auditory learners. It
is well-known that two people with identical audiograms may have
strikingly different abilities to understand speech and other sounds.
Perhaps the one who understands speech better is actually an auditory
learner. But even that person misses information. If he/she uses
speech-reading extensively, then a vision impairment on top of a
hearing impairment will cut down on understanding as well..."

LifeSpa on Yoga and the senses:

"Ayurvedic Five Senses Therapy (re-printed from Yoga Journal)

Based on ancient knowledge, this multimodal approach uses sound,
color, taste, smell, and touch to eliminate imbalances at their root.

by Eva M. Herriot..."

A discussion of the energy body and the five senses:

From Cambridge books, UK:

"Medicine and the Five Senses

Edited by W. F. Bynum, Roy Porter

March 1993 | Hardback | 349 pages | ISBN: 0521361141 

From the days of Hippocratic ‘bedside medicine’ to the advent of the
CAT scanner, doctors have always relied on their senses in diagnosing
and treating disease. Medical education, from the apprenticeship, to
the rise of the laboratory, has sought to train the senses of students
who must act like medical detectives. At the same time, debate since
antiquity has pondered the hierarchy of the senses - from noble vision
to baser touch and smell. From the rise of medical and, particularly,
anatomical illustration in the Renaissance, doctors have been
concerned about the relationship between image and reality. This
richly-illustrated collection of essays explores many facets of these
themes. They range widely over time and space and shed much new light
on medical perceptions and the cultural dimensions of the healing

Interesting article:


   Brain scientists have continued to search for the way in which
external stimuli activate the senses notwithstanding the fundamental
message of Quantum Mechanics that their efforts are in vain.  Quantum
Mechanics as well as Hindu Philosophy are at one in denying the
possibility of ‘duality’, i.e. that both ‘subject’ and ‘object’ can
have a separate existence, which therefore raises a question as to the
true operation of the senses.  We shall here examine in some detail
the sensory apparatus of  the body to see whether it’s possible that
Quantum Mechanics and Hindu Philosophy are right, and that the senses
are actually giving us false information.  In particular we shall look
at the operation of neurotransmitters that are capable of activating
the senses from within the brain..."


"The Language of the Five Senses in Japan 
by : Sylvie Ferrari-Gramegna  

One of the reasons why foreigners are challenged and fascinated by
Japan lies in the fact that the essence of its culture reveals itself
in the five senses. I shall try to describe my inner feelings about
Japan through my perception of the five senses as I have experienced
them in the last four years.

The sense of sight is obviously the first one to enter into play when
you set foot in Japan. While in my country Luxembourg, effort is made
to preserve nature in its original state, the action of domesticating
landscapes seems to be the ultimate goal here. Parks, bonsai trees and
stone gardens as well as Ikebana landscapes always try to encapsulate
nature. Even the architecture of teahouses bends to the rules of
landscaping, as windows are placed in such a way to be the framework
for a specific spot in a garden, as is perfectly illustrated in the
Villa Katsura near Kyoto. Only hills and mountains, be it for
religious or practical reasons, seem to be immune from the frenzy of
man-shaped nature. In the overcrowded cities, different trees blooming
all year round are an example of the Japanese people's attachment to
the rhythm of the seasons. The tiny gardens or doorways of traditional
restaurants are a refreshing refuge of silence and beauty. City
residents manage to forget the often grey and sad surroundings and are
able to focus on the few square meters of greenery popping up every
now and then at a corner. In fact hidden beauty is one of the secrets
of Japanese culture..."

I trust my research has provided you with a number of interesting
articles and links on different aspects of the five senses. If a link
above should fail to work or anything require further explanation or
research, please do post a Request for Clarification prior to rating
the answer and closing the question and I will be pleased to assist



Clarification of Answer by clouseau-ga on 04 Jun 2003 22:14 PDT
Hello again lynnes,

All you need do is ask :) Here are a few that may be of interest to

"...Within a year you could be able to "touch" someone over your
mobile phone.

A US company called Immersion has adapted the sensory technology used
in gamepads and joysticks to send physical sensations via a mobile.

"We're thinking in terms of virtual touch," Immersion's Jeffrey Eid
told BBC News Online. "Today you can't really physically touch someone
across the phone. With this technology you can."..."

Columbia University

Mystery of Sense of Touch Is within Scientist's Reach

By Bob Nelson 

"How do you feel? A Columbia biologist is looking for the precise
answer to that question in the cellular structures of the body.

Scientists already know how we see. But how we feel is not well
understood. Martin Chalfie, professor of biological sciences at
Columbia, has developed the first molecular model to offer a
explanation of the sense of touch. The model, which draws on
experiments in microscopic roundworms, describes what scientists call
a mechanotransduction apparatus, a way for mechanical contact to be
translated into sensation..."

Science Friday

"Imagine reaching out your hand and running it along the edge of a
table. You feel its sharp corners; perhaps there is a smooth--yet just
a little rough-- piece of paper sitting on the table as well. You can
tell the cool hardness of a sheet of glass from the warmth of a metal
railing in the sun.

Think about your feet in wet grass -- or on the hot sand of a beach.
Or the sharp prick of a needle, and the shooting pain when you bang
your elbow. Without a sense of touch, all those experiences would feel
pretty much the same..."

University of Connecticut

Researchers Examine How Aging Affects Sense of Touch 

Although scientists have documented many age-related changes, little
has been done to examine how aging affects a person's sense of touch.

In a recent study, a team of UConn researchers examined dynamic touch
- involved when an object is grasped firmly and then swung or wielded
- in elderly volunteers by testing their ability to perceive a tennis
racket's "sweet spot." The sweet spot, or center of percussion, is
defined as the point on the racket at which contact with a ball would
produce the best results.

In an article on "Aging and the Perception of the Racket's Sweet
Spot," published recently in the journal Human Movement Science,
Claudia Carello, a professor of psychology, and her colleagues report
that, like young people, the elderly are able to determine an object's
sweet spot and length simply by holding it...”

Sense of Touch in Birds:

“Vibrations and Touch in Birds
Birds have contact and touch sensors on various parts of their bodies.
These include their feet, bills and tongues ( i.e Woodpeckers). This
relates to the fact that it is these parts of their bodies which most
often come into contact with the rest of the world. In some birds the
tactile sensors are particularly well developed in the bills allowing
them to feed mostly by probing and feeling for prey, this is most
evident in waders. Birds also have special small feathers called
bristles which are situated all around the body and which help birds
know where their feathers are...”

Scientific American:

“...From a faint breeze on the back of the neck to a mosquito that
alights on the arm, the body has a remarkable ability to detect even
the slightest touch. Scientists have uncovered much about the
physiological and anatomical mechanisms of this sense, but the details
of how it works on a molecular level have remained largely unknown.
Part of the difficulty stems from the fact that the nerve endings in
question are extremely small. The findings of a study published today
in the journal Nature, however, offer new insight. According to the
report, researchers have identified a protein, known as BNC1, that
appears to play an important role in a mammal’s ability to sense light

Wired News:,1282,17889,00.html

“An MIT graduate student who developed implants that may give
artificial limbs the sense of touch was awarded the prestigious 1999
Lemelson-MIT prize for inventiveness on Thursday.

Daniel DiLorenzo, who is completing a joint M.D. and Ph.D. program at
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University this
spring, also was recognized for his work on patented medical devices,
including one that helps break the habit of bed-wetting and another
that controls swelling in brain tissue during surgery...”
The Human Body's Senses: Touch Theme Page

Here are a number of links to Internet sites which contain information
and/or other links related to the specific theme of the body's sense
of touch.



Request for Answer Clarification by lynnes-ga on 07 Jun 2003 23:42 PDT

Thank you so much for your additional work. I find it extremely
impressive. A great help in the research I'm having to do.


Clarification of Answer by clouseau-ga on 08 Jun 2003 10:07 PDT
My pleasure, lynnes. Happy to help.

As you can see, there is so much information on the senses available
online, it becomes very difficult to choose the most interesting and
most intriguing. I'm pleased my selections have been helpful for you.


lynnes-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Clouseau, Thank you so much for this - and so quickly!  The research
was excellent, albeit a little short on "touch", thus the four stars.

Subject: Re: Five senses
From: andrewxmp-ga on 07 Jun 2003 22:50 PDT
That sure was a lot of material, considering the fact that there aer
six, count them SIX senses.  The vestibular sense is what gives you
orientation and acceleration information, with the vestibular organs
located in the area next to the inner ear.  Just felt like
enlightening all a bit.

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