Mechanism by which information is received about one's external or internal environment. Stimuli received by nerves, in some cases through specialized organs with receptor cells sensitive to one type of stimulus, are converted into impulses that travel to specialized areas of the brain, where they are analyzed. In addition to the “five senses”—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch—humans have senses of motion (kinesthetic sense), heat, cold, pressure, pain, and balance. Temperature, pressure, and pain are cutaneous (skin) senses; different points on the skin are particularly sensitive to each. Seealso chemoreception, ear, eye, inner ear, mechanoreception, nose, photoreception, proprioception, taste, thermoreception, tongue.
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