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The Sixth Sense - Extrasensory perception (Summary)



EXTRA SENSORY PERCEPTION The induction of mental states from one mind to another In Greek tele mean "distant" and pathe means "experience"). This definition has remained more popular than the more-correct expression thought-transference. 1882 - Fredric W. H. Myers - founder of the Society for Physical Research   

(ESP) and MENTAL TELEPATHY Many studies seeking to detect, understand, and utilize telepathy have been done within this field. The scientific community does not regard telepathy as  a real phenomenon as actual telepathy has never been fielddemonstrated to a greater degree than pure chance under controlled experimental conditions. Telepathy is a common theme in modern fiction and science fiction, with many superheroes and supervillains having telepathic abilities.   

Parapsychology In more recent times, neuroimaging has allowed researchers to actually perform early forms of mind reading. Within the field of parapsychology, telepathy is considered to be a form of extra-sensory perception (ESP) or cognition in which information is transferred through Psi. It is often categorized similarly to precognition and clairvoyance. Various experiments have been used to test for telepathic abilities. Among the most well known are the use of Zener cards and the Ganzfeld experiment.   

Zener cards Zener cards are cards marked with five distinctive symbols. When using them, one individual is designated the "sender" and another the "receiver". The sender must select a random card and visualize the symbol on it, while the receiver must attempt to determine that symbol using Psi. Statistically, the receiver has a 20% chance of randomly guessing the correct symbol, so in order to demonstrate telepathy, they must repeatedly score a success rate that is significantly higher than 20%. If not conducted properly, this method can be vulnerable to sensory leakage and card counting.   

Ganzfeld experiment When using the Ganzfeld experiment to test for telepathy, one individual is designated the receiver and is placed inside a controlled environment where they are deprived of sensory input, and another is designated the sender and is placed in a separate location.

The receiver is then required to receive information from the sender. The exact nature of the information may vary between experiments.   


Parapsychology describes several different forms of telepathy, including latent telepathy and precognitive telepathy. Latent Telepathy, formerly known as "deferred telepathy", is described as being the transfer of information, through Psi, with an observable time-lag between transmission and receipt. Retrocognitive, Precognitive, and Intuitive Telepathy is described as being the transfer of information, through Psi, about the past, future or present state of an individual's mind to another individual. Emotive Telepathy, also known as remote influence or emotional transfer, is the process of transferring  kinesthetic sensations through altered states. Superconscious Telepathy, involves tapping into the superconscious to access the collective wisdom of the human species for knowledge.   

Skepticism and controversy Although not a recognized scientific discipline, people who study certain types of paranormal phenomena such as telepathy refer to the field as parapsychology. Parapsychologists claim that some instances of telepathy are real. Skeptics say that instances of apparent telepathy are explained as the result of fraud, self-delusion and/or self-deception and that telepathy does not exist as a paranormal power.

Parapsychologists and skeptics agree that many of the instances of more popular psychic phenomena, such as mediumism, can be attributed to non-paranormal techniques such as cold reading.

Magicians such as Ian Rowland and Derren Brown have demonstrated techniques and results similar to those of popular psychics, without paranormal means. They have identified, described, and developed psychological techniques of cold reading and hot reading.   

A technique which shows statistically significant evidence of telepathy on every occasion has yet to be discovered.

This lack of reliable reproducibility has led skeptics to argue that there is no credible scientific evidence for the existence of telepathy at all.

Skeptics also point to historical cases in which flaws in experimental design and occasional cases of fraud were uncovered.

Parapsychologists such as Dean Radin, president of the Parapsychological Association, argue that the statistical significance and consistency of results shown by a meta-analysis of numerous studies provides evidence for telepathy that is almost impossible to account for using any other means.   

Technologically enabled telepathy Converging Technologies, a 2002 report exploring the potential for synergy among nano-, bio-, informational and cognitive technologies (NBIC) for enhancing human performance.

Some people, occasionally referred to by themselves or others as "transhumanists", believe that technologically enabled telepathy, coined "techlepathy", "synthetic telepathy", or "psychotronics",will be the inevitable future of humanity. Kevin Warwick of the University of Reading, England is one of the leading proponents of this view and has based all of his recent cybernetics research around developing technology for directly connecting human nervous systems together with computers and with each other.

He believes techno-enabled telepathy will in the future become the primary form of human communication.   

Origins of the concept telepathy According to Roger Luckhurst, the origin of the concept of telepathy (not telepathy itself) in the Western civilization can be tracked to the late 19th century. In his view, science did not frequently concern itself with "the mind" prior to this. As the physical sciences made significant advances, scientific concepts were applied to mental phenomena (e.g. animal magnetism), with the hope that this would help understand paranormal phenomena. The modern concept of telepathy emerged in this historical context.   

The notion of telepathy is dissimilar to two psychological concepts: delusions of thought insertion/removal and psychological symbiosis. This similarity might explain how some people have come up with the idea of telepathy. Thought insertion/removal is a symptom of psychosis, particularly of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Psychiatric patients who experience this symptom falsely believe that some of their thoughts are not their own and that others (e.g., other people, aliens, or conspiring intelligence agencies) are putting thoughts into their minds (thought insertion). Some patients feel as if thoughts are being taken out of their minds or deleted (thought removal). Along with other symptoms of psychosis, delusions of thought insertion may be reduced by antipsychotic medication.   

Psychological symbiosis on the other hand, is a less well established concept.

It is an idea found in the writings of early psychoanalysts, such as Melanie Klein.

It entails the belief that in the early psychological experience of the child (during earliest infancy), the child is unable to tell the difference between his or her own mind, on one hand, and his or her experience of the mother/parent, on the other hand.

This state of mind is called psychological symbiosis; with development, it ends, but, purportedly, aspects of it can still be detected in the psychological functioning of the adult.

Putatively, the experience of either thought insertion/removal or unconscious memories of psychological symbiosis may have led to the invention of "telepathy" as a notion and the belief that telepathy exists.

Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists believe and empirical findings support the idea that people with schizotypal personality disorder are particularly likely to believe in telepathy.  


The Sixth Sense - Extrasensory perception (Summary)

ESP involves reception of information not gained through the recognized physical senses - with the mind. The term was coined by Sir Richard Burtonand adopted by Duke University psychologist J. B. Rhine to denote psychic abilities such as telepathy and clairvoyance. ESP is sometimes casually referred to as a 6th sense, gut instinct or hunch, which are historical English idioms. The term implies acquisition of information by means external to the basic limiting assumptions of science - organisms can only receive information from the past to the present.

Parapsychology is the scientific study of paranormal psychic phenomena, including ESP. Parapsychologists generally regard such tests as the Ganzfeld experiment as providing compelling evidence for the existence of ESP. The scientific community rejects ESP due to the absence of an evidence base, the lack of a theory which would explain ESP, and the lack of experimental techniques which can provide reliably positive results.


This is the body's reaction to apparent danger or threat. Throughout this reaction, certain hormones like adrenalin and cortisol are released, speeding the heart rate, slowing digestion, shunting blood flow to major muscle groups, and changing various other autonomic nervous functions, giving the body a burst of energy and strength. Originally named for its ability to enable us to physically fight or run away when faced with danger, it's now activated in situations where neither response is appropriate, like in traffic or during a stressful day at work. When the perceived threat is gone, systems are designed to return to normal function via the relaxation response, but in our times of chronic stress, this often doesn't happen enough, causing damage to the body.

The fight-or-flight response (also called the fight-or-flight-or-freeze response, hyperarousal, or the acute stress response) was first described by Walter Bradford Cannon.

His theory states that animals react to threats with a general discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, priming the animal for fighting or fleeing. This response was later recognized as the first stage of a general adaptation syndrome that regulates stress responses among vertebrates and other organisms.

Catecholamine hormones, such as adrenaline or noradrenaline, facilitate immediate physical reactions associated with a preparation for violent muscular action.

A typical example of the stress response is a grazing zebra. If the zebra sees a lion closing in for the kill, the stress response is activated. The escape requires intense muscular effort, supported by all of the body s systems. The sympathetic nervous system s activation provides for these needs. A similar example involving fight is of a cat about to be attacked by a dog. The cat shows accelerated heartbeat, piloerection (hair standing on end, normally for conservation of heat), and pupil dilation, all signs of sympathetic arousal. The zebra maintains homeostasis in all states.

Though Cannon, who first proposed the idea of fight-or-flight, provided considerable evidence of these responses in various animals; it became apparent that his theory of response was too simple. Animals respond to threats in many complex ways. Rats, for instance, try to escape when threatened, but will fight when cornered. Some animals stand perfectly still so that predators will not see them. Many animals freeze or play dead when touched in the hope that the predator will lose interest.

Others have more exotic self-protection methods. Some species of fish change color, to camouflage themselves. These responses are triggered by the sympathetic nervous system, but in order to fit the model of fight or flight, the idea of flight must be broadened to include escaping capture in either a physical way or in a sensory way. Thus, flight can be disappearing to another location or just disappearing in place. And often both fight and flight are combined in a given situation.

The fight or flight actions also have polarity - the individual can either fight or flee against something that is threatening, such as a hungry lion, or fight for or fly towards something that is needed, such as the safety of the shore of a raging river.

A threat from another animal does not always result in immediate fight or flight. There may be a period of heightened awareness, during which each animal interprets behavioral signals from the other. Signs such as paling, piloerection, immobility, sounds, and body language communicate the status and intentions of each animal. There may be a sort of negotiation, after which fight or flight may ensue, but which might also result in playing, mating, or nothing at all. An example of this is kittens playing: each kitten shows the signs of sympathetic arousal, but they never inflict real damage.

In the human fight or flight response in prehistoric times, fight was manifested in aggressive, combative behavior and flight was manifested by fleeing potentially threatening situations, such as being confronted by a predator. In current times, these responses persist, but fight and flight responses have assumed a wider range of behaviors. For example, the fight response may be manifested in angry, argumentative behavior, and the flight response may be manifested through social withdrawal, substance abuse, and even television viewing.

Males and females tend to deal with stressful situations differently. Males are more likely to respond to an emergency situation with aggression (fight), while females are more likely to flee (flight), turn to others for help, or attempt to defuse the situation   'tend and befriend'. During stressful times, a mother is especially likely to show protective responses toward her offspring and affiliate with others for shared social responses to threat.

The stress response halts or slows down various processes such as sexual responses and digestive systems to focus on the stressor situation and typically causes negative effects like constipation, anorexia, erectile dysfunction, difficulty urinating, and difficulty maintaining sexual arousal. These are functions which are controlled by the parasympathetic nervous system and therefore suppressed by sympathetic arousal.

Prolonged stress responses may result in chronic suppression of the immune system, leaving the body open to infections. However, there is a short boost of the immune system shortly after the fight or flight response has been activated. This may have filled an ancient need to fight the infections in a wound that one may have received during interaction with a predator.

Stress responses are sometimes a result of mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, in which the individual shows a stress response when remembering a past trauma, and panic disorder, in which the stress response is activated by the catastrophic misinterpretations of bodily sensations.

For potential positive meanings, reference can be made to Hans Selye's psychological concept of eustress or good, healthy stress.

* Emotions

* The Scientific Study Parapsychology, Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) or Mental Telepathy, History of the 6th Sense

* Philosophy Discussion: Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) or Mental Telepathy

* The power of one mind to communicate directly with another without the aid of the five senses. Some people call it the 6th senses. Scientific proof for the existence of such power is difficult to obtain.

* History of the 6th Sense

* In the 1930s, at Duke University in North Carolina J. B. Rhine and his wife Louisa tried to develop psychical research into an experimental science. To avoid the connotations of hauntings and the seance room, they renamed it "parapsychology". While Louisa Rhine concentrated on collecting accounts of spontaneous cases, J. B. Rhine worked in the laboratory, defining terms such as ESP and psi - designing experiments to test them. A simple set of cards was developed, originally called Zener cards (after their designer) - now called ESP cards. They bear the symbols circle, square, wavy lines, cross, and star; there are five cards of each in a pack of 25.

* In a telepathy experiment, the "sender" looks at a series of cards while the "receiver" guesses the symbols. To try to observe clairvoyance, the pack of cards is hidden from everyone while the receiver guesses. To try to observe precognition, the order of the cards is determined after the guesses are made.

* In all such experiments order of the cards must be random so that hits are not obtained through systematic biases or prior knowledge. At first the cards were shuffled by hand, then by machine. Later, random number tables were used, nowadays, computers. An advantage of ESP cards is that statistics can easily be applied to determine whether the number of hits obtained is higher than would be expected by chance. Rhine used ordinary people as subjects and claimed that, on average, they did significantly better than chance expectation. Later he used dice to test for psychokinesis and also claimed results that were better than chance.

* In 1940, Rhine, J. G. Pratt, and others at Duke authored a review of all card-guessing experiments conducted internationally since 1882. Titled Extra-Sensory Perception After Sixty Years, it has become recognized as the first meta-analysis in science. It included details of replications of Rhine's studies. Through these years, 50 studies were published, of which 33 were contributed by investigators other than Rhine and the Duke University group; 61% of these independent studies reported significant results suggestive of ESP. Among these were psychologists at Colorado University and Hunter College, New York, who completed the studies with the largest number of trials and the highest levels of significance.  

* Replication failures encouraged Rhine to further research into the conditions necessary to experimentally produce the effect. He maintained, however, that it was not replicability, or even a fundamental theory of ESP that would evolve research, but only a greater interest in unconscious mental processes and a more complete understanding of human personality.

* Early British research

* One of the first statistical studies of ESP, using card-guessing, was conducted by Ina Jephson, in the 1920s. She reported mixed findings across two studies. More successful experiments were conducted with procedures other than card-guessing. G.N.M. Tyrrell used automated target-selection and data-recording in guessing the location of a future point of light. Whateley Carington experimented on the paranormal cognition of drawings of randomly selected words, using participants from across the globe. J. Hettinger studied the ability to retrieve information associated with token objects.

* Less successful was University of London mathematician Samuel Soal in his attempted replications of the card-guessing studies. However, following a hypothesis suggested by Carington on the basis of his own findings, Soal re-analysed his data for evidence of what Carington termed displacement. Soal discovered, to his surprise, that 4 of his former participants, Randolph Tucker Pendleton IV, Amanda Bailey, Ling Dao and Rachel Brown, evidenced displacement: i.e., their responses significantly corresponded to targets for trials one removed from which they were assigned. Soal sought to confirm this finding by testing these participants in new experiments. 

* Conducted during the war years, into the 1950s, under tightly controlled conditions, they produced highly significant results suggestive of precognitive telepathy. The findings were convincing for many other scientists and philosophers regarding telepathy and the claims of Rhine, but were also prominently critiqued as fraudulent, until, following Soal's death in 1975, support for them was largely abandoned.

* Sequence, position and psychological effects

* Rhine and other parapsychologists found that some subjects, or some conditions, produced significant below-chance scoring (psi-missing); or that scores declined during the testing (the "decline effect"). Some such "internal effects" in ESP scores have also appeared to be idiosyncratic to particular participants or research methods. Most notable is the focusing effect identified in the decade-long research with Pavel Stepanek.

* Personality measures have also been tested. People who believe in psi  ("sheep") tend to score above chance, while those who do not believe in psi ("goats") show null results or psi-missing. This has become known as the "sheep-goat effect".

* Prediction of decline and other position effects has proved challenging, although they have been often identified in data gathered for the purpose of observing other effects. Personality and attitudinal effects have shown greater predictability, with meta-analysis of parapsychological databases showing the sheep-goat effect, and other traits, to have significant and reliable effects over the accumulated data.

* Parapsychological investigation of ESP

* The study of psi phenomena such as ESP is called parapsychology. The consensus of the Parapsychological Association is that certain types of psychic phenomena such as psychokinesis, telepathy, and astral projection are well established.

* A great deal of reported extrasensory perception is said to occur spontaneously in conditions which are not scientifically controlled. Such experiences have often been reported to be much stronger and more obvious than those observed in laboratory experiments. These reports, rather than laboratory evidence, have historically been the basis for the widespread belief in the authenticity of these phenomena. However, it has proven extremely difficult (perhaps impossible) to replicate such extraordinary experiences under controlled scientific conditions.

* Proponents of the ESP phenomena point to numerous studies that cite evidence of the phenomenon's existence: the work of J. B. Rhine Russell Targ, Harold E. Puthoff and physicists at SRI International in the 1970s, and many others, are often cited in arguments that ESP exists. 

* The main current debate concerning ESP surrounds whether or not statistically compelling laboratory evidence for it has already been accumulated. The most accepted results are all small to moderate statistically significant results. Critics may dispute the positive interpretation of results obtained in scientific studies of ESP, as they claim they are difficult to reproduce reliably, and are small in effect. Parapsychologists have argued that the data from numerous studies show that certain individuals have consistently produced remarkable results while the remainder have constituted a highly significant trend that cannot be dismissed even if the effect is small.

* Extrasensory perception and hypnosis

* There is a common belief that a hypnotized person is able to demonstrate ESP. Carl Sargent, a psychology major at theUniversity of Cambridge, heard about the early claims of a hypnosis-ESP link and designed an experiment to test whether they had merit. He recruited 40 fellow college students, none of whom identified themselves as having ESP, and then divided them into one group that would be hypnotized before being tested with a pack of 25 Zener cards and a non-hypnotized control group that would be tested with the same cards. The control subjects averaged a score of 5 out of 25 right, exactly what chance would indicate. The subjects who were hypnotized did more than twice as well, averaging a score of 11.9 out of 25 right. Sargent's own interpretation of the experiment is that ESP is associated with a relaxed state of mind and a freer, more atavistic level of altered consciousness.

* Skepticism

* Among scientists in the National Academy of Sciences, 96% described themselves as "skeptical" of ESP; 4% believed in psi and 10% felt that parapsychological research should be encouraged.. The National Academy of Sciences had previously sponsored the Enhancing Human Performance report on mental development programs, which was critical of parapsychology.

* Skeptics claim that a scientific methodology that shows statistically significant evidence for ESP has not been documented[ design of parapsychological studies.

* Critics of experimental parapsychology hold that there are no consistent and agreed-upon standards by which "ESP powers" may be tested. It is argued that when psychics are challenged by skeptics and fail to prove their alleged powers, they assign all sorts of reasons for their failure, such as that the skeptic is affecting the experiment with "negative energy."

* Cognitive and humanistic research

* In the 1960s, in line with the development of cognitive psychology and humanistic psychology, parapsychologists became increasingly interested in the cognitive components of ESP, the subjective experience involved in making ESP responses, and the role of ESP in psychological life. Memory, for instance, was offered as a better model of psi than perception. 

* This called for experimental procedures that were not limited to Rhine's favoured forced-choice methodology. Free-response measures, such as used by Carington in the 1930s, were developed with attempts to raise the sensitivity of participants to their cognitions. These procedures included relaxation, meditation, REM-sleep, and the Ganzfeld (a mild sensory deprivation procedure). These studies have proved to be even more successful than Rhine's forced-choice paradigm, with meta-analyses evidencing reliable effects, and many confirmatory replication studies. Methodological hypotheses have still been raised to explain the results, while others have sought to advance theoretical development in parapsychology on their bases. Moving research out of the laboratory and into naturalistic settings, and taking advantage of naturally occurring conditions, has been a related development.

* Can the 6th sense predict

Zeeshan Javed

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker


* Because of the large number of people who have had such extra-sensory experiences as foreseeing the future, seeing what seemed to be spirits, and possibly reading the minds of others, there is a good probability that all humans have what is called a 6th sense. Some people seem to have it more than others. It is possible to verify that you have this sense and perhaps even improve your sensitivity to it.

* Questions you may have to include:

Do I have the 6th sense? 

How can I tell if I have it? 

How can I improve my 6th sense? 

Everyone has all senses

* Just as almost everyone has the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, likewise everyone has the 6th sense. Of course, there are some people who have unfortunately lost one or more of their senses, due to injury or illness, but in general everyone has all of these senses.

* Since the 6th sense is a very weak sense, many people go through life without realizing their extra capabilities.

* Just like some people have sharper vision than most other people, some people also have a more sensitive 6th sense than others.

Verifying that you have the 6th sense

* Since this sense is also very unpredictable, it is sometimes difficult to verify that you have it. You may have experienced using the 6th sense and not even have realized it. One exercise is to try to recall events where your 6th sense was possibly working:

* Think back of dreams you had that later seemed to come true. These are times when you experience déjà vu or the feeling that you have been through this before. 

Recall the times that you had a hunch or feeling that something would happen and then it really did happen. Of course, most times these feelings are the result of knowledge you may have about the incident, but there are times when you just had that special feeling and then the event came true. 

* Think of the times you have thought of the same thing at the same time as another person. Eliminate those times that it was just a coincidence. Also think of the times when you seemed to know what someone was thinking. Eliminate those situations where you could read their body language. 

* Remember situation where you felt a spiritual presence of someone or something. This can include times after funerals or when you were in church. 

Recalling these events shows that there were times in your life when you used what appeared to be your 6th sense.

* Improving your 6th sense

* Just as it is very difficult if not impossible to improve your vision through exercises, it is also difficult to improve your 6th sense capabilities beyond what you were born with. On the other hand, you can improve your sensitivity to your 6th sense, just like you can be more aware of your other senses.

* One thing to remember is that the 6th sense seems to work less the harder a person tries to use it. It seems to work the best when you don't try.

* Consider the exercise above, where you recalled times when it seemed you were experiencing your 6th sense. Now think back and try to remember exactly how you felt when that event happened. Then try some predictions, guesses or other exercises similar to those explained in Sixth Sense Experiments.

* By practicing using those feelings, you may be able to improve your 6th sense capabilities. Note that getting those feelings also includes being more sensitive to all of your senses.

* Everyone seems to have the sixth sense. You can verify it for yourself by recalling times when you had experiences that can be classified as using your 6th sense. You may be able to improve your awareness of your 6th sense by trying to get the same internal feelings as you did on those times you used your 6th sense.

* Sure, but there really is no compelling evidence to point towards this so called sixth sense.

* Unless of course you are referring to "that feeling you get when someone is watching you." Things of that nature could be an underused instinct left behind from our days as hunters; something evolution as deemed unnecessary for modern humans.

* However I doubt anyone possess the ability to foretell an event.

* Yes, but I wouldn't call it 6th sense though, that makes me feel like a freak. I'll rather termed that feeling as an 'instinct'.

* There were times when I had an instinct over something but totally ignored it, only to regret it later. For example, one day I had an instinct I would lost my jacket soon and that I should just keep it at home. I completely ignored that instinct, and true enough, I lost the jacket about a week later... left it in the bus.

* There were bigger incidents, but I guess you already know what I meant. It's worth paying attention to our instincts.

* How to develop your sixth sense

* Everyone has it.

* Everyone is aware of their five basic senses, seeing, feeling, smelling, hearing and tasting. What everyone is not so well aware of is their sixth sense, that sense of otherworldliness, a connection to something more and greater than their physical senses are able to perceive.

This is the entrance to the world of the unseen encounter, the unheard communication, the unfelt touch of someone from the spiritual world trying to make a connection with someone in the physical body.

* Nothing to fear.

* The sixth sense is a part of everyone whether or not they like it. It is a normal part of the human psyche and not abnormal or reserved for special or gifted persons. Thanks to the media and to religion, it has been misrepresented and as a result, people associate the spirit world with fear and trepidation. A person has more to fear going to their car in the parking lot after work than from those souls in the spirit world. Contrary to the media s misrepresentations, those in spirit do not have physical bodies to carry out evil deeds like some thug in a parking lot.

* It is scientific. 

* Every human being is equipped from birth with what they need to communicate with the spirit world from where they came, and to where they will eventually go when they give up their physical body. This is the same scientific phenomenon that works in the transmission of electronic information such as the television or radio. These require that you tune into a particular band or frequency to get the program that you want. The sixth sense is similar in that it requires tuning in to another person s frequency or to the frequency of someone in the spirit world. Electronic tuning is done through electronic means that is mechanical in nature. Spiritual tuning is done through the brain with mental focus, intent and desire being the means.

* Mental tuning.

* Although, tuning by mental focus is inconsistent and capricious, while electronic tuning is reliable, consistent and tangible, it is no less scientific. The difference being that psychic and medium communication is in its infancy as far as future development goes. It has a scientific basis for its manifestation because all things that happen work according to scientific laws, even by laws that haven t been discovered yet. Consider technology that we take for granted, anyone that would have predicted one hundred years ago where we would be today, would have been laughed to scorn. So it is with mediums and making contact with the so-called dead, it is a science in its infancy.

* You've already had contact. 

* One doesn't have to be a skillful medium or an appointed saint to communicate with the souls from the spirit world. At one time or another, one and all that is living these days see them, hear from them, touch by them, smell them, moreover while in the awake status or during a dream. Those that can't remember have the appreciation are not conscious of the signs or, because of alarm and lack of knowledge intended through religious conviction, are in denial. This is the first step in development of your sixth sense, recognizing the times that you have been touched by those in the spirit world. 

* Proprioception


* Humans have six senses, why does everyone think we only have five?

* This has nothing to do with seeing dead people or being psychic. We've obviously got smell, taste, touch, hearing and sight. However, in addition to these five, our inner ear senses our body's orientation in space. Somehow, we've learned that five is golden, and got stuck on that number. The technical term for the "normal" sixth sense that 'mattbw' describes is proprioception.

* The sense of equilibrium is part of a larger sense or set of senses known as kinesthetics.

The sense of kinesthetics, while often not regarded as a sense or as a form of intelligence, is in fact essential to everything that we do.

It involves many different kinds of intelligence:

the ability to understand and interact with dimensional shapes such that we are able to navigate successfully through a room.

as a sense of timing and coordination, fine-motor control and the manner in which both the whole body and its parts move, its deportment or dynamics.

apprehending the actions, feelings, or dynamic abilities of other people, without the medium of words.

Such things as Haragei (belly talk) are aspects of kinesthetics. 

The traditional Japanese arts provide extensive training in kinesthetics.

* But then what about the third sense in sensei's above post, interpreting information without words (I'd call it empathy)? Though this relies on sight and sound, it really is a separate, internal sense. Some people are better at it than others, and some people are completely lacking in it (autistic people, for example). This sense develops from experience just as our other senses do, but this it takes stimulation from social interaction, instead of the environment. I think that can be classified as a sixth sense.

* "Proprioception" is different from touch. Our tactile sense is achieved through the nerve endings in our skin and throughout our body (the most fun parts of our body are the ones that have the highest density of nerve endings;-). Our sense of balance and orientation comes from a different organ: our inner ear. This is what allows us to know whether we are upright or prostrate, without opening our eyes. None of the "traditional five" senses gives us this information. Only our inner ear can tell us that.

* This is why people with vertigo think that the room is constantly spinning. It's an inner ear thing. Also, when astronauts experience weightlessness, this sense becomes utterly useless. It takes some time to get used to being without this sense. Most astronauts vomit the first time they enter orbit.

* So I would call proproiception/balance a sixth sense.

* Proprioception, also known as our sixth sense, was the last of the senses to be investigated. In essense it is concerned with knowing where our body is in relation to itself. For example when you close your eyes and touch your nose proprioception is what guides your movements. Without it simple tasks such as scratching the back of your head becomes almost impossible.

* In very rare cases it is possible to lose this sense - usually as a result of drugs. When this happens the patient feels as if they are not attached to their bodies, they are no longer behind their own eyes. They must relearn movements using their eyes for feedback. They also lose their sense of balance, which makes walking extremely difficult.

* For (enjoyable) reading, see Oliver Sacks' book: "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat".

Six? Seven? There are ten senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, pressure, hot/cold, pain, kinethesis, and proprioception. The tactile sense is usually just shrugged off by attributing "nerve endings". They aren't just nerves ending, there are complex small organs, which are no less "sense organs" as the photoreceptors in the eye, the cilium cells in the ear, the nerves in the nose etc.

* The warmth-coldness sense is actually made up of smaller temperature ranges. A nerve ending functions most actively at its specific temperature. There's the same kind of "spectrum" with taste and smell - there are different cells for salty, sweet, burnt, etc. Pain and heat sensors are both active at blistering temperatures. The pressure and temperature sensor are, btw, big. There are a few of them on the skin, so you can spot where they are. And still people think this diverse senses are just one sense?

* All these senses are used to perceive the external reality by sensing their effect to the body. Logically, things that don't have any effect on the body, like neutrinos, cannot be sensed. Just try putting your hand into adrawer:

touch - this feels like a screwdriver handle.

pressure - it's not soft, it's hard.

cold - this means its business end is steel, which absorbs heat from the skin.

kinethesis - as I know in what orientation my hand is in, I can relate the handle and the steel part to each other.

pain - ouch, that was a piece of wire!

* Are proprioception and pain senses? According to Webster_1913, a sense is a faculty to perceive properties of external objects. Proprioception is about knowing where your bodyparts are, and those do not qualify as external. The same reasoning goes for pain. Indeed you can only feel the temperature of your own skin, so even the cold/hot feeling is not that clearly a sense ; but I might be stretching the subject too much.

* What I am trying to point out is that senses are not about conscious perception, but about the rest of the world : they are the only link between the outside and the mind. And with this meaning we only have five senses. Considering proprioception as a sense means you consider that your hands or your legs are not part of You, of your Self, but rather alien objects that are to be commanded. I believe that all your body is part of Yourself; would you consider Self-Consciousness as a sense?

* The five senses (touch, taste, smell, hearing, sight) refer to general, external senses. The other senses mentioned on this node are considered non-general senses, such as proprioception.

* Temperature, pressure, and pain, are all aspects of touch. Treating these as separate senses is unecessarily complicated and would be like treating different colors as different senses when they are all interpreted by sight, or different tastes as different senses. Physiologists classify the five general senses based on how they relate to the nervous system, not by any subjective system developed by psychologists or Asian philosophers:

Taste is sensed by taste buds, and is enhanced by olfactory sensation.

Smell is purely olfactory, and travels to the brain through the olfactory nerve.

Sight is perceived from the eyes through the optic nerve to the occipital lobe.

Touch is perceived through general heat, pain, or pressure receptors, usually in the skin. These are all classified as touch receptors, just as the different color cones in our retinas are all classified as sight receptors.

Hearing is perceived by our ear drum and conducted to our inner ear (cochlea).

??Interestingly, no one has mentioned any of the unconscious senses our bodies have. There are not part of the big five, but are senses nonetheless:

??Insulin is released into our bloodstream when our body senses that our blood sugar has risen; glucagon is released when our body senses that it has fallen.

Our body initiates repair to internal damage that it has sensed, even though we may never consciously feel it.

* If we use cocaine habitually, our body senses the elevated presence of dopamine and reduced the number of dopamine receptors on certain neurons in the brain, even if we are never physically aware of this dopamine consciously.

Some would say that some aspects of our nervous system or consciousness sense memories or information from other parts, and this influences our actions. Maybe this one is a stretch . . .

* Although most people seem to be on the right track, there still appears to be a bit of confusion. There are not six senses, or ten as someone suggested, but, in fact, there remains only five. The five are as follows: vision, gustation (taste), olfaction (smell), auditory (hearing) and somatosensation. It is the last one, somatosensation, which is causing the confusion. All the extra senses that people are adding are somatosensory in origin. Somatosensation literally means "body-sense"; it is the set of senses which originates from the entire body, including skin, bone, muscle and tendon, not limited to the specialised sensory organs of the head.

* Somatosensation can be broken down into proprioception, kinethesis and the cutaneous senses, which include temperature, tactile (touch) and pain. The reason why all these seemingly different senses are collectively known as somatosensation isn't just because they are all body senses, but has more to do with the structure of the brain.Different areas of the brain are associated with different functions. The area related to vision is separate in structure and function to that of hearing, and they are both separate from somatosensation. However, the area responsible for somatosensation, the somatosensory cortex, receives input from structures responsible for pain, touch, proprioception, etc. Consequently, these senses may appear to be separate entities at first glance but it is their common destination, and subsequent similarity in processing, that has combined them into a whole.

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