Is there a sixth sense?

Is there a sixth sense?


Human perception infographic scheme. Five senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste) as represented by organs, surrounding brain. Line icon set, vector illustration.

Studies have shown that there is a sixth sense. But first, there are some senses that are subcategories of other senses, such as temperature. The sixth sense is quite simple. Close your eyes. Now, get your hand, and put it somewhere random. Do you know where it is? Of course you do, that is easy to figure out. But that is the sixth sense. It is called proprioception, and it is the ability to understand your body’s movement and location. Like all other senses, it helps you navigate. It lets you do things subconsciously, such as walk, ride a bike, and rub your eyes. Proprioceptive signals are sent to the central nervous system where they are analyzed and show body position and movement. Proprioception controls your reflexes during balance. For example, if you are standing on one foot, and you fall over, your proprioceptors will catch you.

Proprioception’s uses

It mostly helps you with balance. When you are walking, proprioception tells your body where it is relative to the rest of the world. It recognizes where your feet are and where they should be so that your brain does not have to think and you can multitask. If you trip, however, proprioception has to estimate where your limbs will end up to catch yourself.  Proprioception is actually in most animals. It is key in fruit flies, as they need to understand where they are to reach food and survive. Something interesting to note is, proprioception is also present in plants. Plants responding to stimuli is called tropism. Gravitropism, or plants responding to gravity, is supplemented by proprioception. Plants need to be aware of their limbs to grow upwards against gravity, and without proprioception, gravity would pull them down as they grow in random directions.

So now you know about the sixth sense. Are you surprised? I certainly was. Thanks for reading!