Articles on Senses

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Different MR images help us unravel the mysteries of the brain. A diffusion MRI tractography reconstruction like this reveals the complicated wiring deep within a person’s brain. Thijs Dhollander

Some women seem to lack a key brain structure for smell – but their sense of smell is fine

Odd findings in a brain scan of a 29-year-old woman have scientists asking new questions about how our sense of smell really works.
What makes a brain tick is very different from how computers operate. Yurchanka Siarhei/Shutterstock.com

Why a computer will never be truly conscious

Brain functions integrate and compress multiple components of an experience, including sight and smell – which simply can't be handled in the way computers sense, process and store data.
Cathal O’Madagain/AAAS

Gesture as language: why we point with a finger

Designating an object with the movement of a finger is at the heart of human communication, yet precisely why we point isn't clearly understood. A new paper indicates that it may be related to touch.
The sense of touch is generally measured by a sensor that can translate a pressure upon it into a small electrical signal. Shutterstock

It’s not easy to give a robot a sense of touch

Our sense of touch lets us know how hard or soft something is, how solid or pliable it is to handle. That's an important skill if you want robots to handle things safely.
Do you have a magnetic compass in your head? Lightspring/Shutterstock.com

New evidence for a human magnetic sense that lets your brain detect the Earth’s magnetic field

Your brain's sensory talents go way beyond those traditional five senses. A team of geoscientists and neurobiologists explored how the human brain monitors and responds to magnetic fields.
The sense of smell helps us know what and where things are, like yummy food. R. Suarez.

Curious Kids: How do we smell?

The parts of the brain that get 'smell signals' from the nose also do other things, such as storing memories or provoking emotions. That is why some smells can bring back old memories.
Author Tim Edwards’ dog Tui is part of a team of canines being trained to detect lung cancer in breath and saliva samples. University of Waikato

Dogs’ sensitive noses may be the key to early detection of lung cancer

Researchers are training dogs to detect lung cancer in breath and saliva samples, with the aim of developing early-detection screening and a functional “electronic nose” for diagnosing lung cancer.

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