Super Senses


From childhood we are told that humans have five senses: hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch. But your school teachers were wrong. All of us have at least 32 senses. Emma Young explores our surprisingly rich sensory lives. She discovers why the main function of our ears isn’t for hearing; how we can find taste receptors in places other than our tongues; how improving your sense of smell might increase your enjoyment of sex; why the semi-nomadic Himba people can’t distinguish between blue and green but Russians can see two shades of blue; and how touch can confuse the way your brain registers pain. She also delves into ‘new’ senses – including balance and internal-sensing – without which you’d be dead within minutes. And by exploring the lives of people with sensory over-sensitivity to those who feel no emotion at all, she shows that our senses don’t simply inform us, they form us.

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