- In biology and medicine, the faculty of sensory reception. The ability to convey specific types of external or internal stimuli to the brain and perceive them. Sensory reception occurs through a process known as transduction in which stimuli are converted into nerve impulses which are relayed to the brain. This process may involve the special senses — hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch — in which the corresponding sensory receptors are concentrated in the ear, eye, olfactory (smell) apparatus, taste buds, and skin. The skin is rich in sensory receptors that convey the sensations not only of touch but also of heat and cold, pressure, and pain. Other sensory receptors are situated in internal organs such as the throat, stomach and heart. There are also other senses such as the sense of equilibrium (which is related to the flow of endolymph, a fluid found in the inner ear) and the sense of position (proprioception).
* * *- geometric s. one or other of two directions along a curve in which something is moving, e.g., clockwise or counterclockwise.- kinesthetic s. the sensation felt in muscle when it is contracting; awareness of movement or activity in muscles or joints; s. of position or movement mediated in large part by the posterior columns and medial lemniscus. SEE ALSO: bathyesthesia. SYN: deep sensibility, muscular s., myesthesia, myoesthesis, myoesthesia.- posture s. the ability to recognize the position in which a limb is passively placed, with the eyes closed. SYN: position s..- pressure s. the faculty of discriminating various degrees of pressure on the surface. SYN: baresthesia, weight s..- seventh s. SYN: visceral s..- special s. one of the five senses related respectively to the organs of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.- visceral s. the perception of the existence of the internal organs. SYN: seventh s., splanchnesthesia, splanchnesthetic sensibility.
* * *1 a) the faculty of perceiving by means of sense organsb) a specialized animal function or mechanism (as sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch) basically involving a stimulus and a sense organc) the sensory mechanisms constituting a unit distinct from other functions (as movement or thought)2) a particular sensation or kind or quality of sensation <a good \sense of balance>sense vt, sensed; sens·ing to perceive by the senses
* * *n.one of the faculties by which the qualities of the external environment are appreciated - sight, hearing, smell, taste, or touch.
* * *(sens) [L. sensus, from sentire to perceive, feel] 1. any of the physical processes by which stimuli are received, transduced, and conducted as impulses to be interpreted in the brain; they may be classified as either special s's or somatic s's. See accompanying table. 2. to perceive by one of these processes. 3. pertaining to the sense strand of a nucleic acid; see under strand.
Medical dictionary. 2011.