"Higher order senses"

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by visceral_instinct, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

    Ok, you know how for humans, our vision and hearing are sometimes referred to as the higher order senses, because they're organized in the brain into patterns and structures, context and detail, whereas the other three senses just give you raw data?

    What about in animals who rely mainly on other senses? For a dog, would scent be their higher order sense? Would their sense of smell give them a wide and integrated fix on the world, rather than just some immediate raw data, the way our vision does for us?
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The sense of touch is also organized, and the brain automatically generates interpretations of the data - you can, for example, feel the roughness of a cement floor by scraping a shoe sole or the legs of a chair across it,without actually touching the floor at all.
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  5. John Connellan Valued Senior Member

    I'm not sure I have heard the term before but I would guess it has something to do with the relevent importance of a sense to our day to day living. I don't thnk it would have anything to do with organization of data in the brain. So for your dog example, smell would indeed be a "higher order sense" as it is the most important for them.
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