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6th Sense





Bikerman
I've just being going through my archive of Horizon programmes (a science programme on UK TV). I came across an old prog from 1998 on the little-known 6th sense possessed by humans (and other animals) - propriaception (the sense of where your limbs and other body parts are in space).
Here is a fascinating look at this, and what happens when you loose it. You can download/view it by putting the following URL in the browser
"http://bikerman.co.uk/images/video/horizon/BBC - Horizon - 1998 - The Man Who Lost His Body.flv"

It is in Flash format, so you will need a flash player, or the codecs for media player, in order to view it. If you haven't got either, then you can watch the video on my site by selecting it from the archive at the following address:
http://bikerman.co.uk/en/science/contacts/horizon
(The video is called 'the man who lost his body')
sudipbanerjee
is there really anything like '6th sense'?
kelseymh
sudipbanerjee wrote:
is there really anything like '6th sense'?


Did you even bother to read the original posting, or follow the link provided?
shivaghimire
I found a very good topic to discuss. My writings might be poor, sorry for that but I will try my best to explain shortly. Yes, we have got sixth sense.
A true example: During my child age, me and my friends were playing hide and seek at that time, my mind suggested or a feeling came on me a snake is over your head, you are in danger. I hearty felt that so I look above, a red snake was being to fall on me. Its body was fully fallen down but was attached with its tail and head. Isn't it a sixth sense to suggest a danger.
You may have faced, some feelings come on us and we might have saved from some accidents and we say 'luckily we are saved', that luck is a sixth sense which save us.
All luck is not sixth sense but the feelings that says oh, something good or bad is going to happen is sixth sense and we may have that power.
IceCreamTruck
Good topic, Bikerman! It's good to focus on human triumph instead of always arguing petty desires, or a simply wanting to have your opinion heard like tends to be the trend in topics that don't start with substance, so i applaud you bringing something new to the table.

It's a much more fitting description of the purpose and meaning behind perceptive imagination to call that the sixth sense instead of any kind of imagined super natural ability like telling the future or being psychic. I've known some VERY perceptive people in my day, but everyone seems to be responding to stimuli that is also present in my environment even if I don't see it because I'm not looking.

The depth of this guys perception is probably intense, and I'll wager he sees things that we ignore because we're on autopilot compared to his having to think before each movement. I wish people would just think before they speak sometimes, but it's hard to imagine having to think before each and every movement, and how simply standing would be an exhausting exercise in mental focus.

I also find the effect of him loosing complete control and falling to the ground when the lights go out to be something that would be particularly challenging, as he definitely notices when the lights go out whereas we have the blessed ability to be able to stumble around and find the light switch.

In closing I'm thankful for one more ability that I take for granted, so you have made me aware of something that one day I will not have as good of control over as I do now, and I can appreciate it more at this time. Live, Breath, Move, and Enjoy whatever you can! Smile
Ankhanu
I didn't watch the video; let's put that out there right off Razz (I'm tethered to my cell phone atm and don't want to use the bandwidth)

I'm not sure that I'd really refer to propriaception as a sense. Perhaps watching the video would illuminate the subject a bit; I'm working largely from memory and basic principles of cognition and the like at the moment (an area in which I haven't really studied), but, IIRC propriaception is more akin to a sensory feedback system utilizing other senses than a sense unto itself. For example, it hijacks/uses touch reception at an autonomic level to assess where the limbs are in relation to the rest of the body; processing and cross-referencing in the background to produce an awareness of spatial location. It makes use of something akin to a frequency cross-over in audio amplification, sending high frequencies to one output chain, and low frequencies to another; in this case, sending the sensory information that needs conscious analysis forward and analyzing other aspects of the sensation to "lower" parts of the brain for faster reaction and spatial awareness. I'm focusing on touch, though other senses play a role as well, and I've also bundled kinesthetic reception in with touch, as, I believe, they utilize the same pathways.

I'll watch the video at a later time and maybe eat a foot or two. Razz

shivaghimire wrote:
I found a very good topic to discuss. My writings might be poor, sorry for that but I will try my best to explain shortly. Yes, we have got sixth sense.
A true example: During my child age, me and my friends were playing hide and seek at that time, my mind suggested or a feeling came on me a snake is over your head, you are in danger. I hearty felt that so I look above, a red snake was being to fall on me. Its body was fully fallen down but was attached with its tail and head. Isn't it a sixth sense to suggest a danger.
You may have faced, some feelings come on us and we might have saved from some accidents and we say 'luckily we are saved', that luck is a sixth sense which save us.
All luck is not sixth sense but the feelings that says oh, something good or bad is going to happen is sixth sense and we may have that power.


How would you propose to differentiate this "sixth sense" experience from subconscious analysis and reaction to standard sensory input? Medullar or cerebellar processing of sensory data can be very quick, causing reaction before your thinking brain is aware of the input.
This, as you've presented it, does not sound very compelling or convincing.
Bikerman
I'd argue with that. Our sense of taste, for example, relies very heavily on our sense of smell, yet we are happy to call it a different sense.
Propriaception is a distinct modality - it gives us a 'sense' of where our body parts with no other 'external' data. I think it qualifies as a sense in its own right, since it has its own specialised 'sensors'/receptors.
Wiki has
Quote:
The initiation of proprioception is the activation of a proprioreceptor in the periphery.[10] The proprioceptive sense is believed to be composed of information from sensory neurons located in the inner ear (motion and orientation) and in the stretch receptors located in the muscles and the joint-supporting ligaments (stance). There are specific nerve receptors for this form of perception termed "proprioreceptors," just as there are specific receptors for pressure, light, temperature, sound, and other sensory experiences. Proprioreceptors are sometimes known as adequate stimuli receptors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprioception
watersoul
Bikerman wrote:
I think it qualifies as a sense in its own right, since it has its own specialised 'sensors'/receptors.

I'm drawn to the sense status as well.
You only have to think of moving around in a pitch dark (familiar) room and finding the light switch you know is there. no visual assistance just multiple unknown calculations of distance/memory of location/propriaception going on in the background.

On a more personal note I was a bit humbled by the guys sheer determination to control his body and not spend a life in a chair. I could only imagine how frustrating it must be for him in the dark.
Outstanding film Bikerman, one I hadn't seen, and I've always liked the Horizon series, nice one for posting it.
Bikerman
Most welcome. I've archived over 100 of my favourite episodes on my main site so feel free to dip in anytime.

(If you are also a fan of 'Clue' on Radio 4, I've just put an archive of that on the site as well).
Ankhanu
Bikerman wrote:
I'd argue with that. Our sense of taste, for example, relies very heavily on our sense of smell, yet we are happy to call it a different sense.

No, taste involves five qualities, sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umame (savoury). These are all centred on the tongue. The rest of flavour is olfactory, but those elements are "taste" in sensory terms.

Bikerman wrote:
Propriaception is a distinct modality - it gives us a 'sense' of where our body parts with no other 'external' data. I think it qualifies as a sense in its own right, since it has its own specialised 'sensors'/receptors.
Wiki has
Quote:
The initiation of proprioception is the activation of a proprioreceptor in the periphery.[10] The proprioceptive sense is believed to be composed of information from sensory neurons located in the inner ear (motion and orientation) and in the stretch receptors located in the muscles and the joint-supporting ligaments (stance). There are specific nerve receptors for this form of perception termed "proprioreceptors," just as there are specific receptors for pressure, light, temperature, sound, and other sensory experiences. Proprioreceptors are sometimes known as adequate stimuli receptors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprioception


Well, if it's a discrete system, I suppose it's a sense in its own right, not a appropriation of other sensory cues to develop awareness of position/extent.
Bikerman
Ankhanu wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
I'd argue with that. Our sense of taste, for example, relies very heavily on our sense of smell, yet we are happy to call it a different sense.

No, taste involves five qualities, sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umame (savoury). These are all centred on the tongue. The rest of flavour is olfactory, but those elements are "taste" in sensory terms.
True, that objection is therefore refuted.
Sw4k1ll4r
Wow, weird but interesting fact.
Aredon
You know... I had actually always wondered what to call that feeling. Sometimes I'd lay in the dark and hold my hands in front of my face, and I'd get the feeling i knew exactly where they were so I could outline them. I feel educated Very Happy, thanks for sharing.
lesanciensdulad
I personaly think that these unexplained feelings that we like to call a sith sence are deja vus
http://www.news-medical.net/news/2007/06/11/26207.aspx
Pande
Proprioception is certainly a fascinating subject. In parkour and in all acrobatic sports it holds quite an importance because losing touch with your proprioception can result in injury.

For example in parkour if you don't have a good feeling of where your feet are, and you clip them on an object, the resulting forces change your rotation and you could end up with your face in a wall.

I'd also like to discuss something I noticed through the act of meditation and sleep meditation (in pursuit of lucidity):

Proprioception seems to be the first sense to fade away as you go to sleep. Ever woken up in the morning, or been woken up just before sleep, and had the sense that your leg doesn't exist? In meditation we actually strive to reach this point intentionally, to limit the amount of brain processing going on. Brain doesn't care about limb location, then it stops worrying about it and therefor stops wasting energy and muddying our thoughts!

I'd also like to share a story related to that. One morning I woke having slept on my wrist, which was behind my head on my pillow. Such a position had caused low blood pressure and as such my entire arm went numb. Normally if your arm went numb while you were awake, you would still be aware of your arm being there. However in this case, due to the fact that our proprioception doesn't kick in until we move or experience movement with a limb after sleep, I had the most surreal experience:

I had no right arm. I couldn't feel it, because it was numb. And because I had not yet seen it (it was behind my head) or touched it with another part of my body (my head was already touching it) and finally, I had not moved the arm (no reason to move it yet) I felt like there nothing in that space. As I regained consciousness something in my brain 'clicked' and I suddenly realized that this was a BAD THING that I had no arm. Freaking out, I rapidly rolled to my left, in order to sit up. At this point, my dead weight arm flew past my head and struck my poor cat who was sleeping beside me in it's flank, quite hard.

I didn't feel this and it took an additional 2 minutes to regain feeling in my arm, and at least a minute for my body to recognize the arms presence on my body when my eyes were closed.

Scary stuff!

p.s. Lol at above post, 'sith sense'.
Mrs_Robota
interesting info, thanks for share
spinout
I recalled I had read about this somewhere and:
"You have six senses, not five. They are your sense of smell, taste, touch, sight, hearing, and... knowing."
This is a quote from a welsch coversations from god...
Anyhow, it is described as; the energy someone send out in a sub molecular level that can be felt by others.
Ankhanu
spinout wrote:
I recalled I had read about this somewhere and:
"You have six senses, not five. They are your sense of smell, taste, touch, sight, hearing, and... knowing."
This is a quote from a welsch coversations from god...
Anyhow, it is described as; the energy someone send out in a sub molecular level that can be felt by others.

Oi, that is what is called "woo-woo", or "bullshit".

Remember, this is a science forum... content should be at least attempting to be scientific and based on empiricism. Wishful thinking isn't empirical.
Ankhanu
spinout wrote:
I recalled I had read about this somewhere and:
"You have six senses, not five. They are your sense of smell, taste, touch, sight, hearing, and... knowing."
This is a quote from a welsch coversations from god...
Anyhow, it is described as; the energy someone send out in a sub molecular level that can be felt by others.

Oi, that is what is called "woo-woo", or "bullshit".
Ankhanu
spinout wrote:
I recalled I had read about this somewhere and:
"You have six senses, not five. They are your sense of smell, taste, touch, sight, hearing, and... knowing."
This is a quote from a welsch coversations from god...
Anyhow, it is described as; the energy someone send out in a sub molecular level that can be felt by others.

Oi, that is what is called "woo-woo", or "bullshit".
spinout
Of course that is not science. It is just an anecdote that points on what the sixth sense might be. First you might concider what the sixth sense might be, propriaception is not the common thought here in Sweden what the 6th sense is.

So my comment is basically that in the future the sixth sense is just a little particle, something that actually can be science and tested.
Ankhanu
A particle is not a sense. An energy (field, wave, whatever) is not a sense... They may be phenomena, but they're not senses.

A sense is a system of reception and processing within the nervous system (or other system, some sensing does not require nerves, as individual cells can sense some things).

Hint, stick to science when using the science forums. At the very least, stick to material that is rational and/or logical. Otherwise, you're violating the intent of the forum. What you mentioned likely isn't even a phenomenon, let alone a sense.
Ankhanu
A particle is not a sense. An energy (field, wave, whatever) is not a sense... They may be phenomena, but they're not senses.

A sense is a system of reception and processing within the nervous system (or other system, some sensing does not require nerves, as individual cells can sense some things).

Hint, stick to science when using the science forums. At the very least, stick to material that is rational and/or logical. Otherwise, you're violating the intent of the forum. What you mentioned likely isn't even a phenomenon, let alone a sense.
kelseymh
spinout wrote:
Of course that is not science. It is just an anecdote that points on what the sixth sense might be. First you might concider what the sixth sense might be, propriaception is not the common thought here in Sweden what the 6th sense is.

So my comment is basically that in the future the sixth sense is just a little particle, something that actually can be science and tested.


Please move this to either "Religion and Philosophy" or "Idle Speculation." It isn't science, it's not even an anecdote. It's random words strung together to sound vaguely intelligent to people who don't know any better.
spinout
So, I am saying there is not a sixth sense - it is a particle/field.
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