You Have Better Taste Than You Realize

The old "tongue map" from our elementary school textbooks has been roundly debunked. Experimental confirmation of "umami" expanded Westerners' traditional four basic tastes—sweet, sour, salty, and bitter—into five. But did you know those 5 basic tastes might actually be 6 . . . or 7, 8, or more? » 9/17/14 6:10pm 9/17/14 6:10pm

Temporary Blindness May Give You Superhuman Hearing

Losing your sight early in life is often said to heighten other senses, particularly hearing. A new study now shows that even a short, weeklong stint in complete darkness can result in superhuman hearing, at least temporarily. This suggests that a kind of darkness therapy may help restore hearing to adults suffering… » 2/07/14 1:15pm 2/07/14 1:15pm

We Understand Our Taste System A Lot Less Than We Thought

How people develop long-lasting taste aversions has intrigued scientists for decades. Surprisingly, research now shows this phenomenon doesn't occur in the brain area involved in taste perception, as previously believed — this discovery could not only help us better understand our taste system, but also why people eat… » 1/08/14 6:20am 1/08/14 6:20am

10 Limits to Human Perception ... and How They Shape Your World

Every human has limits. You can only run so fast, jump so high, and go for so long without water. But what about restrictions upon our five senses, those tools that we use to perceive and understand our surroundings? Here are ten limitations on human perception that have a direct impact on how we understand the world. » 7/17/12 10:26am 7/17/12 10:26am

Ten Senses We Have That Go Beyond the Standard Five

We are taught that, as we stumble through the world, we have touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight to guide us. It turns out that we have been underestimating ourselves. Scientists count between fourteen and twenty actual senses, most of which aren't taught in primary school. See what information you're really… » 7/22/11 10:00am 7/22/11 10:00am

Lab-Grown Smell Receptors Could Pave the Way for Artificial Noses

Anosmiacs, rejoice. MIT’s biological engineers, moving us ever closer to our transhuman future, have mass-produced lab-grown smell receptors — a breakthrough that will greatly increase their ability to study the way these proteins react to odor. Their goal is not only to unlock the secrets of olfaction, but also to… » 10/01/08 7:00am 10/01/08 7:00am