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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How do you sniff out danger? What is a sense of direction or a gut instinct? You know about your five senses: hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch. But recent research has shown that we actually have at least thirty-two. We take our senses for granted but what would be possible if we properly understood how they all work?

Award-winning science writer Emma Young has spent over a decade finding out, and in Super Senses she takes us on an exhilarating sensory journey, revealing how we taste things without using our tongues, why swearing is good for us and why both chocolate and rollercoasters can help you fall in love.

Using the very latest cutting-edge research, she explains the exploits of record-breaking freedivers, whirling dervishes, super-tasters, stock market millionaires, and many more. Discover how touch can ease pain, how taking your pulse can make you fitter and why Abba’s Dancing Queen sounds different in Bolivia.

Sharing surprising secrets from blind ballerinas, voodoo priests and even a nurse who can smell Parkinson’s disease before it is diagnosed, Super Senses uncovers the science behind these abilities that make us human – and offers fascinating lessons in how we can all learn to use them better. Could being more sensitive make us happier, healthier – or even wealthier?

Additional information

Weight 0.6 kg
Dimensions 23.6 × 15.8 × 3.6 cm










152.1 (edition:23)


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