In medicine and anatomy, the special senses are the senses that have specialized organs devoted to them:
The distinction between special and general senses is used to classify nerve fibres running to and from the central nervous system - information from special senses is carried in special somatic afferents and special visceral afferents. In contrast, the other sense, touch, is a somatic sense which does not have a specialized organ but comes from all over the body, most noticeably the skin but also the internal organs (viscera). Touch includes mechanoreception (pressure, vibration and proprioception), pain (nociception) and heat (thermoception), and such information is carried in general somatic afferents and general visceral afferents.
- ^ Drake et al. (2010), Gray's Anatomy for Students, 2nd Ed., Churchill Livingstone.