The sensory systems underlie our capacity for touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight. Each system has unique receptors (e.g., retina for sight and taste buds for taste), is governed by different neural structures (e.g., visual cortex or pons for sight or taste, respectively), and follows a unique developmental trajectory. In this entry, each system is described including the physiology, age of onset, refinements in childhood, and changes with advancing age.


Our sense of touch allows us to perceive changes in pressure, temperature, and features of objects, and it often guides our actions. The receptors for touch lie in the skin and respond to mechanical stimuli, such as pressure, temperature, and other physical forces. Information from these receptors is processed in the somatosensory cortex in the ...

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