New Brain Briefs on the Senses

Do you know that emotions increase activity in the visual cortex, so “colors look more vivid and details stand out when we’re happy, angry, or frightened”?  Or that hair cells play a vital function in hearing and that as we get older the “progressive loss of hair cells means less acute hearing, particularly in higher frequencies”? How about that olfactory receptor cells are themselves neurons that are “on one end in direct contact with the external world and the other in direct contact with the brain”?  Have you ever wanted to learn more about how our senses function?

If the answer is yes, check out our new  “Brain Briefs” available on  These fact sheets cover vision, hearing, smell and taste, and the somatosensory system. In case you’re wondering, the somatosensory system includes the sense of touch and is not localized to a particular part of the body, involving various types of specialized receptors in the skin and inside the body. The somatosensory cortex and motor cortex are located next to each other in the brain and coordinate movement.


Stay tuned for more “Brain Briefs” and check out our other downloadable resources for children and adults!

– Amanda Bastone

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