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Sensi Words: “sensoria” to “visuosensory”, Part 2 of 2

senso-, sens-, sensi-, sensori-, sent- (Latin: feeling, sensation, perception through the senses, be aware, discern by the senses).

The words in this list refer either to physical or mental perceptions, or a combination of both. These elements come from Latin sentire, to feel, and the related element sensus, feeling, perception (in both the physical and mental senses).

Quiz   If you would like to take three self-scoring quizzes over many of the words in this section, then click Sensory Quizzes so you can see how much you know about the following “senso-, sensi-” words.

Plural of sensorium.
Pertaining to sensory areas in the brain.
1. Pertaining to processes that involve afferent (sensory) nervous paths and efferent (motor) pathways.
sensorium; singular:
1. The part of the brain that receives and correlates impressions that are transmitted to various sensory areas.
2. The sensory system.
Connected with the reception and transmission of sense impressions; transmitting impulses from sense organs to nerve centers.
1. Of the body and the senses as distinguished from the intellect or spirit; bodily or sensual pleasures as opposed to spiritual sensations.
2. Relating to or preoccupied with the gratification of physical appetites, especially the sexual appetite.
1. Appealing to or enjoying the pleasures of sensation, other than those associated with sex; distinguished from sensual by gratifying the senses for the sake of aesthetic pleasures or the delight in beauty of color, sound, or form that is induced while sensual tends to imply the gratification of the senses or the indulgence of the appetites (as of gluttony and lust) as an end in itself.
2. Greatly appreciative of the pleasures of sensations.

Sensual and sensuous do not have the same meanings.

Sensuous usually means a powerful appeal to the senses or to the esthetic faculties; such as, the sensuous delicacy of a rose petal. Sensual, on the other hand, refers more to some sexual application; such as, a sensual sculpture of a nude.

The difference between the two words was the original reason for creating the expression sensuous. The poet, John Milton, is said to have invented the word in order to have a synonym for sensual, minus the association with sex. He used the word in an often-quoted formulation of what poetry should be: “simple, sensuous, and passionate.”

—Stuart B. Flexner, Family Word Finder
1. Sensuality.
2. The ethical doctrine that sensual pleasures are the highest good.
A person who likes, pursues, or indulges too much in the pleasures of the senses.
1. A desire for the pleasures of the senses.
2. An excessive indulgence in the pleasures of the senses; lewdness.
To make sensual.
1. The ability of the nervous system to receive stimuli.
2. The simplest form of cognition, in which there is bare sensing without associated meanings.
3. A capacity for feeling; consciousness.
1. Capable of feeling; conscious.
2. Experiencing sensation or feeling.
An idea, opinion, or attitude based on feeling or emotion rather than reason.
Having or showing tenderness, emotion, delicate feeling, etc.
The quality or condition of being sentimental, especially in a superficial or maudlin way.
Sensation relating to the body's superficial and deep parts as contrasted to specialized senses such as sight, hearing, etc.
Below or deeper than the range of the senses.
Outside or beyond the range of normal sense perceptions.

The Feel-Hear Supersense of Fish

Apparently most fishermen know that fish have a line running along each side of their bodies. It may be distinct or obscure. In some species it’s straight; in others, curved or zigzag. It can be described as a “finely stitched seam where the fish was sewed together”.

“The proper term for this ‘seam’ is the lateral line, and it houses a marvelous, intricate mechanism that operates as a kind of supersense. A fishery biologist once explained it thus: ‘If you could combine your sense of touch with your hearing, making the two into a single sense, you’d probably come close to understanding the kinds of responses the lateral line of a fish relays to its brain.’ ”

It’s through this system that the fish feels/hears low-frequency vibrations, or sounds, carried through the water. The line allows the fish to monitor an amazing mass of information about its surroundings. It instantly knows when there’s the slightest current change, and senses, the direction. The biologist who first explained this supersense, to the author said, “The most minute changes in water temperature also are sensedby lateral-line pickup, and tiny electric charges are zipped from the line pores along nerves to the brain. Such changes may trigger a feeling of comfort, discomfort, or alarm.”

The lateral line also monitors balance, an especially important function in water, where, without a foolproof system, a fish could hardly tell when it was upright. “Perhaps most intriguing,” the biologist explained, “is how the lateral-line system operates a kind of sonar, identifying [within modest range] objects and other fish.”

As the fish swims, its motion sends out vibrations that bounce off nearby objects, bounce back, and are picked up.

The inner ear of the fish, located in its head, hears fairly distant sounds, but it can’t always pinpoint them precisely. “The lateral line knows instantly from which side a vibration originates. Because of the length of the line, the fish is able to triangulate and locate it exactly, especially as the fish moves. The sound is pinpointed as coming from an exact compass point. Fish can find their way in the dark and locate prey by lateral-line monitoring.”

—An excerpt from the magazine, Field & Stream,
April, 1984; from an article written by Byron W. Dalrymple.

Beyond the range of the normal senses; hypersensual.
Sensitive to heat.
Being sensitive to heat.
1. Relating to sensation in the blood vessels.
2. Denoting sensory nerve fibers that innervate blood vessels.
Relating to the sensory innervation of internal organs.
The perception of visual stimuli.


Quiz    You may take a self-scoring quiz over some of the words in this section by just clicking on Sensory Quiz #1 to see how much you know about these “senso-, sensi-” words.

Quiz   You may take another self-scoring quiz over some of the same words and/or other sensory words by clicking on Sensory Quiz #2.

Quiz   Would you like to take another self-scoring quiz over more of the words in this section? Again, just click on Sensory Quiz #3