What is the difference between general/somesthetic senses vs. special senses?
General Senses have their receptors widely distributed throughout the skin, muscles, tendons, joint capsules, and viscera. These senses include touch, pressure, stretch, heat, cold, & pain. They are relatively simple in structure. An example would be pain which takes place in the primary somesthetic cortex of the parietal lobe and the somesthetic association area.
Special Senses are limited to the head and innervated by cranial nerves. These senses include vision, hearing/equilibrium, taste, and smell. They are relatively complex sense organs. An example would be hearing which occurs in the primary auditory cortex and auditory association area in the temporal lobe.