In Buddhism, sensation is one of the Five Aggregates:
Specifically, sensation refers to the elements of a sentient being that perceive external stimuli. This can be interpreted to include the physical sensory organs and associated mental formations, or to be composed only of the mental components of sensation, with the physical organs grouped with form. In either case, the faculty of sensation composes the way in which human beings perceive and interact with the world. At the level of the aggregate of sensation, we are given only 'raw' sensory information- sounds, sights, smells, etc. They are not yet grouped into coherant ideas- a gathering of sights, sounds, and smells is not yet apperant as 'cow' to our mind- as this function is performed by the faculty of conception. Sensation thus forms the interface between the purely physical elements of a being (form) and the purely mental attributes (conception, awareness, descrimination).
It is worth mentioning that traditional Buddhist thought considers there to be six senses instead of the standard five present in the West. No, the sixth is neither ESP nor ESPN- rather it is thought. Buddhist teaching regards thoughts as sense-objects, just as capable of being focused on and perceived as any physical object. Thought sense-objects may be conveyed by other media- most commonly, through auditory (speach) or visual (writing) faculties- but the end results are thoughts that are focused on and perceived by the mind.
Reading perhaps provides a more clear example of this process than speach, as it is devoid of any of the 'extra' carriers of information (expression, intonation, gesticulation) that are present in speach. The purpose of writing, it could be argued, is to convey thought. Because we are largely verbal creatures, much of our thought consists of 'internal speach' (though there are exceptions). When we read, despite the paucity of the visual stimulation (unless you're reading an illuminated Medieval manuscript), thoughts arise in our mind that, hopefully, parallel the thought of the author, or are at least a representation of that thought. We can create mental images, voices, sounds, smells, etc.- all in the absence of traditional sensory input to trigger these responses. Abstract thought functions in much the same way; we are dealing with purely verbal entities that have meaning that far exceeds the sounds that they form. In a sense, the mind is the sensory organ of information.