Category Archives: Sensory Systems

December 09

Mal de Débarquement: The Science of Land Sickness

Recently I was lucky to spend seven days on a catamaran out at sea with a small group of (COVID-vaccinated) friends. We traveled around the Gulf of California, witnessing truly amazing sights like manta rays jumping out of the water, sea birds diving into the water, and turtles floating along in the swell. This was […]

June 17

How Neuroscience Tools Can Help Patients Regain Their Vision

Biomedical scientists, including many neuroscientists, often get into the scientific research game with the goal of seeing a future in which their work can directly impact human health and wellbeing. There is often a disconnect, however, between the long hours in the lab working with cells, rodents, or computers and the eventual future applications of […]

May 20

Magnetoreception – a Quantum Sixth Sense

Imagine you are dropped off hundreds of miles away from your home, deep in some unknown  forest. Would you be able to find your way home using only your five basic senses – sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch? If you’re anything like me, you may struggle to navigate around your own city without help […]

November 19

Neuroscience… of the bladder

When we think of neuroscience, we often think of the brain. […] But so much of neuroscience is concerned with happenings outside the brain itself. For instance, neural signaling controls and coordinates our muscle movements, alerts us when our stomach is empty, produces a physiological response to arousal, and sends a painful alarm when we damage our skin. Neural signaling is also important for telling us when it’s time to pee.

November 12

How Light Leads to Darkness: A Neural Link Between Nighttime Light and Depression

Nighttime light exposure can lead to depression. A new study brings us closer to understanding why, and what we can do about it.

July 16

Perks of Being a Trichromat

As a youngster, many excursions with my grandmother would end with her pointing out the breathtaking combination of hues that graces the sky during golden hour. She would be sure to mention the weather predictions that stem from our folklore: Warm mixtures of pink and lavender, she would tell me, means that tomorrow will be […]

October 10

Why do neuroscientists study weird animals?: A primer on neuroethology

Why do neuroscientists study weird animals? And I don’t mean borderline weird; I mean the kind of extraordinary animals that can create electric fields and lift 100 times their body weight. The sort of animals that can camouflage despite being colorblind and can capture flying prey in fractions of a second. The kind of creatures […]

May 02

Interview with an Oxford Food Psychologist

The surprising ways our brains steer our eating experiences, and how to use them to our advantage According to Dr. Charles Spence, when it comes to experiencing food, taste is the least important factor. But can that really be true? To learn about food psychology – or how our brains process multisensory information about what […]

January 31

Stars for Eyes – The Neurological Wonder of the Star-Nosed Mole

Beneath the eastern wetlands of Canada and the United States, there lives underground a bizarre and unique animal with an impressive list of evolutionary adaptations. This creature holds the world record as fastest eater among mammals [1], can smell underwater [2], and has a very unique sensory organ that basically operates as its eyes [3]. […]

December 20

A Pirate’s Life is NOT for Me: A Deep Dive into Motion Sickness

A few months ago, I spent three and a half anxious hours on a rickety motorboat on western Tanzania’s Lake Tanganyika. The cause of my anxiety was not the fact that we were floating over the second deepest freshwater lake in the world in a boat that had already begun to take in some water […]