Why Mosquitoes Love Us

From that evil itch on your arm to torturous diseases such as malaria, Zika, dengue, and yellow fever, mosquito bites can have unpleasant consequences. But have you ever wondered why… Read more

When the blind can see again: A critical question of perception

Our sense of sight is arguably our most important sense.  Imagine how different your life would be if soon after birth, you lost the ability to see.  For over 1.4… Read more

Garbage Smells Green and Gunshots Are Rainbows

The minds of individuals are like parallel universes, forever inaccessible to one another.  Never do we truly see through the eyes of another person.  It is common for us to… Read more

Meet our newest team member Kayleen Schreiber

We have someone new joining our team!  She is a neuroscience PhD student at the University of Iowa, and she studies speech perception – but let’s let the animation she created… Read more

Connecting to our Social Selves

Dear Skin, I would like to express my upmost gratitude for the vast amount of receptors you possess.  Among my favorites – the practical ones that allow me to find… Read more

The Spectacularly Colorful World of the Mantis Shrimp

Our eyes contain millions of color-sensitive cells, called cones, which maximally respond to red, green, and blue light.  With just these three types of color receptors, we can see the… Read more

Hacking your Brain with Smart Drugs

What if you could take a pill to enhance your cognitive abilities?  What if this pill could help you ace a test, get more work done efficiently, and truly multitask? … Read more

LSD: Psychedelic Thrill or Optimism Pill?

If you’re in a room with ten adults, chances are two of them are going to develop a mental illness –- and only one of them will receive proper treatment.… Read more

Digging Out the “Earworms:” Involuntary Musical Imagery Correlates with Cortical Structure

You don’t know you know this song, but you definitely know this song: “Hey Mickey you’re so fine, you’re so fine you…” Did the end of the lyric materialize in… Read more

A Tale of Monogamy and Dopamine

In a recent hack, private information from nearly 30 million users was leaked from Ashley Madison, a “dating” website intended to facilitate extramarital affairs.  The sheer number of Ashley Madison… Read more

What Zebrafish Teach Us About Touch

Unlike the sense of vision, which is perceived only by light-sensitive photoreceptors in our eyes, the mechanoreceptors that respond to light touch are located in sensory neurons all over the… Read more

Science with a Touch of Art: A Conversation with David Ginty

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/176184172″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /] If you think about it, the surface of the human body, the skin, is actually one huge sheet of tactile receptors. The dozens… Read more

Understanding the Visual System: A Conversation with Botond Roska

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/174013562″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /] When we see the world, there is a huge amount of processing that occurs in the neural circuits of the retina, thalamus, and… Read more

The Split Brain: Making Two Hemispheres Whole

Admit it!  You’ve taken one of those online quizzes to see if you’re more “right-brained” or “left-brained.”  Too bad it’s all bunk!    Popular culture would have you believe that… Read more

Navigating a 3D World

The brain has an amazing ability to form internal maps of the world around it.  Knowing Neurons has previously written several articles about place cells in the hippocampus and how… Read more

Visual Pinwheels

When you look at an object, like the picture above, there are many features your brain has the task of processing.  Color, texture, and position in space to name a few.  Lines and angles… Read more

Turning On A “Photoswitch” Helps Blind Mice See The Light

Our senses connect us to the world.  Your visual system lets you know that there is a yellow car ahead of you, and your auditory system lets you know that… Read more

Heightened Senses: Cross-Modal Neuroplasticity

Envision this scenario.  It’s the end of a grueling hike and you’re racing back to civilization along a trail in the mountains as darkness falls.  You’ve become separated from your… Read more

Repaving Old Roads After Spinal Cord Injury

The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 500,000 people will experience spinal cord injuries (SCI) every year.  Researchers at the Center for Neuroprosthetics and Brain Mind Institute in… Read more

Can Looking at Food Photos Ruin Your Dinner?

How many advertisements do you see each day?  If you could count them all (billboards, television commercials, sidebar advertisements on your Facebook feed), it would add up to almost 5,000! … Read more

Sleep ‘til you’re Hungry. Eat ‘til you’re Sleepy.

Have you ever tried to go to sleep hungry?  Believe me, it doesn’t work.  You just end up lying in bed, listening to your stomach growl, and dreaming about your… Read more

Fatal Attraction: The Cat-and-Mouse Story with a Twist

The beloved classic cartoon “Tom and Jerry” brings amusement and laughter to the young and old alike.  As the house cat Tom attempts to capture the mouse Jerry, we also… Read more

Channeling Your Response to Pain

“Ouch!”  Thanks to our always-alert sensory neurons that provide a spatial sense of self (proprioception) and pain (nociception), we receive an early warning to any noxious stimuli  (think needle prick… Read more

A World Without Pain

In Northern Pakistan, a ten-year old street performer awed and horrified crowds with his ability to place knives through his arms and walk across burning coals all seemingly without pain.… Read more

What is Pain?

For many, pain is an indescribably awful feeling that causes suffering and emotional distress.  It is a sensation that is so unpleasant – so unbearable – that most people will… Read more

The Newest Cupid on the Block: Epigenetics

Genes are no different from individuals. Sometimes they behave in a simple, logical way. Other times, they are unpredictable and influenced by their surroundings. The central dogma (DNA to RNA to… Read more

Retinal Prostheses: Restoring Vision to the Blind

Vision is arguably one of our most important senses.  We rely on it to recognize color, shape, movement, distance, and perspective about the world around us.   Although all parts of… Read more

Forming Memories, One Neuron at a Time

On Monday, Knowing Neurons highlighted a recent research article that described a new miniature microscope that was small enough to sit on a mouse’s head and light enough to allow… Read more

Hearing is Believing: Cells that Enable Hearing after Birth

The sense of hearing is a critical part of how we experience life and the world around us. It is so important, in fact, that the ears are fully formed… Read more

The Hunger Games of The Second Brain

If you’ve sensed “butterflies” in your stomach before a stage performance, felt your “stomach churn” upon hearing a horrifying story, or simply made a decision based on your “gut feeling,”… Read more
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