Here's a pattern that happens to me a lot. Say I sleep 4-5 hours on Sunday night, instead of my preferred 7-8. I feel fine all day Monday, then sleep 8 hours Monday night. On Tuesday, I feel exhausted and mentally foggy. Is this pattern documented in others? Is there a physiological explanation? [more inside]
Dear The Internets: I have had this shiny odd-shaped thing on my desk for over a decade now. People often ask me what it is. I have no answer. No one else has been able to figure it out either. Can you help me? Sincerely, frogs. [more inside]
I've realized that morning adrenaline and cortisol surges are largely responsible for my daily hours of panic and dread. While I know ways of soothing that after the fact, I want to prevent it altogether and am looking for supplements, medication, lifestyle hacks. More inside. [more inside]
People who have low body fat due to anorexia, disease, etc., look visibly unhealthy. People such as body builders and actors who have low body fat look healthy. I guess I can understand that "little amount of fat over large amount of muscle" looks healthy while "little amount of fat over little amount of muscle" looks unhealthy, but since people generally don't lift weights with their faces, necks, etc., it would seem that their faces would look the same, but that's not the case. What causes the unhealthiness of anorexic/disease/etc. weight-loss to be apparent in the face and neck?
I'm a couple years off finishing a PhD that's been about half biochemistry and half electrophysiology at a top-ranked Australian university. The academic career path is definitely open to me - I've got a decent number of publications, heaps of teaching experience, blah blah blah - but I'm unsure that it's what I want to pursue. [more inside]
I know why our ears pop, but I'm wondering when humans reliably began experiencing this sensation caused by anything other than having a cold. Today, we are most likely to feel our ears popping in a airplane or driving a car in the mountains. But before planes and cars, and besides the head colds and infected sinuses that have always been with us, what caused our ears to pop first? [more inside]
Tell me about the energy dynamics of non-deciduous alpine trees. How do saplings stay alive when continuously covered by snow all winter? [more inside]
I have observed a new phenomenon in myself this year and noticed different patterns in how my brain interacts with language in the period after trauma. I have a lot of other stress reactions going on that seem to be hypothalamus stuff (loss of circadian rhythm, weird appetite things, feeling hot and sweaty) but am not sure how any of that plays into processing language. I would love to learn more about this, either from anecdotes or from a more research-based perspective. [more inside]
I am looking for research/articles/papers on people's instinct to sacrifice for the "greater good". I have read an article mentioning John Bowlby and a term called "collective protective instinct", but outside of said article I haven't found any mention of this term. [more inside]
Dear Hive Mind, My friend (a graduate student in psychology) wants to collect physiological measures for her dissertation. However, she doesn't have much money with which to do so. What is the cheapest way for her to accurately record the heart rate of some undergraduates? How much more will it cost her to be able to export the data to a computer? Thanks 10^6, zscore
Over the past few days, I've seen reports in the British media about the upcoming heatwave featuring sky-high blazing temperatures of over 30C. What? [more inside]
I would like to get some book recommendations on the following topic: the connection between brain arousal states (am I using that term correctly?) (e.g. sleepy, alert, hyperalert/anxious), EEG states (e.g. theta, alpha, beta), and various neurotransmitters and perhaps even psychotropic medications. [more inside]
I have to learn anatomy and physiology on my own in a very condensed period of time. I find that I learn best by watching a lecturer or fantastic video. Do you have any recommendations for fantastic lecture series on YouTube detailing the anatomy and physiology of various organ systems?
Are there any physiological explanations for why so many people have the same dreams? [more inside]
Why is there such an extreme variation in the way humans perceive and react to the same ambient temperature? Especially in the way I perceive it relative to everyone else around me? [more inside]
Which GI organ absorbs the majority of ingested water? Source needed. [more inside]
What are some good muscle-building, resistance-based exercises that don't place a lot of strain on the heart? [more inside]
A friend queries: What makes a person feel so energized after choir practice (in a scientific sense)? [more inside]
The high school level anatomy and physiology class I teach is going to do a unit on running and movement. Help me figure out what size VFF's to request from a generous donor to accommodate as many of my current and future high school students possible. If you wear VFF's, I'd appreciate you looking inside and giving me your traditional shoe size (US) and VFF sizes (I think we're getting KSO's). If you have any other great foot physiology sites or books (not mentioned here or here), I'd appreciate that info, too. I just wiped out my local library. [more inside]
Please help me teach myself about physiology and anatomy, and to generally understand the human body
Please help me teach myself about physiology and anatomy, and to generally understand the human body. [more inside]
For every pound of weight that I can squat, I have X pounds of muscle. What is the value of X? [more inside]
Why does one cup of coffee make me sleepy? [more inside]
Hello! I am leading an Anatomy & Physiology study group for homeschooled teens. The aim is to work at the advanced high school level, but I'm using a college textbook (Thibodeau & Patton), as the illustrations and charts are more useful, and it might come in handy for them for later reference. But I'm not sure how deep to delve. [more inside]
What is the most important scientific question of our time? [more inside]
Something that's always had me a bit curious: how is what's happening to the breasts of the female skydivers in this image that's circulated around the 'Net (NSFW) even anatomically possible? [more inside]
Why don't adults enjoy dizziness like kids do? When I was a kid I remember thinking adults were boring for not enjoying the feeling of dizziness, and I vowed to always enjoy it :) Now as an adult, I can't stand it, and feel like throwing up. It seems most adults (if not all) feel the same way. Why is that?
Catfilter: If I spay my cat while she's in heat, will she continue to yowl for the rest of her life?
I thought my cat had just _finished_ her first heat and made a vet appointment to have her spayed tomorrow. Well, guess who started yowling and moving her tail sideways to display feline private parts?! Should I keep tomorrow's appointment and have her spayed _during_ her heat, or should I wait? [more inside]
Hi, I only have 1 1/2 years till I'm completely done my undergraduate nutrition degree in Canada. I've already established that I want to pursue a masters, however, the only school I have been checking online is Columbia's Department of Nutrition because it is the only school I can think of which offers a decent program. Is it true? If not, does anyone have any good suggestions (NA, Europe, Asia)? [more inside]
Are there any good DVDs or books that teach you exercise as a way of understanding and having fun with your body? I'm looking for a system whose focus is not primarily on losing weight or being healthy but on learning about your body and being able to do cool things with it you couldn't do before (gain better balance, stand on your head, improve your ability to drag furniture even), but that would also incidentally give you an excellent workout. Ideas?
Why are sine waves considered "pure" tones? Why do we consider sinusoids the building blocks of periodic functions? [more inside]
Is there a physiological response to certain phrases in music? [more inside]
On Thursday morning, I'm taking my final exam in Anatomy & Physiology II. I typically have test anxiety, and this time, it's reaching fever pitch. What are your favorite little mnemonics and/or rules of thumb that you rely upon in order to remember... uh, everything? [more inside]
Are "fast zombies" really plausible? [more inside]
How does hair know how long to grow? [more inside]
Hypotension/hypovolemia as a low-pass filter: I got cut, I went into shock, and then everything started sounding funny. I'd guess it was a 40 dB (±10) rolloff, which began near 200 Hz (±50) and left me with nothing above 1kHz. How in the world? Story, discussion of numeric estimates, off-the-cuff physiological speculations, etc... [more inside]
What is the physiology of bird sounds? [more inside]
So I'm still trying to pinpoint this one (I keep forgetting to ask it, and Google turns up nothing)-- when one lies down in a bathtub, faceup, and submerges at least their entire ears, they shiver (it's more kind of an uncontrollable, brief spasm of the upper body and doesn't FEEL like shivering, but looks like it). It isn't related to the water temperature, as far as I can tell, and DOESN'T happen when facedown or swimming, etc. Or do other people not have this happen? Do you? I get it every single time, without fail, and have since I can remember. My mom knows exactly what I'm talking about, but my dad insists we're both crazy. Is this just one of those odd reflex reactions like coughing when you have something in your ear or sneezing when you get in the sun? (I also do that one-- always funny to explain to people :) ) Any idea what causes this, though?
Why are there fast people and slow people? Why do different people have different paces? [more inside]
What is the underlying physiological cause for paresthesia (tingling of the fingers) secondary to hyperventilation? Specifically, what metabolic or neurological process causes you to feel tingling in your fingers when you hyperventilate?
Is stuttering more common in some languages than in others? If singing is supposed to suppress it (true?), does that mean tonal languages (e.g. Chinese) do not suffer the phenom? Indeed, are there any languages in which it does not appear at all? If so, any theories why?
What's the connection between a thought of regret, or of resignation to a negative situation, that causes humans to involuntarily fill their lungs and exhale slowly? Is such sighing learned behavior? Does every culture sigh for this reason? Animals sigh. When my dog sighs, is she laying there regretting she didn't roll in that dead skunk when she had the chance?
Why is my butt cold? [more inside]
Should not Spiderman's web not shoot out his arse?