A Tale of Monogamy and Dopamine
Did You Know? / Sensation and Perception

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 users on this website raises some age-old questions of monogamy: is it instinctual, or even healthy?  What is it about our brains that cause some … Continue reading

Seeing Invisible Colors: Part II
Brain Basics / Sensation and Perception

Seeing Invisible Colors: Part II

In a recent Knowing Neurons piece, we explored the exotic visual abilities of other animals, while lamenting the limitations of human color vision.  In this article, we stretch those limits and celebrate some peculiarities of trichromatic color vision. Recall that a typical person has color receptors (cone cells) for red, green, and blue wavelengths of … Continue reading

Seeing Invisible Colors
Brain Basics / Popular Articles / Sensation and Perception

Seeing Invisible Colors

What would the world be like without color?  Imagine you are a neurophysiologist, who studies color perception.  You know that light is a wave and that humans perceive color according to differential activation of color receptors, known as cones, in the retina.  You know that red cones are sensitive to long wavelengths, green cones are … Continue reading

What Zebrafish Teach Us About Touch
Movement / Neuro News / Sensation and Perception / SfN 2014

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 body.  Our sense of touch starts in the skin, where sensory neurons with elaborate dendrites just below the skin’s surface provide dense coverage over the … Continue reading

Science with a Touch of Art: A Conversation with David Ginty
Did You Know? / Interviews with Neuroscientists / Sensation and Perception / SfN 2014

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

If you think about it, the surface of the human body, the skin, is actually one huge sheet of tactile receptors. The dozens of types of receptors that innervate the skin help us connect with our surroundings. But the properties of these neurons – how they are organized in the skin, where the project into … Continue reading

Understanding the Visual System: A Conversation with Botond Roska
Did You Know? / Interviews with Neuroscientists / Sensation and Perception / SfN 2014

Understanding the Visual System: A Conversation with Botond Roska

When we see the world, there is a huge amount of processing that occurs in the neural circuits of the retina, thalamus, and cortex before we can even begin to comprehend our environment. And all of this computation happens very quickly! In this interview with Dr. Botond Roska, Senior Group Leader at the Friedrich Miescher … Continue reading