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Questions tagged [sensation]

Sensation is dealing with the processing of the senses, including the traditional senses vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch, but also sense experiences such as vestibular and pain. It typically involves the higher-level cortical brain areas associated with the conscious experience of physical ...

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Why is peripheral vision not bleached by daylight?

In daylight, rods are known to be bleached: we have to wait some time after going into darkness before scotopic vision becomes effective. But, as I understand, peripheral vision is also mostly due to ...
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23 views

How are sound waves amplified while traveling within the cochlea?

How are sound waves amplified while traveling from the basal membrane to apical membrane within the cochlea? Are they amplified by the movement of the stapes?
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5k views

Can one see flickering of a light bulb at 50 Hz?

Yesterday I had a BBQ with some friends. The sun had already set and the only light source left (besides some ambient light from the world around) was a low energy light bulb. After a while I started ...
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36 views

What is the signal conversion from hair cells to cochlear nerve cells?

If I understood correctly, inner hair cells generates a graded potential (receptor potential), this potential maps the stereocilia deflection. On the other hand, the cochlear nerve cells transmit ...
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34 views

why do we tighten out muscles against cold?

When I'm in shower and I want to open the cold water on myself suddenly I make my muscles so tight before I open the water and that helps so much in being able to handle the shock. Why does tightening ...
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53 views

What is an “Alternative Sensation”?

As far as I know, alternative sensation it's a sensation to distract people from the original stimuli, for example when you have to get an injection, the nurse will pinch you in the other arms so your ...
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1answer
524 views

What is the direction of the processing of light by the (human) retina and how does it happen?

Quoting Textbook of Medical Physiology by Guyton and Hall, 2016, page 647, ...the functional components of the retina, which are arranged in layers from the outside to the inside as follows: (...
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44 views

Pitch perception - why is the missing fundamental not directly detected in the cochlea?

I'm learning about pitch perception, and learned about the case of the missing fundamental. In the main image in that wikipedia page, it seems like the bottom graph, with the fundamental frequency ...
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5k views

Why does my room suddenly look 'reddish'? My eyes seem to adapt to color

To get the context of this question clear, I would like you to walk through some parts of my house. We'll start with one of my rooms as it appears normally - As evident, this part of my house has a ...
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1answer
74 views

Is the masking effect of sound related to action potentials or to mechanical aspects of hearing?

I am an applied mathematics / signal processing engineer who wants to learn more and I have a question that has been bugging me for some time. It is known in audio coding circles that human hearing is ...
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1answer
35 views

Are there organisms sensing conformations, which we humans can't sense directly? [closed]

Are there organisms which can sense the conformations, which we humans can't sense directly, i.e. without using any equipment? If there are organisms which can sense conformations ("the shape or ...
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2answers
59 views

Are resonances the reason receptors work?

From Visual phototransduction - Wikipedia: When struck by a photon, 11-cis retinal undergoes photoisomerization to all-trans retinal which changes the conformation of the opsin GPCR leading to ...
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1answer
89 views

What causes Pseudomonas fragi to smell sweet?

I am working with Pseudomonas fragi and I could not help but notice that it smells sweet, which probably explains its species name 'fragi' from 'fragum', strawberry in Latin. Does anybody know what ...
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102 views

Is it the theory of the 5 senses obsolete? [closed]

An enigmatic topic in traditional science was labelled as the mystery of the 5 senses, and how to best group senses by type. Is that theory now meaningless? Do Scientists still agree that that ...
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3answers
67 views

How do our sensory organs work automatically without our conscious effort? [closed]

I wonder how our different sensory organs (e.g., eyes, nose, ears, etc.) work automatically without our conscious efforts or without our command. We don't have to tell our eyes how to see, our ears ...
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26 views

Sensitivity Along Digestive Tract [closed]

Suppose you swallowed a little capsule with a blunt poker which had some impulse of force applied every few seconds. What would be the sensitivity ordering (of lips, mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach,...
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71 views

Cold water sour taste

Recently I underwent a wisdom tooth extraction, and while there is still numbness I have observed something peculiar. If I drink cold water, it tastes sour, however the same effect is not observed ...
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856 views

How greater magnitude implies greater frequency of action potential?

Greater the magnitude of receptor potential, greater is the rate of discharge of action potentials in the nerve fibre.1 Now consider a case where stimulus ( strength ) is large , so there is more ...
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787 views

Does Rüppell's Griffon Vulture Have Greatest Vision Acuity? (Small Carrion Spotted at 10 km+?)

Synopsis: Some sources seem to imply the Rüppell's (griffon) vulture (Gyps rueppelli) can see objects at a distance in excess of 10 km -- roughly three times the ...
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668 views

Why do humans not have a powerful sense of smell?

It seems like a useful ability to be able to detect many different things about, say, another organism. A lot of mammals have this ability. Why not humans? Did we evolve it out or never develop it?
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What digitally encoded smell formats exist?

Is there a defacto format for storing and transmitting smell digitally? Where can I obtain samples of such smell encodings? What reference dataset exists against which I can compare my smell sample to ...
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1answer
68 views

What is mold detection threshold in humans?

I managed to find primary taste detection thresholds, e.g. for sweetness it's 1 part in 200 of sucrose in solution. Recently I've noticed that I can detect mold smell/taste even if there are no signs ...
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1answer
636 views

Can frogs see clearly under and above water?

If humans attempt to see underwater, the image is blurred due to refractive differences in air and water that disrupt the normal refractive effect of the lens in the eye. A diving mask overcomes this ...
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2answers
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Why do I still see a bright light after looking directly at it?

When you look directly at a bright light, maybe accidentally when looking at the sun, the shape of the image may persistently be perceived even after you look away. Does this image persistence have ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the smallest touch sensation that a human can feel?

What is smallest touch (pressure) sensation that a normal, healthy person (not hypersensitive nor insensitive) can feel on the palm of the hand?
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1answer
433 views

What would happen if you “rewired” your eyes with your nose?

The nose sends sensory input through transduction of chemicals in the air via the olfactory nerves/tracts to the primary olfactory cortex. The eyes send sensory input through transduction of light ...
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3answers
14k views

Is there an RGB equivalent for smells?

Millions of colors in the visible spectrum can be generated by mixing red, green and blue - the RGB color system. Is there a basic set of smells that, when mixed, can yield all, or nearly all ...
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53 views

Sensing weather conditions through bodily reactions (e.g. dry hands, arthritic pains)

Two fairly known examples of the effect of certain weather conditions on the body are dry hands due to decreased air humidity around us (more commonly in the winter, as described here), and flaring of ...
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326 views

Why can't I smell things that aren't there?

I can close my eyes and imagine a red cube with a yellow star on it. Although I don't literally see it -- if there was a red cube with a yellow star on the inside of my eyelids, I'd know the ...
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2answers
117 views

How can bobcats feel the mice under the snow?

I've just seen the Planet Earth II's second episode "Mountains" where they shock us with these North American bobcats that can feel mice from the distance of several meters, sneak to them and kill ...
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1answer
199 views

Most accurate depiction of cortical homunculus?

I was looking at cortical homunculus and I realized there are several different pictures and they don't quite agree. For instance: http://wellbeing.media.mit.edu/2014/02/21/mindfulness-neuroimaging-...
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1answer
224 views

Is bad tasting food more likely to cause harm?

Taste is often referred to as subjective. For example certain foods taste bad to me, such as oranges, grapefruit, grapes, raisins, and sweet potatoes. However the wiki article on taste explains that ...
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1answer
273 views

What makes a 'sense'? Is fatigue (tiredness) a sense?

I have watched to new episode of Scishow on that scientists added 3 new senses (Thermoception, Proprioception and Equilibrioception) to our 5 sense list, and was wondering what makes a 'sense'? Wiki ...
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107 views

Smallest pressure differential that humans can detect

While cooking dinner under an extractor on its lowest setting, I noticed that none of the steam (referenced by the amount of fogging on a nearby window, compared to the absence of the fan, was ...
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1answer
125 views

Nature of sight/ color perception?

I am wondering how we perceive color and whether that is dependent on the wavelength of the light, or on something manufactured in the brain. For instance, if we evolved on a planet orbiting a red ...
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1answer
38 views

Are fish averse to extreme heat?

Terrestrial animals face two common sources of heat extreme enough to pose a danger to them: Sunlight and fire. It therefore stands to reason that they would evolve systems for sensing heat and ...
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1answer
109 views

How do afferent mechanoreceptors work on the finger pads?

I'm having some difficulty understanding how the afferent signals are sensed in the finger pads. My understanding is that for mechanoreceptors, as the indenting force increases, their effective ...
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2answers
1k views

What causes the tonotopic organization of the inner ear?

I'm trying to understand why tones are registered in the way that they are in the inner ear, i.e., why are high pitched sounds sensed at the base of the cochlea and low frequencies in the apex? I've ...
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1answer
923 views

Can a color-blind person see color with filter glasses?

Why does color vision improve in color-blind persons using these filter glasses from Enchroma? Will a color blind person be able to see the same colors on a television? I'm asking, because the colors ...
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1answer
2k views

Can we taste electrons?

Why does licking a 9-Volt battery elicits a taste sensation? Can taste be stimulated by electrical stimulation?
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356 views

Do ants use something similar to the honey bee “waggle dance” to instruct the rest of the colony where to find a food source?

In the 20 years since we built our home, we've just recently had our first ant infestation. I'm familiar with the fact that ants leave scent trails to find their way back and forth between the ...
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1answer
228 views

Perception of white in the absence of rods

If the retina would not have any cones, one would be color blind. If white is the presence of all colors (in the matter of color mixture, not addition), then what would white look like without rods?
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1answer
136 views

Any nerves/fibers in foot similar to ulnar nerve in elbow?

I just noticed that when I gently run my fingers along the top of my right foot, I get the same exact "funnybone" sensation in my toes that I get when I hit the ulnar nerve in my elbow. So I ask: are ...
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1answer
279 views

Why doesn't the ambient lighting condition change the perception of colors we see on a monitor?

Suppose that I take a picture of an object illuminated by an incandescent light bulb and I choose the daylight white balance setting. The picture I then get will display a white object as looking ...
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2answers
4k views

How can some animals see ultraviolet or infrared light?

I know that some animals like birds, bees, and fish can see ultraviolet and infrared light. Whether it to detect flowers that bare nectar, or the urine trails of prey. But what I don't understand is ...
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4k views

Why black and yellow indicates danger?

It is a pretty well-known fact that combination of black and yellow indicates danger or poisonousness. In western society it seems obvious this comes from bees and wasps, but the look to the patterns ...
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88 views

Is there a lower temperature limit, below which we cannot sense a difference in temperature?

At work I have to handle samples stored at -20 and -70 degrees Celsius, and they don't feel that different to me.
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3answers
3k views

How statistically significant was the “sweaty T-shirt” experiment?

An Overview of the Experiment. In 1995 there was an experiment that involves young people smelling T-shirts worn by another gender and rating their preference. The researchers found that people ...
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1answer
2k views

Does loud music affect hearing and balance?

From many sources I understand that strong disturbances can destroy hair cells in the cochlea. Does the sound damage always counts simply as the number of decibels recieved by the ear? E.g., if you ...
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1answer
826 views

How is pain induced by blunt and sharp objects?

Normally, when something touch you, you won't feel pain. With a great force "touching" you, you will feel pain. However, if something that is spiky makes contact with you, you will feel pain. So, how ...