"There's something I ought to tell you. I'm not left-handed either." - Westley, The Princess Bride Throughout history, left-handedness has both fascinated and frightened people. Maybe it is because only about 15 percent of the population is left-handed. Or maybe it is because the reasons for left-handedness remain somewhat of a mystery. What makes a person left- … Continue reading Being Left (Handed) Is All Right
Spinal Cord Injury: Let’s Clear the Air(ways)
The spinal cord is the information processing highway in animals (including humans) that have a backbone. In humans, the spinal cord contains nerve cells called motor neurons that control movement in the muscle fibers of the body, similar to the way a puppeteer controls the movements of a puppet. About 17,000 people in the U.S. … Continue reading Spinal Cord Injury: Let’s Clear the Air(ways)
The Brain in Your Gut
Did you know your gut has a brain of its own? It’s called the enteric nervous system. The brain in your gut is embedded in the wall of the digestive tract. Together with your “big brain,” the enteric nervous system helps control gastrointestinal function, including the mixing and grinding of food in the stomach and … Continue reading The Brain in Your Gut
Walking and the Brain, Aromatherapy for Horses and a Whole Lot More!
Physiology, the study of function from microscopic cells to complete organ systems, encompasses a wide range of fascinating topics. The annual Experimental Biology (EB) meeting is a showcase for thousands of researchers studying humans and animals alike. Check out some of the research presented at last month’s meeting in Chicago: Most people know that walking … Continue reading Walking and the Brain, Aromatherapy for Horses and a Whole Lot More!
What Alcohol Can Do to Your Body Is Not Always So ‘Cheer’y
“Cheers!” is a word often associated with alcohol consumption, conjuring up images of celebration and good times. However, it is important to remember that alcohol is a drug as much as any other drug, prescription or otherwise. In fact, alcohol is the most widely abused drug in the U.S. Alcohol misuse affects every organ in … Continue reading What Alcohol Can Do to Your Body Is Not Always So ‘Cheer’y
When’s the Best Time to Eat? Your Body Clock Knows
The American Heart Association recently released a statement suggesting that when and how often you eat could affect your risk for developing heart disease and stroke. Until now, the focus on diet has been primarily about how much and what you eat. This news—that the time of day you eat may also be important—could change … Continue reading When’s the Best Time to Eat? Your Body Clock Knows
Go Ahead and Scratch … Your Brain Is Telling You To
Winter is here, and for much of the country, it’s going to stick around for a while. When exposure to frosty air and the constant hum of the heat pump continue for too long, you may end up with dry, itchy skin. We know that scratching an itch feels good, but why? Researchers studied brain … Continue reading Go Ahead and Scratch … Your Brain Is Telling You To
How Your Brain Decides to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions (or Not)
The start of a new year can feel like a fresh slate or an unwritten book. It’s a chance for many of us to resolve to do things better (eating, exercising) or to stop doing certain things altogether (smoking). But most people don’t succeed in sticking to their resolutions in the long term, and … Continue reading How Your Brain Decides to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions (or Not)
2016’s Ten Most Read Posts
It’s been a physiology-full 2016 on the I Spy Physiology blog! From exercise to respiration to heart health and beyond, we’ve explored how the bodies of humans and other animals work, adapt and react. Today, we take a look back at our 10 most read posts of the year. Concussions among football players was headline … Continue reading 2016’s Ten Most Read Posts
Exercise: It does a body—no, your brain—good!
Credit: iStock It’s 7:30 a.m., I’m looking for my keys, grabbing my bag and herding everyone out of the door as we hurry off to school and work. Wait! One more trip back into the house for the forgotten homework assignment, a lunchbox and … it seems I have forgotten several things. Is it stress, … Continue reading Exercise: It does a body—no, your brain—good!