Category Archives: Neurobiology

It was commonly assumed that no new neurons are formed in the adult mammalian brain, even after the first results showing neurogenesis in rodents were published in the 1960s. Further work in mammals and birds during the 80s contributed to […]

Our brain constitutes one of the finest pieces of natural machinery known, and it allows us to efficiently interact with our environment: searching for food, avoiding predators, communicating with other individuals, and even some more sophisticated stuff — like enjoying […]

Human brain has about 85 billion neurons. Each neuron forms thousands of chemical and electrical synapses with other neurons. To record the synaptic activity of each neuron in the brain an intracellular probe with a millivolt scale is required. Glass […]

In our eyes, the cornea and crystalline lens project an image of the world onto the retina. There, this image is sampled by the rods and the cones —the light-sensitive cells of the vertebrate eye—, coded as a sequence of […]

 
Bees visit flowers to obtain nectar (a sugary liquid) and pollen (their source of fat and protein). During foraging trips, bees do not choose flowers at random. For example, as first pointed out by Aristotle, bees visit only one […]

From a certain point of view, eukaryotic cells could be described as microscopic power plants equipped with factories and energy-generating platforms, inside of which highways and compartments are constantly built and rebuilt, and a fluent traffic provides a constant recycling […]

About 95% of the photoreceptors in our retina are rods, which we use for nocturnal vision, since they can detect single photons. During the day, rods saturate, and we use the other 5% of photoreceptors, the cones, which mediate color […]

Olfaction is one of the most important senses. It protects us from eating spoiled food, it helps animals to detect their relatives, it makes the perfume business quite successful and, in general, it connects us to the volatile chemicals surrounding […]

Neurons in your brain are interconnected through synapses, thus constituting the so-called neural networks. Following a simplified but conceptually useful view, each synapse can be seen as a “link” between two given neurons, and it has a certain associated strength. […]

Smell has often been the neglected sense, despite—or, hopefully, until—the increasing number of interesting discoveries being made about and around it. Trivially, smells are interpreted as a series of neurochemical reactions mediated by receptors; this is no novelty, and at […]