As SciAm's Ferris Jabr explains in the video up top, the short answer is: nociceptors. Many animals have these sensory neurons. Some animals have weird ones. Take naked mole rats, for example — NMRs have mutated sodium channels that limit physiologically "normal" nociceptor firing, thereby blunting sensations of pain
The neural pathways that make up the brain arguably represents the most fiendishly complex electrical system in the cosmos, but what if not every brain is actually electrical? One pint-sized wasp might have a mechanical brain that runs like clockwork.
This is absolutely incredible. Molecular biologists at USC have captured video footage of a neuron so finely detailed, you can actually observe the transport of individual proteins throughout the cell's structure. This offers the researchers an unprecedented look at how neurons restore themselves on a day-to-day…
To figure out how your brain works, researchers need to be able to measure the electrical activity of neurons. But now, a new method allows robots to perform the task instead.
Europe's collaborative nEUROn drone may be late to the invisible death from above party, but it sure is compensating with some scary looks. Check out the Cylon mug on this puppy as it greets the world for the first time.
Fairy wasps are some of the tiniest creatures on Earth, an entire insect roughly the size of a single-celled organism like an amoeba. That means their individual cells must be incredibly tiny...and that requires losing much of their nervous system.
Although the idea of erasing your memories may sound horrific, there may be nothing better for those dealing with severe trauma. Now we're one step closer to making it a reality, with a little help from the tiny marine snail.
Deciding what to do with your money is a complex decision, requiring lots of different parts of the brain to work together. But just before you make your conscious decision, a single neuron can reveal what you're going to choose.
We know that a dog is a dog, regardless of whether it's sitting, running, or trying to comprehend escalators. But one of the tricky parts of designing an artificial vision system for a computer is getting it to recognize that an object is the same, regardless of perspective, position, ambient lighting, and a whole…