The Hidden Electrical World Inside Your Body

Our bodies rely on an ultrafast nervous system to send impulses very quickly and it all starts with a special cell called the neuron. In this episode, Patrick will explain how these cells tell your body what to do.

What's so amazing about one's sense of touch is how it’s actually multiple senses wrapped into one—the same tissue that senses hot and cold also senses pressure, texture, and even pain signals.

The nervous system, one of our most intricate bodily systems handles motor control among many other things. And the nervous system is fast, with some nervous impulses traveling up to 120 meters a second, or over 260 miles an hour, which, for the record, is faster than a race car.

This ultrafast but diverse type of signaling is thanks in part to a long, spindly cell called the neuron that makes up the nervous system.

So in this episode of Human, Patrick will take a deep dive into how the nervous system can transmit information so quickly, taking a closer look at the neuron and how scientists are getting closer to reconstructing the sense of touch in the lab.

We will explore the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, and all the things in between. Watch to find out more.

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Introduction to the Nervous System

“The nervous system is the major controlling, regulatory, and communicating system in the body. It is the center of all mental activity including thought, learning, and memory. Together with the endocrine system, the nervous system is responsible for regulating and maintaining homeostasis.”

It feels instantaneous, but how long does it really take to think a thought?

“As inquisitive beings, we are constantly questioning and quantifying the speed of various things. With a fair degree of accuracy, scientists have quantified the speed of light, the speed of sound, the speed at which the earth revolves around the sun, the speed at which hummingbirds beat their wings, the average speed of continental drift. These values are all well-characterized. But what about the speed of thought?”

New prosthetic limbs go beyond the functional to allow people to ‘feel’ again

“Phantom pain was all that Keven Walgamott had left of the limb he lost in an accident over a decade ago — until he tried on the LUKE Arm for the first time in 2017, and told researchers that he could “feel” again. The arm is a motorized and sensorized prosthetic that has been in development for over 15 years by a team at the University of Utah.”

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