23 year old female. Dork, nerd, gamer, artist, and all around crafty person. Rescuer of bunnies and wife of Vermillioneyes. Cisgendered, so she/her pronouns are fine :)
So, the way we experience…pretty much everything is via proteins and ion channels. Very basically…there are proteins that are designed to sense certain things….the presence of sugar, whether they’ve been struck by light, the concentration of CO2 in the blood. When they sense those things, they open an ion channel changing the electrical charge of the cell, which then get transferred through the nervous system to the brain where that area of the brain is like “Cool…we’ve got sugar…or light…or too much CO2 in the blood.”Well, sometimes these proteins can be fooled. A chemical will, just by chance (or by natural selection) be able to bind with that protein and cause that whole cascade to occur without the real stimulus. This is what happens with menthol in mint and capsaicin in peppers. Those chemicals bind to the cold / hot receptors respectively, fooling your body into thinking that something cold / hot is happening in your mouth. Pretty cool.-Hank
Hank answers your science questions over on the SciShow tumblr!
Me: Hello Corndog!
Corndog: AGH! Don’t Eat Me! I’m terrible for the environment and you’d be contributing to a system that will lead to the ultimate destruction of trillions of dollars in infrastructure!
Me: You’re right…OMNOMNOMNOMNOM
Look…basically every time I spend money on a…