Questions tagged [physiology]

Human physiology is the science of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of humans in good health, their organs, and the cells of which they are composed. The principal level of focus of physiology is at the level of organs and systems within systems.

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41
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Is stretching beneficial after exercise?

A quick internet search on stretching reveals that, if physiologists were a bit more belligerent, the question of whether or not to stretch after exercise is something actual wars could be fought over....
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Are different prices in wines justified by taste?

According to the BBC, Wine costing less than £5 a bottle can have the same effect on the palate as those priced up to six times as much, a psychological taste challenge suggests. My skeptic sense ...
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Do you feel pain in a life-threatening situation?

Let's say you are in a war-situation, and both you and your opponent are out of bullets. When I was in the army, I learned that the most efficient way to kill your opponent would be to kick him in the ...
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Is the human menstrual cycle related to the lunar cycle?

I've heard that the female menstrual cycle follows a pattern of the lunar cycle, mostly as an evolutionary adaptation so that menstruation (and hence detectability by predators because of the smell of ...
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Does sleeping with our heads pointing towards north pose any health risks?

Does sleeping orientation (pointing one's head in a specific direction) has anything to do with any health problems(even minor ones)? If Earth's magnetic field has any detrimental effects on our ...
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Is there any explanation for a near-death experience?

One idea I used to hear a lot about was that when people are near-death and saved by medical science that they sometimes see "a light at the end of a tunnel" in a vision. Today I read about an ...
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Does the sound of water make one want to pee?

I've known it like forever, I think I was told so since I was a kid. But how true it actually is? I clearly can't see what's the connection between the sound of water and a natural need. From my own ...
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Does one remain conscious after decapitation?

Various articles online claim anecdotal evidence from witnesses that a man's guillotine severed head remains conscious for some time after decapitation (here's an example). Some cite sources that the ...
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Do either men or women have higher pain tolerance than the other?

Traditional folklore suggests women have a higher pain tolerance than men. I have seen a few sites suggesting otherwise. Naturally, plenty of anecdotal accounts of wussy men or women get tossed around ...
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Does a lobster feel little/no pain when boiled alive?

Image Source I have just read Cracked.com's "9 Ridiculous Cooking Myths You Probably Believe", that claims: [...] because [the lobster's] nervous system isn't very complex, so it's feeling little ...
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Could smoking cause erectile dysfunction?

I was told that smoking 'menthol' cigarettes could cause erectile dysfunction. But I don't know how much of this is true so I wanted to know how much of this is true... Here is an example of the ...
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Do metal items stick magnetically to “Magnet Boy”?

In the past week or so there have been several news articles from major news sources including this one from CBS about a boy that has apparent magnetic powers (metal things stick to him). Is it ...
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Does chugging Gatorade before going to sleep prevent a hangover in the morning?

Is drinking Gatorade after a night of drinking an effective method for preventing hangovers? A Forbes article claims: You not only lose water when you booze, you also dump electrolytes. These ...
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Do non-FDA approved “male enhancement” pills work?

The airwaves and Internet are full of advertisements for "male enhancement" products: magic pills "guaranteed" to enlarge your penis and increase your sex drive. For example, ExtenZe, perhaps the ...
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Does your heart stop beating when you sneeze?

I read the following quote in a paper: When you sneeze, all your body functions temporarily stop working. That also includes you heart beat. There is of course no explanation, reason, source, or ...
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Does it take time for the brain to realize that you have eaten too much?

A doctor told me to eat my meal only until I feel 3/4th full. The logic being that the stomach takes time to absorb the food and the brain takes time to register that fact and the signal that I have ...
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Does drinking coffee or tea dehydrate you?

It is widely claimed that despite being made mostly of water, drinking coffee or tea will actually dehydrate you, because the caffeine is a a diuretic. Here is an example from the SFGate news site ...
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Does every species get around a billion heartbeats on average?

I read this webcomic today: From: abominable.cc I have no idea where the author got his factoid about the billion heartbeats. But it sounds interesting. The examples I can think of (rabbits, humans,...
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Is it possible to “die instantly”?

Lots of times, when some great tragedy occurs, one often hears journalists and bystanders alike softening the blow of having some person die by saying something like "at least they died instantly" or "...
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Does the color temperature of a computer screen affect sleep patterns?

There's a little tool called f.lux that claims: During the day, computer screens look good — they're designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn't be looking at ...
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Are women physically weaker?

I've always thought that "women are weaker1 than men in general" was a biological fact (supposedly stemming/evolving from the social structure of prehistoric humans) However, in this video (~21:36), ...
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Are all the atoms in our bodies replaced on a regular basis?

In a related question, Are all cells of the human body completely replaced every seven to ten years?, it is explained that there are cells in the human body, like neurons, that are never replaced. ...
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Do women who live together get synchronized menstrual cycles?

I found a Wikipedia article on Menstrual synchrony, which claims: Menstrual synchrony, also known as the McClintock Effect, or the Wellesley Effect [1] is a phenomenon reported in 1971 wherein the ...
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Is Shaolin monk Hu Qiong using “Chi energy” to withstand an electric drill?

In one of the episodes of Stan Lee's Superhumans (the excerpt in question can be viewed here) a Shaolin monk named Hu Qiong claims that by training his body and "transfering Chi to the right part of ...
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Does willpower depend on the amount of glucose in the body?

How strong is the evidence for the argument made in Willpower by Baumeister and Tierney? Basically willpower (or better: "self-control") is supposed to be proportional to the amount of glucose in ...
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Is breaking bricks/wood “karate style” an impressive feat?

Related: How do Shaolin monks break spears with their neck? For anyone unacquainted with the fairly impressive looking feat of breaking bricks (or wood) in martial arts, see THIS 1.5min video. I'd ...
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Can trained humans run faster than all other animals on a marathon distance?

During the athletics world championship, a commentator mentioned casually during the marathon discipline that humans are faster over long distances than all animals. I'm unsure if this can be said ...
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Does drinking alcohol dehydrate you?

I've often thought that it doesn't and that this was just a myth, and this BBC article backs me up: but [water] can be contained in food, alcohol or caffeinated beverages. Yes, beer and coffee ...
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1answer
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Does frequent sex cause vaginas to become permanently stretched?

This is a common belief, sometimes used to shame women - that virgins have 'tight' vaginas and women who partake in more sexual intercourse have 'loose' vaginas due to permanent stretching. Is this ...
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Can a blow to the base of the neck cause unconsciousness? (i.e., “Karate…CHOP!”)

Relating to Are one-hit knockouts possible? : It was a common trope in the 60s for heroes to knock out evildoers with a open-handed chop to the base of the neck (preferably accompanied with a high-...
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1answer
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If you put your hand in water while sleeping/drunk, will you pee yourself?

This is like an urban myth and a classic prank, but I never saw it in action. Supposedly if someone is passed out or sleeping, the contact with water will make him pee. Is this true? If true, why ...
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Do monkey bars make you taller?

My mom -- a doctor -- and my relatives seem to think that hanging off monkey bars make you taller as it "stretches" your spine. I seriously doubt if this is true, unless you hang off monkey bars 24/7....
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Is excessive use of chewing gum bad for you?

Chewing sugar-free gum is good for your teeth. But what about the rest of your body? Would constantly chewing gum have any negative effects? An argument I have heard is that the increased amounts of ...
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Does playing basketball help you grow taller?

Some people believe that playing basketball encourages you to grow taller. For example: A Scientific Theory On Why Playing Basketball May Indeed Make Young Teenagers Increase In Height And Grow ...
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Can Scopolamine turn people into mindless “zombies”?

Vice did a report about scopolamine dubbing it as the world's scariest drug. The story is that people being given that drug can be told to do anything, similar to some popular claims about hypnosis ...
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Does defecating while sitting cause more strain than squatting?

This commercial1 from "Squatty Potty" claims that evacuating stool in a seated position is suboptimal for humans because we have a muscle that partially pinches the colon when seated. They claim that, ...
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Are all cells of the human body completely replaced every seven to ten years?

It have heard several times that, every seven to ten years, all the cells that our body are made of have all been replaced. Example in this NY Times Article This heartening truth, which arises from ...
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Are one-hit knockouts possible?

After stumbling upon a video of a guy getting knocked down in one hit, I did some quick research and couldn't conclude if this is a myth or not. The video in itself is very a compelling evidence for ...
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Do long-haired men have better intuition?

I found an article on Worldwide Hippies which describes a military experiment on the intuitive abilities of Native American trackers: Then they would pair two men together who had received the same ...
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Can “Current Mohan” conduct high levels of electrical current through his body?

I saw this episode of Stan Lee's Superhumans featuring Raj Mohan Nair, also known as "Current Mohan". He seems to be able to conduct electric current through his body to power up household electrical ...
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Is it possible to cause a skin burn by telling a hypnotized subject they are touching a hot object?

I've read somewhere long ago that the following suggestibility experiment was performed: The experimenter asks the subject to hold their palm open, then tells them: "I'm going to put a very hot ...
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Getting ill because of staying in a draft/draught?

In Germany it’s a common belief that drafts/draughts can make you ill. Because of that, car and train windows typically get/stay closed, even when it’s really hot; and, for instance, on a warm day in ...
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Can men mentally rotate images better than women?

Arguing with colleagues about common gender beliefs, someone said that women can multi-task better but men can mentally rotate images better. I sent them the following in response to the first ...
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Is this André the Giant's hand holding a can of beer?

Is this a genuine image of the hand of André René Roussimoff (André the Giant) holding an everyday 12-ounce (350 mL) can of beer? Uproxx and reddit suggest it's real (and word is he once drank ...
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Is there a correlation between penis size and race?

I recently saw this video, where among other things they claimed that there is no correlation between penis size and race. Is this true? I don't remember everything about the video. It was animated, ...
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Is there evidence that early humans hunted by running in packs over long distances to wear out their food?

As put forth by Christopher McDougall in the book Born to Run (more recently in a TED talk) and a number of recent articles.
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Can eating sugar result in addiction?

I am surprised to see this video on TED claiming that sugar can lead to addiction (differently from other kinds of food, for example broccoli). So, yes, over-consumption of sugar can have addictive ...
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Does sleeping naked in a sleeping bag keep you warmer?

The most popular question on outdoors.SE is Is it warmer to sleep naked in a sleeping bag? Now, all the answers over there are not properly researched and it was suggested in one of the comments ...
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Does plucking/epilation impact hair growth?

I've recently encountered the idea that plucking an area of hair (say, with tweezers) causes the hair to grow back thicker/denser/stiffer etc. yet I remain skeptical. This concept is rampant with ...
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Is yogurt affected by human emotions?

The documentary I Am (Wikipedia) (YouTube video) makes a number of claims, including that more signals are sent from the heart to the brain than vice-versa, and that the your emotion or mood can have ...