Saturday Jan 18th, 2020

6 × 1? # 13: Why does it give us hiccups?

• Why does our mouth water when something craves?Suggested by Cesar Rivero

An expert reveals that simply by smelling or seeing a meal that is appetizing, it causes more saliva to be produced in our mouth. That is, the brain sends signals to the salivary glands that begin to produce larger volumes of saliva in the presence of a tasty meal.

In principle, salivation is a stimulus associated with food and its smell, but the brain can associate the response to stimuli of another type such as sight, a simple memory or other more complex ones according to each personal experience. Salivation is linked to positive stimuli, to joy and emotion.

Gordon Proctor, professor in salivary biology of King’s College from London, explains what our brain produces more saliva with just the smell of bread; and that, in addition, saliva contributes to digestion already without it, it would be almost impossible to chew and swallow food.

This occurs as a result of a gastric secretion reflex, whose finding made the Russian physiologist and psychologist famous Ivan Pavlov. The Russian physiologist formulated the Conditional reflex law in 1890, after his assistant observed that the dogs in his laboratory began to secrete saliva and digestive juice when they sniffed or saw the food. Taught to associate the doorbell with the distribution of feed, the animal's organism prepared for digestion just by listening to a ringing, even long before the assistant entered with the daily rations.

It happens to us just like dogs. With smelling or seeing a meal that we find appetizing, we put a hundred our salivary glands and the secretion of gastric juice.


• Why is Greece considered the cradle of civilization?Suggested by Marcelo Peralta

Greece can be visited by boat, touring the Aegean and Ionian seas, allowing you to appreciate mountains and rocky shores flanked by plains and olive groves. The Greek summer is hot and dry and winter is soft and humid.

In ancient times, that sunny land was known by its inhabitants as Helos. The mainland of Greece is part of the Balkan peninsula, located in southern Europe.

Approximately at the beginning of the first millennium a. C. in the territory that currently occupies the state of Greece, flourished the most advanced civilizations of the ancient world and the cradle of European culture. In it, the bases of Western knowledge were established and disciplines such as the history, philosophy, mathematics, law, theater, medicine and geography. In addition, in the splendid Athens of Pericles, the most used form of government in the contemporary world was born: democracy.

One of the most enduring inheritances of ancient Greece are the Olympics, sports competitions that are still recreated. The Greeks cultivated the reason for solving problems through debate, politics and are the parents of modern science.


• Why is misophony?Suggested by aKKaCreiSi

Misophony is one of the conditions that involve low sound tolerance, in conjunction with hyperacusis and phonophobia.

In people with misophony, the body reacts in a certain way when it is exposed to certain sound stimuli.

The frequency of the heartbeat increases, a cold sweat appears, and the person feels very irritated to hear those sounds that alter him so much: he really wants to run away so he doesn't have to hear anymore.

This physical reaction is due to an association of negative emotions with these sounds, which do not have special physical characteristics (they do not have to be very acute, very serious or very strong), unlike what happens in hyperacusis, for example .

People with hyperacusis do not tolerate loud noises, because their auditory pathways are more sensitive than those of the general population.

But in the case of misophony, as we said, sounds have been associated with negative emotions and that is why this unpleasant reaction in the organism is triggered.

How does misophony work?

The process of hearing basically includes two stages: in the first one the ear receives the sounds, transforms them into an electrical impulse and it travels to the brain through the neurons that form the nerves.

In the second stage this impulse is interpreted by the brain in different ways, giving importance to that sound or not. If the brain decides that it is not an important sound, then it will be as if we did not listen to it.

That is why the mother of a small baby is able to sleep deeply during a great thunder storm, but she wakes up to hear a faint moan from her son.

The brain begins to give importance to some sounds and not to pay too much attention to others throughout an apprenticeship.

Some sounds, such as the noise of a gunshot or a great noise, are interpreted by the brain as a cause for alarm, and the body prepares to "Fight or run away": Adrenaline rises, heartbeat increases, anxiety increases, etc.

What happens in cases of misophony is that, for some reason, sounds as common as those of chewing or speaking trigger in people this unpleasant reaction of "Fight or run away".

The brain mistakenly interprets these sounds as threatening and that is why symptoms of irritability, aggressiveness and anxiety appear in people suffering from this condition.

It is not known exactly what are the causes of misophony, but it is believed that certain childhood experiences could predispose people to suffer misophony, because in those experiences negative emotions would be associated with certain sounds.

For example, some patients report that their disorder probably began to settle when they were children and listened to the sounds their relatives made when eating, which caused them a deep dislike.

It is easy to imagine that as these stimuli continued to appear, the person was internalizing a negative emotional response, which after a few years becomes misophony.

Another theory indicates that misophony could be part of another syndrome of hyperactivity before certain sensory stimuli.

This could explain why some people also react to visual stimuli.

In short, it is still unclear why people with misophony react so badly to such everyday sounds.

Misophony Treatment

So far there is no cure. Some of the treatments that have been used are: cognitive behavioral therapy and the tinnitus retraining therapy o TRT, which have helped some patients, but not all those who suffer from such alteration.


• Why are lizards formed and what are they made of? Suggested by Samayra Adame

The eyes of terrestrial mammals, be they humans, dogs or elephants, are covered by three projecting layers that allow them to fulfill their functions.

The layer closest to the eye is the glucocalix, and is almost completely made of mucus.

It is located on the cornea and attracts water, which allows a uniform distribution of the second layer: a tear solution water based of about four micrometers (as thick as a web spider thread).

Despite that size, this layer is very important because it keeps our eyes lubricated and cleanses them to prevent infections.

Finally there is the outermost layer, composed of a oily substance, composed of lipids such as fatty acids and cholesterol.

Lagañas have evolved to adapt incredibly to the body of mammals.

At normal temperature of the human body, this substance is a clear oil with fluidity. If it drops a degree, it becomes something like a whitish and solid wax, the lizards.

Lizards can form while you sleep for two reasons. First, the body cools a little during the night, so that part of the oily substance secreted by the meibomian glands It hardens a little.

The second, according to the Australian ophthalmologist Robert G. Linton and his colleagues, is that "The dream makes the muscles on the meibomian glands relax ... enough to generate excess fluids on the roots of the eyelashes during sleep."

In other words, at night our eyes are covered with more meibomian than usual, and when it cools, we end up with that sticky garbage in the eyes.

And what function does it fulfill?

The first thing is to prevent tears from continuously sprouting from our eyes and running down our cheeks all the time.

By keeping the tears in our eyes, the lizards also help keep them moist. In fact, some scholars have found that the eyes of rabbits - to whom the meibomian gland has been removed - they lose water by evaporation 17 times more than the normal rate.


• Why do human beings fall in love?Suggested by Jime Rodriguez

From the biochemical point of view, falling in love begins in the cerebral cortex. Later it passes to the endocrine system and becomes a physiological response and chemical changes caused by the segregation of dopamine in the hypothalamus

It all starts with a physical attraction followed by a personal attraction. Falling in love is triggered when there is knowledge or suspicion that there is or may be reciprocity.

The main characteristics of falling in love are symptomatic. That is why several social scientists have built a series of theoretical models that describe and explain the crush.

When you fall in love you suffer the following reactions:

  • Intense desire for intimacy and physical union with the individual.
  • Desire of reciprocity.
  • Fear of rejection.
  • Frequent thoughts of the individual that interfere with their daily activity.
  • Loss of concentration
  • Strong physiological activity in the presence of the individual.
  • It has as its sole center of attention the other individual.
  • Idealization of the individual.

Elements involved in falling in love

Psychiatry: For at least the first phase, love is a chemical reaction. A substance in our brain called phenylethylamine. This substance forces to segregate dopamine whose effects are similar to the "amphetamines" that produce the state of natural euphoria when we are with our partner.

Genetics: humans being animals, we carry in our genes the procreation instinct.


• Why does hiccups occur?Suggested by Rodrigo Rivera

The hiccup is an involuntary movement of the diaphragm, which contracts suddenly in the middle of normal breathing. These spasms are followed by a closure of the vocal cords, which give rise to a particular sound.

The diaphragm descends when we inhale so that the lungs are filled with air, and rises when we exhale to facilitate the exit of air from the lungs. When this mechanism is disturbed and the diaphragm rises or falls earlier than normal, breathing becomes different, causing hiccups.

The hiccup is usually a transient and benign disorder, which barely lasts a few minutes and resolves spontaneously, but in exceptional cases it can last for days, weeks, or months, then becoming a persistent hiccup, which needs medical attention because it can have its origin in alterations gastric, thoracic, metabolic or neurological, and even be a symptom of diseases such as stomach ulcer, esophagitis or pancreatitis, among others.

La Spanish Society of General and Family Physicians (SEMG) explain what, "Unlike other reflexes (cough, vomiting, etc.), this symptom does not serve as a protective function and it doesn't seem to perform any physiological function. ”

Some possible causes of hiccups are:

  • Eat excessively.
  • Eat very fast.
  • Abuse alcohol
  • Irritation of the diaphragm.
  • Stomach disorders
  • States of nervousness or excitement.
  • Abdominal surgery
  • Eat spicy or spicy foods or liquids.
  • Having any disease or disorder that irritates the nerves that control the diaphragm.

How to stop the hiccups

It should be noted that there is no definitive method, and a method that may have worked for you, will not necessarily work for others.

  • Sneeze or cough.
  • Drink a glass of cold water.
  • Drink water bending the body forward.
  • Hold your breath and exhale slowly afterwards, repeating the process several times.
  • Take a spoonful of sugar.
  • Breathe repeatedly into a paper bag.
  • Take a teaspoon of lemon or a little vinegar.
  • Let them give you a scare when you find yourself off guard.


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