Pharyngula

How is an eyeball like an erection?

My next lecture in my neurobiology course is going to be about metabotropic receptors and how modulating internal cGMP levels is one way neuronal activity can be affected. I was planning to use the eye as an example of this process — but now Revere has inspired me to add a bit about the penis and viagra to the lecture. Here at UMM, we’re all about giving students information they can use.

Comments

  1. #1 craig
    October 20, 2007

    If you’ve seen even ONE Tex Avery cartoon, you know the answer.

  2. #2 revere
    October 20, 2007

    I guess it’s in the eye of the beholder.

  3. #3 Chris Bell
    October 20, 2007

    I think that this link to footage from the U.S. Congress explains exactly how an eyeball is like an erection.

    Careful, very NSFW

  4. #4 Moses
    October 20, 2007

    I think that this link to footage from the U.S. Congress explains exactly how an eyeball is like an erection.

    Nothing better to do that worry about that? No wonder our country is headed down the shitter.

  5. #5 dcwp
    October 20, 2007

    too funny! Ocular Penetration Restriction Act = OPRAh

  6. #6 Dustin
    October 20, 2007

    If you’ve seen even ONE Tex Avery cartoon, you know the answer.

    Priceless.

  7. #7 Greta Christina
    October 20, 2007

    I keep waiting for the punch line…

  8. #8 Laser Potato
    October 20, 2007

    I dunno, but I know how a Moai statue is like a gun turret.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1KKLmxrkbs

  9. #9 craig
    October 20, 2007

    “Priceless.”

    Well at least one person got it.

  10. #10 Cuttlefish
    October 20, 2007

    http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2007/10/at-one-time-or-other-each-sister-and.html

    (for some reason, I am being blocked from posting the whole poem.)

  11. #11 Jsn
    October 20, 2007

    Remember a few years back when Rush Limbaugh went deaf? Hmmmmm…

  12. #12 RamblinDude
    October 20, 2007

    Cuttlefish: Evidently the spam filter wants no connection between the eyeball and “erection”.

  13. #13 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    October 20, 2007

    Cuttlefish, ScienceBlogs spam blocker is really shy about scientific biological traits such as erections.

    Btw, I wonder why they think loosing sight and hearing is rare when sporting an erection? Better not remind them that added to this…, um, display of concentration, and orgasm “shuts down” the frontal cortex.

  14. #14 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    October 20, 2007

    Cuttlefish, ScienceBlogs spam blocker is really shy about scientific biological traits such as erections.

    Btw, I wonder why they think loosing sight and hearing is rare when sporting an erection? Better not remind them that added to this…, um, display of concentration, and orgasm “shuts down” the frontal cortex.

  15. #15 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    October 20, 2007

    “display of concentration, and orgasm” – display of concentration, an orgasm

  16. #16 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    October 20, 2007

    “display of concentration, and orgasm” – display of concentration, an orgasm

  17. #17 Mike from Ottawa
    October 21, 2007

    .

  18. #18 Mike from Ottawa
    October 21, 2007

    “Revere has inspired me to add a bit about the penis and v*agra to the lecture. Here at UMM, we’re all about giving students information they can use.”

    If the utility you see for your students is in the v*agra aspect, then I think you’ve not done UMM marketing any good: “UMM: Putting the ‘ED’ in ‘.edu’!”

  19. #19 Mike from Ottawa
    October 21, 2007

    Apparently Scienceblogs doesn’t like posts that contain the word “v!agra” in them. I couldn’t post the above until I substituted those asterisks, or, as in this one, an exclamation mark.

  20. #20 Cuttlefish
    October 21, 2007

    Hmm…with apologies, then… and please, PZ, delete it if you wish…

    At one time or other, each sister and brother
    Has pondered the musical question
    (The topic’s not easy, just take it from PZ):
    How an eyeball is like an er*ction.

    The answers may vary–be skeptically wary–
    Like “Both can display your affection.”
    Well, so can a rose, but that doesn’t disclose
    How an eyeball is like an er*ction.

    Perhaps evolution provides a solution
    Both organs arise through selection
    But so, then, do fingers; the question still lingers
    How an eyeball is like an er*ction.

    We may hope to deduce, if we try to reduce
    To a chemical sort of connection
    But will “similar stuff” prove an answer enough
    How an eyeball is like an er*ction?

    Nitric Oxide (you know, you can call it NO)
    Causes GuMP to take up a collection
    So that GuMP, for a lark, keeps your dick “in the dark”
    Thus an eyeball is like an er*ction

    Reproductive success got us into this mess
    So it might get us out, on reflection–
    But V!agra, we find, is not blindly designed
    We distinguish both eye and er*ction.

    With both vision and hearing, the answers are nearing
    (Although we can’t hope for perfection),
    And for now it’s just fine as a bad pick-up line:
    How an eyeball is like an er*ction.*

    (*answer: “It’s an empirical question–let’s experiment, and find out.)

  21. #21 Azkyroth
    October 21, 2007

    Neither one can whistle?

  22. #22 truth machine
    October 21, 2007

    Nothing better to do that worry about that? No wonder our country is headed down the shitter.

    Um …

  23. #23 truth machine
    October 21, 2007

    It’s easy enough to post words like viagra and erection, if you think about it.

  24. #24 daedalus2u
    October 21, 2007

    If you are going to talk about sGC and NO, you have to mention this, one of the most important recent results in NO physiology.

    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/101/1/37

    What it does is couple NO and ATP physiology. That lets NO (which is freely diffusible into all tissue compartments) regulate ATP levels in those different tissue compartments so they can go up and down in sync. That lets adjacent cells (as for example in a muscle) have the same ATP level and so the same rate of work production.

    If you are going to talk about Sildenafil, you should mention this,

    http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/166/16/1763

    that by blocking PDE5, the feedback of the NO regulatory system is affected, and (no doubt) physiological pathways not involving cGMP don’t work as well, such as the regulation of breathing via RSNOs

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v413/n6852/full/413171a0.html

    This relates to my research on basal levels of NO, where because all NO sensors only sense the sum of NO from all sources, a change in the basal level affects all NO mediated pathways with no threshold. That is because NO is already in the “active range”, any change in the basal level will affect the output of that feedback regulated pathway.

  25. #25 LisaS
    October 21, 2007

    PZ – Your neurobiology class sounds so interesting. I wish I were your student!

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