The use of nanosecond-duration-pulsed voltages with high-intensity electric fields (∼100 kV/cm) is a promising development with many biomedical applications. Electroporation occurs in this regime, and has been attributed to the high fields. However, here we focus on temperature gradients. Our numerical simulations based on molecular dynamics predict the formation of nanopores and water nanowires, but only in the presence of a temperature gradient. Our results suggest a far greater role of temperature gradients in enhancing biophysical responses, including possible neural stimulation by infrared lasers.