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Questions tagged [neuroscience]

For questions on the structure and function of the nervous system.

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3answers
2k views

What are current neuronal explanations and models of 'consciousness'?

I would like to understand more about consciousness from a neuroscientific perspective. I have a limited understanding of it in the philosophical/psychological sense through lectures. Although it is ...
43
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6answers
40k views

Why would the brain flip the images perceived by your eyes?

The following is a common scientific statement, which you don't have to google long for to find: The eye views images upside-down in the manner of a camera lens, but our brains reinterpret this ...
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2answers
204 views

The computer model of the brain

I am a computer programmer or computer engineer, and am interested in comparing the brain to a classical computer in some way. How well does this comparison hold up? This is a general introduction ...
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5answers
1k views

If someone becomes a split-brain patient, which side will “maintain” the continuity in their consciousness?

The brain injury might apparently produce two "independent" consciousnesses, and I'm wondering where the original person's "consciousness" would "transfer". We had a debate on this over at Reddit ...
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5answers
434 views

Why can't we use 100% of the brain in a certain moment?

I know it's a myth that we only use 10% of our brain, but the point is that we use less than 10% in any given moment; only by using different parts of our brain for various tasks over time do we ...
13
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1answer
443 views

How does neural spiking begin in the fetus?

I'm interested in modeling human brain spiking activity. How does the very first spiking activity begin in the fetus? I imagine all spiking activity is initiated by the senses and internal ...
5
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2answers
538 views

Neural Microfilaments for Computation?

I just watched an interesting TED talk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d5RetvkkuQ) where a Stuart Hameroff proposes that a neuron's microtubules are responsible for computations, and that they are ...
27
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1answer
1k views

How long should I work before taking a break?

I'd like to work as effectively as possible for 8-9 hours a day, whether at work or studying. At some point in completing my major in psych I remember hearing about the importance of taking breaks ...
17
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1answer
600 views

Is there a region of cortex which over a period of development becomes the seat of self?

Background Mountcastle's hypothesis, which is based on the observation of uniform cortical anatomy, suggests that the there might be a uniform cortical "algorithm". The only reason that some cortical ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Where is the visual “image” that we “see” finally assembled?

David Hubel's online book, Eye, Brain and Vision describes in great detail our early visual system. The image that we are conscious of when we open our eyes goes through a complex path: The final ...
15
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2answers
2k views

What form might Jungian archetypes take in the brain?

Modern psychology and psychiatry are very well grounded in scientific principles. Both, however, have a history in various analytical philosophies. Jung had the notion of an archetype, a universally ...
8
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2answers
224 views

Predictive Experiments on Neuroscience of Free Will

It seems to be very interesting that we can use modern neuroscience and cognitive science research to inform us about the ages-old question of free-will vs. determinism. The standard experiment was ...
9
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2answers
478 views

Are different types of long term memories stored in different parts of the brain?

I recently had some questions concerning the capacity of the brain's memory: Are different types of long term-memories like know-how, your-life, etc. remembered in different parts of the brain? If ...
5
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4answers
740 views

Getting started with EEG data

I want to get started with getting signals from EEG and learning on how I can read data. I have some programming skills, so designing a database and manipulating data with ruby (python seems also cool,...
9
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1answer
774 views

Does adult neurogenesis occur only in the olfactory bulb and the hippocampus?

The scholarpedia article on this subject says: Adult neurogenesis is the process of generating new neurons which integrate into existing circuits after fetal and early postnatal development has ...
15
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3answers
1k views

Research suggesting conscious control over brain region activation?

Has there been any research proving, disproving, or exploring the concept of conscious activation of specific brain regions? To elaborate on this: I've read that performing processing tasks causes ...
16
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2answers
675 views

Biological plausibility of bayesian models of cognition

Inspired by this question: What are some of the drawbacks to probabilistic models of cognition? I would like to know more about the biological plausibility of Bayesian models of cognition. Is there ...
21
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3answers
3k views

Why does neuroplasticity decrease in adults?

Although adult brains are malleable and even undergo limited neuorgenesis, the extent of the neuroplasticiy is much lower than in children. This is most obvious in language acquisition, and recovery ...
6
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1answer
868 views

What are the effects of social rejection on the brain?

What are the effects of social rejection on the brain? If the external circumstance can not change, how can the impact on the brain be reduced? What is the average sensitivity to social rejection ...
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2answers
12k views

Which neurotransmitters can be measured in a living human brain?

I'm interested in learning more about the modern techniques that are used for scientific studies of neurotransmitters in the living human brain. As far as I know, there are 4 neuromodulator systems ...
11
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1answer
148 views

Is a network of neurons the only factor in memory?

Background I'm actually writing a science fiction novel set a couple decades in the future. Brains are not my field. I've done as much research as I could. In the story, the protagonist finds out he ...
9
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2answers
1k views

How do SSRIs work?

I've found a reasonable explanation on Wikipedia... SSRIs are believed to increase the extracellular level of the neurotransmitter serotonin by inhibiting its reuptake into the presynaptic cell, ...
6
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3answers
661 views

Are there neural loops within a column or an area of the cortex?

Neuronal networks can make loops because a neuron has a direction (from dendrite to axon). What's the smallest area in the cortex where we can find a loop and what are these loops? I understand ...
17
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4answers
467 views

Is serotonin conclusively linked to depression?

Some highlights from the article "The Depressing News about Anti-Depressants": ever since a seminal study in 1998, whose findings were reinforced by landmark research in The Journal of the American ...
14
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1answer
270 views

What evidence is there that the adult brain can produce new neurons?

At school I was taught that the adult brain did not produce new neurons. That we had the maximum number of neurons and this would only diminish over time due to events, like head injuries, drinking ...
11
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1answer
194 views

Is there a report of a successfully EEG-Based Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) using image training?

Currently I am involved in constructing an EEG-Based BCI. The goal of the BCI is to control which light in a series of lightbulbs lights up. The plan is to use different images (i.e. a flower versus ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Why is sensory substitution not that successful?

By successful, I mean made it out to the large world market or being massively funded. After looking online it seems that the most relevant research is the one done by Bach-y-Rita about the seeing ...
4
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1answer
103 views

Why is PES biologically plausible?

The NEF puts great emphasis on biological plausibility. However, I'm not clear on why the Prescribed Error Sensitivity (PES) learning rule, used in many NEF-based models, is considered to be ...
4
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1answer
454 views

Neuroplasticity and Treatment of Depression

After reading 'The Brain That Changes Itself' by Norman Doidge, 'The Mind and The Brain' by Jeffrey Schwartz and a few other books, I've become curious about the science of neuroplasticity, which, as ...
2
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1answer
75 views

Is there a region of the brain that mediates pain in a manner reminiscent of the mesolimbic pathway?

The mesolimbic dopamine pathway is a common neural pathway upon which rewards converge AKA the pleasure pathway. So I am trying to find a comparable pathway in the brain for pain -- is there such a ...
28
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2answers
675 views

How are newly created neurons recruited into existing networks?

As far as I understand, the basics of neurogenesis (abstracted down to the level that makes sense to a computer scientist) is as follows: Neural progenitor cells differentiate into new neurons that ...
16
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3answers
760 views

What are the key examples of the use of computational methods in the study of biological neural networks?

In an upcoming postdoc, I'm going to be looking through biological neural network data in the hopes of finding some interesting "patterns". I'm coming at this field from a mathematics/computer ...
13
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1answer
4k views

What structures in the brain are called upon to strengthen coupling between bilateral movements?

It is very difficult for the normally-coordinated person to be able to pat his/her head and rub his/her stomach at the same time (or pick a similar activity). It seems to be possible to maintain the ...
14
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3answers
2k views

In what ways can neurons fire randomly?

When developing a model of a biologically-plausible neural network, it is important to know all the circumstances under which neurons can fire. But, I am limiting this question to random firing. In ...
11
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2answers
558 views

What computerized EEG analysis algorithms are there?

I got a commercial-grade EEG headband and am trying to look at the data it outputs. The headband quantifies raw EEG signal from a single forehead dry sensor into a range of EEG bands (alpha, beta, etc)...
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3answers
291 views

Abstract idealized mental visualization improves motor task performance

I practice martial arts (Aikido), which involves a lot of rotation. When practicing, I find that holding an abstract image in my head, instead of thinking about the actual technique, improves my ...
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5answers
6k views

Why do scientists say brains are faster than computers?

Supposing that neurons function similarly to transistors: A neuron able to fire $200$ times per second and transistors can be switched on and off more than $100,000,000,000$ ($10^{11}$) times per ...
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8answers
7k views

What's the major difference between mind and brain?

I am preparing a presentation on "Mind Reading Computer", and all articles that I came across were focused on reading interpretations from brain through sensors. Articles like this clearly show a ...
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2answers
30k views

How is fasting related to insomnia?

Yesterday I started a new diet using intermittent fasting. For this reason I only ate one meal all day. I was pretty surprised how well I passed that day: I studied a lot, did some sports and ...
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1answer
1k views

Does data support Domhoff's neurocognitive theory of dreams?

A friend described consistent feelings and themes during a dream. It is my understanding that the contents of our dreams are our subconscious/unconscious/preconscious processing stimuli from the day ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Neurotransmitter based imaging techniques

All the brain imaging techniques I know fall into two categories: Tracking blood Either by looking at the magnetic (fMRI), or near-infared absorption (diffuse optical imaging, NIRS) properties of ...
10
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1answer
148 views

What is the role of traveling waves in circuit formation during cortical development?

Propagating waves of activity have been characterized in various regions of the brain such as the visual cortex (Nauhaus et al., 2012). Recently they have been reported for the first time to occur ...
8
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2answers
216 views

How do we know human brain development stops around age 25?

I've heard this stated as a fact more times than I can keep track of, but I haven't been able to find papers that actually demonstrate this. This seems to be the most cited paper on the topic, but it ...
8
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2answers
186 views

Why do brains oscillate within specific frequency ranges?

Why do brains oscillate within specific frequencies? I have two specific questions: What are the physiological mechanisms which generate the oscillations within these very frequencies? What would ...
0
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1answer
121 views

What is the neurophysiology of a thought?

PURPOSE 1) To find out if there is evidence in favor of one of Hebb's claim. In is book "The Organization of Behavior" he claimed that cell assemblies are the physiological foundation of thought. ...
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3answers
477 views

What is the term for a psychological effect which does not have a neurobiological/genetic basis?

When a psychological condition is the result of irregular brain structures or neurotransmitter imbalances we say the condition has a neurobiological basis; this is analogous to the classic Nature in ...
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2answers
466 views

Do ADHD drugs harm the brain?

Particularly, the amphetamine "vyvanse". If one was to take a 30mg dose once a day for 50+ years, would it damage brain function at all? Would the brain simply get used to the drug and become 100% ...
10
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1answer
165 views

Are the center surround receptive fields learnt or inherited?

I know that neurons higher in visual pathways can learn their receptive fields after birth, but what about the connections between bipolar cells and Amacarine cells which form center/surround on/off ...
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1answer
3k views

What is the relationship between sociology and cognitive sciences?

I want to know what is the relationship between sociology and cognitive sciences. Let me start by short consideration of both: Sociology - well established discipline or a field of research ...
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3answers
164 views

Can neural spiking in an organism temporarily cease?

I'm interested in modeling human brain spiking activity. Are there cases in which neural spiking completely ceases in an organism and yet later resumes? I've considered: hypothermic drowning, but ...