Questions tagged [neuroscience]

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

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478 views

Importance of Neural Synchrony to Cognition

Is there a consensus on whether computation using Neural Synchrony is reasonable or not? In "How to Build a Brain", Chris Eliasmisth cites Yuko Munakata and R. C. O'Reilly as saying that "the ...
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2answers
802 views

Long term effect of using noise generators

Some people use noise generators as http://playnoise.com/ to reduce distraction by background noise. Is there any research on the long term effects of this? Does this affect the neuronal connections ...
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1answer
337 views

What is a reliable physiological measure (e.g., serotonin levels) of positive affect?

Is there a reliable physiological measure or correlate to positive affect? What does research say on this? I thought that serotonin levels are correlated with self-reported happiness levels, but, ...
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2answers
2k 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, ...
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1answer
376 views

Fusiform Face Area (FFA) for within class recognition?

Is there any evidence (papers, studies, etc) that the Fusiform Face Area is used for any other type of recognition besides facial recognition? I remember hearing or reading a long time ago that ...
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1answer
864 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 ...
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2answers
947 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% ...
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1answer
6k views

How many dendrite connections vs axon terminals does a multipolar cerebral neuron have?

I find countless places stating that neurons have tens of thousands of "connections" or "synapses" and one axon. Do neurons have tens of thousands of dendrite connections, and a few axon terminals; ...
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1answer
86 views

Why do long range axons in mammals travel in white matter tracts?

I am curious to know as to why long range, myelinated axons prefer to convene and form white matter tracts, rather than simply reach its target in an arbitrary fashion. Is there some kind of ...
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1answer
235 views

Is there evidence that STDP is responsible for the ability to infer causation?

Spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) is a property of synapses that modifies their efficacy based on timing relationships between action potentials in the pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neuron. A ...
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1answer
141 views

Does an action potential abolish an excitatory postsynaptic potential?

From some sources, I've read that excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) decay over time, which would imply that they aren't abolished by action potentials. However, other sources seem to indicate ...
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170 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
149 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 ...
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79 views

How to differentiate attentiveness, arousal and memory via gamma oscillations

I am planning an experiment using mice with in vivo extracellular recordings (and maybe also optogenetic stimulation). In these kinds of experiments, the mouse is getting a reward after executing a (...
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38k views

What is the difference between pre-synaptic versus post-synaptic?

As a non-specialist, I am unclear as to the exact meaning of the terms pre-synaptic and post-synaptic. Specifically, do they refer to the same neuron, either transmitting or receiving, before and ...
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520 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 ...
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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 ...
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359 views

What is a neurobiological explanation of borderline personality disorder?

In other words, how do the brains of those with BPD differ from those who don't have BPD? The Wikipedia article doesn't even contain any possible explanations whatsoever.
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2k views

What are the major structures of the medial temporal lobe?

Basic question here from a behavioral researcher: What are the major structures of the medial temporal lobe (MTL)? Can anyone link to a good diagram of these structures?
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120 views

How is epigenetic memory expressed in neurons?

Epigenetic memory is seen as the most evolutionarily plausible way of learning from experiences and gaining instinctual knowledge accross generations, as established by the answer to one of my ...
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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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1k views

What is the difference between psychophysics and neurophysiology?

I'm an engineering student who is doing some subjective tests. What are the difference between psychophysics and neurophysiology? Is it correct that in the latter case, we have to implant to read ...
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277 views

Is performance reducible to brain activity in an unambiguous way?

As a preface, let me assume that the entirety of mental states and their corresponding behaviors in a person are entirely reducible to the physical activity of neurons sending a variety of chemicals ...
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308 views

Why does strobe lighting trigger seizures in photosensitive epilepsy?

Photosensitive epilepsy (PSE) is a form of epilepsy in which seizures are triggered by visual stimuli that form patterns in time or space, such as flashing lights, bold, regular patterns, or regular ...
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1answer
868 views

How does body temperature and oxygenation affect thinking ability?

I'm interested if the brain works better when the temperature is higher than usual and the amount of oxygen in the air is a bit lower than in fresh mountain air. This has been my personal experience.
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256 views

How similar are the brains of twins?

I am currently reading undergraduate essays on biological dysfunction and schizophrenia. The students put a lot of weight in the fact that studies of monozygotic twins show only a 50% rate of ...
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679 views

Can stress be detected by an fMRI?

How does stress damage the brain (if at all)? Is it akin to taking drugs, heavy drinking, or a minor stroke? Would an fMRI of a stressed person present evidence of stress?
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221 views

In C. elegans, which neuron has the largest span, and why is it this large?

The model organism C. elegans is about 1 mm in length. This is quite small. In fact, some C. elegans neurons span >25% of the length of its body (ref.). This observation leads me to the following ...
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183 views

Any ideas about the neural mechanism underlying the ASMR sensation?

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is described as a pleasurable, tingly sensation in the (back of the) head. The sensation can be triggered by a vast variety of stimuli (auditory, visual, ...
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409 views

Is the split-brain, dual consciousness experiment from Rhawn Joseph valid?

I have been reading about the problem of possible dual consciousness in split brain patients and I came across this wikipedia page. In the "other experiments" section, the two last paragraphs about ...
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688 views

Does a split brain affect the inner voice?

In the Nature link provided, split brain reportedly alters the processing of sensory input (e.g., an aberrant performance on monocular visual tasks under laboratory conditions), and impairs motor ...
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77 views

How actively does your brain physically prune connections?

Is pruning defined as neural apoptosis or are connections (neural synapses) simply separated? At what rate, if known, does this occur in individuals (ages 18+)?
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165 views

Trying to understand equations in Karl Friston article

I am trying to understand a neuroscience article by Karl Friston. In it he gives three equations that are, as I understand him, equivalent or inter-convertible and refer to both physical and Shannon ...
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220 views

How can I test whether Dorsal Raphe Nucleus (DRN) activity at night is related to variations in mood?

I'm reading this paper, which discusses Serotonin activity in the Dorsal Ralphe Nucleus(DRN), and even includes some mathematical models of how serotonin is released and reabsorbed. The paper states ...
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5answers
587 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 ...
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486 views

Is there a difference between hearing and decoding the sound?

I presume that deafness is the inability of hearing any sounds. And I presume that it may also be possible to be less able to decode sounds. In other words, an inability to translate or understand the ...
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3answers
732 views

Why does a neuron choose to connect to another?

I have been reading about neuron creation, guidance cues and all sorts of highly complex mechanisms used to allow one neuron axon to extend or connect - but to what end? Why does one neuron end up ...
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2answers
222 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 ...
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502 views

Is an autistic person's brain different from a non-autistic one?

Are there any differences between the autistic person's brain and the non-autistic one? To be more specific, are there any differences in brain structure or brain activity, that can be used to ...
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149 views

How is saccadic movement managed in the brain?

I haven't been able to find any decent articles on this specific topic. So I have three (hopefully quick) questions: What part of the brain is actively controlling saccadic movement? If this part ...
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3answers
327 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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167 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 ...
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2answers
757 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 ...
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36k views

Why is the order of white/grey matter different in the brain and spinal cord?

In the brain proper, grey matter forms the outer layer of the brain, and white matter forms the inner layer. In the spine, this is reversed: white matter forms the outer layer of the spine, and grey ...
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3k views

How does the inner ear encode sound intensity?

Different areas of the inner ear (the cochlea) are sensitive to different acoustic frequencies. Hence, the cochlea basically performs a fast Fourier transform on the audio signal. This spectral ...
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254 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 ...
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104 views

How does one study the effect of a dietary supplement on cognition?

I've really enjoyed this talk by Molly Crockett: Beware neuro-bunk. The speaker outlines the limitations of modern neuroscience when accessing the effectiveness of dietary supplements intended to ...
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862 views

Is this brain map scientifically correct?

I'm not an expert in neuroscience but always read about information that seems conflicting to me. On one side I hear that the idea of single brain functions localized in specific brain areas is ...
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240 views

Are the physical sensations of an emotion due to neural activity strictly in the brain or also in the body?

Symptoms of anxiety and anger are often described as some sort of energetic sensation in my chest and sometimes face or arms. Are these sensations an 'illusion' from neural activity strictly in the ...
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416 views

Do all types of synapses in the brain change based on spike-timing-dependent plasticity?

Synapses likely change their strengths based on a form of spike-timing-dependent plasticity. Is this true for all types of synapses in all parts of the human brain? I wonder if there are also synapses ...