Questions tagged [neuroscience]

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

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1answer
1k 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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244 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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441 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 ...
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Could ketosis be therapeutic for ADHD based on the neuro-energetic theory of attention?

I'm a complete neuroscience novice so please bear with me. One of the more interesting theories of the etiology of ADHD that I've read posits that the disorder may be one of neuroenergetics - the ...
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130 views

Comparative functional neuroanatomy: humans & octopodes

Cephalopod brains are toroidal (high surface area to volume ratios!), with the esophagus passing through the, uh, donut hole; octopodes are very intelligent, particularly spatially. Where can I find ...
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651 views

Transsexuality in animals other than humans?

In some research papers, transsexuality is correlated with measurable differences in brain structure. For example: Zhou et al. (1995) inspected the central subdivision of the bed nucleus of the ...
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What explains the characteristics of the receptive fields of simple cells in V1?

Here is a YouTube video of a Hubel & Wiesel experiment from 1965 in the visual cortex. The video shows the experimenters outlining the receptive field of a simple cell in the first part of the ...
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606 views

Why is it easier to fall asleep in the dark?

I'm curious if there is any neurological mechanism that explains why falling asleep is easier in the dark. I recognize that this isn't true universally -- a phobia of darkness might make it easier to ...
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623 views

How are qualia localized in consciousness?

I understand that evolution incorporated arbitrary qualia into the default network to inform consciousness (the largest cranial global processing information subnetwork) about properties and qualities ...
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92 views

What exactly is an astroglial calcium wave?

There are quite a few conflicting reports as to what stimulates them, how they propagate, whether they communicate intercellularly, and what they look like. The only consistent information I can ...
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102 views

Number of presynaptic inputs per cell in primary visual cortex

I have been digging in the literature lately, but I haven't found a nice answer with clear cut numbers (avg +- std) to this question: How many presynaptic inputs receives a pyramidal cell in primary ...
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111 views

Have there been any mechanisms proposed for normalization in probabilistic population codes?

I heard a talk yesterday by Dora Angelaki about multi-sensory integration. Part of the talk was about bayesian inference with multiple noisy sources of information. I know that there has been a lot ...
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512 views

What is the result of an excess of dopamine?

I'm pretty familiar with the results of having not enough dopamine, though the reasons are not so clear to me. To get a better insight on the topic I'd like to know something about having too much ...
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600 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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
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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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541 views

What is the name of the bias that associate a thing as good because it has a relation to another good thing?

A customer buys X from "brand A" and has positive experience with it. "Brand A" also sells Y. Now the customer things it is good to buy Y because of his/her positive experience with buying X from ...
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207 views

How does the brain generate answers to questions?

Firstly, I would say that this question is probably beyond current knowledge. But I would like to hear the latest theories. Given an input "Can you name as many animals as you can until I say 'stop'?...
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Are the human cerebral hemispheres only connected via the corpus callosum?

Are the human cerebral hemispheres only connected via the corpus callosum? Or is there any other structure for interaction between the left and right hemispheres?
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463 views

What is the neurophysiological mechanism behind double hearing?

A patient with sensorineural hearing loss can have the symptom of hearing "double" in the damaged ear. Not having a time-delayed echo, but hearing as if he (or other people) speak with "two voices" at ...
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What is the difference between computational neuroscience, theoretical neuroscience, and neuroinformatics (if there is one)?

In particular, theoretical and computational neuroscience seem to be synonymous with each other. Neuroinformatics at least seems to deal somewhat more with solving things numerically and the usage and ...
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408 views

How are the brains of mathematicians different from typical people?

As a biomedical sciences student who also minors in Mathematics, I am often amazed by some of my classmates who really appear to be born for Mathematics (with regards to both their abilities and ...
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How is the g-factor of intelligence calculated?

I am currently reading Dr. Richard Haier's book The Neuroscience of Intelligence and I am a little confused about the g-factor. Note that I have no education in psychology outside of general ed ...
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265 views

What causes lack of energy? The relative importance of testosterone versus emotional, genetic, and environmental factors

Some people assume that males lack of energy because of low testosterone. I would think that lack of energy could be due to esteem levels, emotional abuse, low self-worth, and even genetics to some ...
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182 views

Introductory resources on developmental psychology/neuroscience

I'd like to be able to answer questions such as: What neuro/psychological functions underly competences such as empathy (or others - see background below)? What neurotransmitters are of particular ...
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Why does anger “cloud the mind”?

There are a lot of anecdotes on frustration and anger inhibiting judgement and problem solving. Examples include "anger clouding the mind" in pop culture, or in programming, where a rule of thumb is ...
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137 views

How fast is the visual system?

I've heard that the visual system is one of our slowest sensory systems. How fast is the visual system, and how does it compare to other sensory systems (auditory, mechanosensory, pain, etc.)? For ...
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123 views

What can be inferred about the strength of the synapse from an electron microscope image?

In the following EM image (1um scale), there are several synapses: Image or HD Version What information about the synaptic strengths can be extracted from this image? Does vesicle count contain ...
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533 views

Can prolonged neural adaptation lead to HPPD?

The human brain adapts to a constant stimulus of our neural system. For instance, if we ride a train and look out of the window for a long time and the train stops, we have the feeling of slowly ...
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216 views

What regulates the strength of motor signals?

I've seen cognitive and robot models where the input signals from the sensors are directly used as the signal for outgoing motor control. This doesn't make much sense, because obviously we're able ...
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204 views

How is light processed by the human brain when awake and in dreams?

I've recently seen this great video: How your brain tells you where you are. The video discusses how certain cells within the brain fire based on proximity to objects. There are great examples of ...
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875 views

How can motivation be increased by improving brain chemistry with nutrition and activities?

I'm reading some material about motivation and brain chemistry. One of the interesting articles is "7 Ways to Increase Motivation by Improving your Brain Chemistry". I'm interested in a more ...
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48 views

How can different ion channels of the same type have different cell responses?

The NMDA receptor is an ion channel and contributes to synaptic plasticity and memory. It is said that calcium ion flux through the receptor is critical for this mechanism. However, there are other ...
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198 views

Is the ordering of Brodmann areas arbitrary?

A single Brodmann area is defined based off cellular composition. Are the Brodmann areas ordinal, and if so for what reason? (e.g. is there something that makes Brodmann area 1 the "first one", and ...
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749 views

Have any drugs been shown to increase the neuroplasticity of adult brains?

I read recently in the book "meet your happy chemicals" that the hormones of puberty are neurochemicals that cause your neurons to connect and myelinate more easily. If this is true have any studies ...
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509 views

What is the neurobiological basis of the “inner voice” used for thought or reading?

I've recently experienced a number of hypnogogic near sleep states characterized by change in thinking (stage 1-2 sleep). I noticed that if I let go and get absorbed in the state, I can follow it. I ...
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186 views

What functional purpose does a cortical column serve?

The Blue Brain project led by Henry Markram focused on simulating cortical columns under the idea they form basic processing units of the brain/cognitive function. What functional purpose does a ...
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201 views

Dopamine deficiency more frequent in the addiction prone?

I found this clip about dopamine deficiency. ...[P]eople with low dopamine activity may be more prone to addiction. Is the reverse also true? Does susceptibility to addiction (genetic, etc.) have ...
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103 views

In a central pattern generator based on reciprocal inhibition, how does one “side” get picked over the other to start out?

Consider two neurons, A and B, which reciprocally inhibit each other. If both of the neurons receive input at the same time, it seems to me that no oscillation will occur between the two. Such would ...
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123 views

Can processing effort for sub-tasks in neural networks be measured?

I often heard statements like: 80% of your brain processing is computing the effect of gravity or, similarily: You only use 20% of your brain power My question isn't about the truth of these ...
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194 views

How exactly do “you” think and interact with your body?

It has been established that our brains control many processes that your body carries out autonomously and involuntarily. However, other actions are controlled by you. (e.g. you lift an arm, you walk)....
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151 views

How does it come about that specific areas of the brain are associated with specific functions?

During the development of the human brain, specific areas come to perform specific functions. How (and when) does this differentiation come about? Presumably, some areas of the brain naturally take ...
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105 views

How does oxygen deprivation affect neural activity?

It is increasingly common for someone to regain a heartbeat after a cardiac arrest. During the time that the person is without a heartbeat, and so without circulation, the brain is deprived of oxygen. ...
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70 views

Is it possible to imitate two way communication between a brain and a limb?

Human muscles are controlled by action potentials that travel along the nerves. Below is an image of a train of action potentials that are decoded by the brain into a sensation or interpreted by a ...
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Probiotics and Mental Health

While trying to find research articles within the realm of Psychosynthesis, I have been looking at the "collective unconscious" Image Source: Wikipedia Commons - (CC BY-SA 3.0) Lower Unconscious ...
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958 views

Why could too much BDNF be detrimental in terms of depression and memory?

I am interested in looking at the effects of too much BDNF and other proteins such as repressor element one silencing transcription factor (REST). Most research suggest that elevated levels are ...
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73 views

Classical conditioning paradigm for hippocampal learning

I wanted to know what a suitable classical conditioning experiment would be to analyze learning and memory capabilities in rodent models with respect to hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). For ...
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571 views

How do auditory and visual hallucinations differ within the brain?

I asked this question. It occurs to me that auditory hallucinations may well be generated in a different part of the brain to visual hallucinations. From my understanding, some hallucinations involve ...
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69 views

How many thalamocortical relay cells synapse onto each spiny stellate cell in neocortex?

I am curious about how many different thalamocortical relay cells synapse onto each layer IV spiny stellate cell, on average? The answer is likely to be different per region and species, of course. I ...
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77 views

Why does journaling seem to reduce stress?

When searching methods to reduce stress and discussing my problems with people I know, it was suggested to me that I journal thoughts, that is write down what worries me elaborately on paper. I ...

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