Questions tagged [neuroscience]

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

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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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125 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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587 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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743 views

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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585 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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590 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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91 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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98 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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108 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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447 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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352 views

What are the neurological differences between varying types of love?

It stands to reason that the biochemical cascade involved when a person experiences love, gives a feeling of well-being and drive. Studies in neuroscience have involved chemicals that are present ...
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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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332 views

What are the neurological differences between those who have a high tolerance to pain and those who do not?

I am curious to learn what are the neurological differences between those that have a high tolerance to pain than to those that do not. Specifically, by high tolerance to pain, I am referring to ...
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525 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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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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450 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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327 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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2k views

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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198 views

Is V1 involved in visual imagery?

It's well known that mental imagery shares the neural substrates of its respective modality, despite dissociable multivariate patterns. For example, visual imagery can be decoded across the ventral ...
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174 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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2k views

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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134 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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488 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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209 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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200 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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508 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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404 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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178 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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1answer
195 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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120 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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187 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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139 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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96 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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66 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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562 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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1answer
70 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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1answer
491 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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87 views

Supplementary Motor Area or Juxtapositional Lobule Cortex

Harvard-Oxford Cortical Structural Atlas now calls the 'Supplementary Motor Area' the 'Juxtapositional Lobule Cortex (formerly Supplementary Motor Cortex)'. I've looked for papers that explain the ...
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80 views

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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300 views

Do expert computer gamers have unusual physiological or mental characteristics? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Any work being done on Perception, Action, and/or Cognition in Video games? Are there any research studies that show this? See a thread on Quora for some initial discussion, ...
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869 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,...
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3answers
440 views

Theoretical limit to the use of mental faculty of the brain

A lot of articles stress the importance of having to train the brain (By training the brain, I mean the cognitive faculty of the brain for learning things and not brain's normal functions) since the ...
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2answers
2k views

How would synapses behave if resting potential was zero?

Assuming that the resting potential is zero and the other mechanisms were exactly the same, how would it affect the generation of spikes in terms of excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials(...
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827 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 ...
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Is variation in human brain size related to mental functioning?

It seems that the head size of human beings has evolved to be relatively similar, yet there is still some amount of variation. While I'm sure the correlation is not absolute, I read that larger heads ...