Questions tagged [neuroscience]

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

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3answers
968 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 ...
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How do neurons decide how to alter their output signals?

In computer science, neural networks are trained using backpropagation and other methods. Backpropagation heavily relies on mathematical formulas to describe how the weights should be changed ...
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180 views

Is there a complete cortico-cortical connectivity map based on a useful partitioning of the cortex?

I have something like Brodmann Areas in mind, but any complete list of cortex regions would do. I'm primarily interested in human brains here. Ultimately I'd like enough information to be able to ...
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221 views

What does daytime actigraphy reveal about an active and awake brain?

I have interest in the study of human motion ( Actigraphy), and have built a couple of smartphone apps using its principles. The apps look at gross motor activity of an individual. Up until now, most ...
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Why is MATLAB so common in Neuroscience?

It is common knowledge that neuroscience -- particularly experimental neuroscience -- uses MATLAB more than any other programming language. I have always just taken this as a given, and pointed to ...
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1answer
311 views

Is it dangerous to take an antipsychotic drug irregularly?

I've read the case of Witty Ticcy Ray: a 24 years old man with disabling Tourette’s syndrome. The first Dr. Sacks's treatment, with Haldol, provokes a strong change in Ray's behavior: from tics and ...
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Sensitivity of human eye to luminance

I heard once that the human eye has a logarithmic scale for luminance, e.g. to "feel" that a surface is three times as luminous compared to another, the former emits a light 8 times more powerful than ...
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2answers
162 views

Parallel arrangement of capacitor and resistor in leaky integrate-and-fire model

I have read from several sources that in the leaky integrate-and-fire model of a single neuron resistor (leakage) and capacitor (membrane potential) are arranged in parallel. Look at the following RC ...
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Do the colour blind have a distinct visual cortex structure?

Studying the structure of the visual cortex, it seems there are many neural structures specifically dedicated to detecting and interpreting colour. For example, parvocellular cells are particularly ...
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1answer
123 views

Is the process of long term potentiation (LTP) definitively linked with brain plasticity?

Given that the process of Long Term Potentiation (LTP) is one of the processes that increases synaptic efficacy: Is it reasonable to conclude that the process of LTP is sufficient and necessary to ...
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1answer
223 views

Classic cognitive neuroscience studies that highlight conclusions that could not be drawn from behavioral experiments

Background: I studied psychology prior to going into cognitive neuroscience for my PhD. While I know my own area in depth, I lack the kind of broad overview that people who have done their Masters in ...
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301 views

Measuring changes in hemispheric dominance over time

I've recently started using my trackball left-handed after being right-handed my whole life. The motivation is partly to balance out wrist strain, and partly to see how much my brain rejects the idea. ...
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130 views

Can the neurological damage done by alcohol be reversed?

I read online that heavy alcohol consumption can lead to neurological damage, specifically in areas that affect your cognitive performance and memory but what I couldn’t find is if the damage can be ...
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290 views

Thinking with organs/systems other than the brain

Neurohormones are produced in many different bodily systems other than the brain--skin, intestines, stomach, etc. Has there been any research suggesting whether or not some people might actually ...
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1answer
94 views

Does synesthesia lack symmetry?

Some synesthetes report seeing bright flashes when hearing a loud noise. However, in the same person, bright flashes of light are not reported as being loud. I've read of other examples like this; ...
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307 views

Visual acuity and offset stimuli

I'm currently setting up and experiment that utilises a visual search task that contains a circular array of target letters and a distractor that falls outside the circle. Obviously the further away ...
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1answer
81 views

What is it about our brain that breaks when we hear ourselves with a delay?

If you've ever heard an echo of yourself on phone or video chat, you've probably noticed the phenomenon that you completely forget what you were talking about when you hear yourself talking. Have ...
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1answer
2k views

Does every human brain have the same shape?

Apart from the general structure (6 layer cortex, same areas, etc.) does every brain have the exact same number and arrangement of sulci, gyri, etc? Do these elements have the same shape?
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302 views

Are there useful applications for three channel consumer EEG?

I stumbled upon the consumer EEG Melon (at Kickstarter). It has three electrodes and is advertised as measuring how "focused" you are. In the FAQ it says: The Melon headband has three electrodes. ...
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1answer
994 views

Neurotransmitters appearance in the evolutionary process

Recently I disagreed with the assumption, that lots of neurotransmitters came within recent 10,000 years of Homo Sapiens evolution. Judging from the available information sources, there is possibility ...
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1answer
920 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
159 views

What exactly are the X and the Y axis of a brainwave?

I can't seem to wrap my head around how a bunch of organic transistors (neurons) could possibly produce a wave? What exactly is a brain wave? If you graph a brain wave what exactly would your X and Y ...
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1answer
131 views

How is the brain cooled?

I remember[ed] reading a story on a brain-inspired integrated mechanism for energy-delivery and cooling in (experimental) new computer chips: The human brain packs phenomenal computing power into a ...
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1answer
107 views

What hormones stimulate non-sexual intimate behaviour?

From wikipedia article sexual motivation and hormones, it is said that testosterone/estrogen, oxytocin and vasopressin are stimulating sexual behaviour. But I'm wondering if any of these hormones are ...
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1answer
229 views

Variation in prefrontal cortex development

I have read everywhere that the prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until about the mid twenties, but everyone's brain develops differently. Is it possible for a teens prefrontal cortex to be ...
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52 views

Does NMDA-receptor activation depend on neighboring AMPA-receptor activity?

This question is coming out of a couple points of confusion after I learned about about NMDA receptors' role in LTP. I got the impression that after AMPA receptors were activated enough, which ...
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213 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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1answer
620 views

Why our brain can't fool itself to constantly produce dopamine?

There are experiments [1] showing that our brain tries to maximize amount of dopamine. At the same time it is the brain who controls the dopamine level, because the reward system is located in the ...
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82 views

Spike-timing-dependent plasticity versus Homeostatic plasticity

How can spike-timing-dependent plasticity and homeostatic plasticity both be right? If spike-timing-dependent plasticity consistently tries to strengthen connections, but homeostatic plasticity ...
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186 views

How would the blind experience a hallucinogen like LSD?

I have heard that LSD allows you to see ridiculous things. But they are things that you have seen, or can imagine to see. If you've never seen before (like a blind person), what effect will LSD have ...
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852 views

Grid cells : Between what is the correlation of autocorrelogram measured?

In their seminal paper Hafting, Torkel, et al. "Microstructure of a spatial map in the entorhinal cortex." Nature 436.7052 (2005): 801-806.‏ the Mosers have discovered the grid cells. To show the ...
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262 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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72 views

Do we know a priori any rules about the world?

1) Is there any set of rules that human beings or, more generally, other sentient living beings know a priori before any learning process? In other words, do sentient living beings always were born ...
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167 views

Does training affect the tactile oblique effect?

In the visual sciences it is known that the oblique effect can be reduced by means of training. The oblique effect is observed when testing subjects psychophysically with a grating acuity task (e.g., ...
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1answer
512 views

Can split-brain patients sleep like whales?

Regular split-brain patients still have some remaining connection between the hemispheres, but would it be possible for their hemispheres to fall asleep independent of each other? What about when not ...
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1answer
996 views

What is the brain power devoted to vision and haptics?

I heard a talk by Vincent Hayward on the sense of touch as a multi-modal system, where he claimed that the brain power devoted to haptics is at least as big as the one devoted to vision. I have found ...
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Why does handwriting change?

In New York magazine it is stated: [I]t’s strange that your handwriting changes over time; scientifically speaking, there’s no reason it should. At a certain point, you’ve learned all there is to ...
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1answer
231 views

Does STDP make the Hebbian learning rule redundant?

On Scholarpedia they introduce STDP (spike timing dependent plasticity) as a temporally asymmetric form of Hebbian learning, making it sound as if the original Hebbian rule still has relevance in ...
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1answer
174 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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1answer
137 views

What is the role of non-synaptic plasticity in learning and memory?

Is non-synaptic plasticity (e.g. changes in the spike threshold) believed to play a large role in learning and memory? If so, which roles are these effects believed to play?
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59 views

What exactly is the neurobiological mechanism behind the functioning of the human muscle?

From what I have read, its been given that muscle functioning and coordination involves two processes: frequency summation and muscle recruitment. What I want to know is that, do these two processes ...
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1answer
102 views

Difference in hemispheres when processing of somatosensory information

We know from many studies (see e.g. Taylor, 2009 for an empirical and experiential overview) that processing of information is massively heterogeneous with respect to hemisphere. How does this ...
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1answer
78 views

What causes CSF to flow?

Since matter at rest tends to stay at rest until acted upon, there must be some mechanism in the brain causing cerebrospinal fluid to move from the choroid plexus to other areas of the central nervous ...
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1answer
194 views

How much of brain power consumption is for information

As previously answered on this site, the brain uses 20W of power. However, how much of this power consumption is for information processing and how much of it is for maintenance of biological ...
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1answer
151 views

Why cerebellar input fibers use 2 ways to send a siganl to DCN?

Both groups of input fibers of cerebellum (mossy, climbing) start 2 pathways: 1) project directly to the deep nuclei 2) project to cerebellar cortex, which then (after some processing) sends ...
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73 views

How does neuron stimulation work?

Neurons are excited via an external electrode by passing current through it. A neuron at rest is at -70 mV, it needs additional charge amounting to around 15 mV to initiate an action potential. But ...
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1k views

Does testosterone level cause more sexual dream content?

I have long been interested in dreaming, including how dream content can shed some light on brain chemistry. I did a search on the subject of testosterone levels altering dream content and see some ...
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111 views

What are the common nutritional deficiencies in western countries related to reduced mental performance? [closed]

What are the common nutritional deficiencies in western countries related to reduced mental performance ? I've heard about omega 3, folid acid, and vitamin D deficiencies, the last two are now reduced ...
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1answer
147 views

Interpretation & Actual Result of “10% of your brain” Myth [duplicate]

It is well known that the common myth that an individual only ever uses 10% of their brain is.. well, a myth. I had a question about a possible interpretation of this idea, and a follow-up question ...

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