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Questions tagged [neuroscience]

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

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6
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2answers
525 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
178 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 ...
6
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2answers
218 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 ...
6
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
305 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 ...
6
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2answers
138 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 ...
6
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2answers
281 views

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 ...
6
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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 ...
6
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1answer
217 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 ...
6
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1answer
299 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. ...
6
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1answer
115 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 ...
6
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3answers
276 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 ...
6
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1answer
295 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 ...
6
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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 ...
6
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2answers
300 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. ...
6
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1answer
971 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 ...
6
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1answer
894 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 ...
6
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1answer
101 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 ...
6
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1answer
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 ...
6
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1answer
535 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 ...
6
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2answers
80 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 ...
6
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2answers
175 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 ...
6
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2answers
774 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 ...
6
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1answer
240 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 ...
6
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1answer
70 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 ...
6
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1answer
163 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., ...
6
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1answer
477 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 ...
6
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1answer
986 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 ...
6
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1answer
39 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 ...
6
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1answer
193 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 ...
6
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1answer
166 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 ...
6
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1answer
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 ...
6
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1answer
101 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 ...
6
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1answer
77 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 ...
6
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1answer
190 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 ...
6
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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 ...
6
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2answers
71 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 ...
6
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0answers
884 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 ...
6
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0answers
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 ...
6
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1answer
145 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 ...
5
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2answers
559 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 ...
5
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3answers
815 views

How are personality traits “encoded” in the brain?

How are personality traits – such as optimism, sensation seeking or need for cognition – "encoded" in the brain? Do people with different levels of, say, extraversion have different neuronal ...
5
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2answers
113 views

What are the temporal limits of the auditory system?

I would like to know what the time scale is of the human ear. I mean, what is the shortest duration of a sound that a human ear can notice and what is the longest duration of a sound that a human ear ...
5
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2answers
950 views

How does subjective experience arise from matter?

Forgive me for lacking rigor, but if what I know is correct, it is established that consciousness and other higher functions characteristic of humans are a consequence of our cortex, specifically ...
5
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2answers
73 views

Cerebellum question

Sorry if this sounds at all like pretentious armchair theorizing(it basically is), but I have a question which I can't really figure out how to search. So, given the resemblance of the cerebellum to ...
5
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1answer
110 views

Can neuron change from excitatory to inhibitory (and vice versa) over time?

According to this answer a neuron can release only specific type of neurotransmitters at the time, however, could it change over time? For example a neuron that now releases only inhibitory ...
5
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2answers
748 views

Does electricity pass through synapse?

As far as I understand, when a neuron fires the action potential generated in a cell body reaches only the presynaptic part of the synapse, then triggers the transmitter to pass through the gap, and ...
5
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2answers
2k views

How does speed listening work?

I've recently gotten into listening to podcasts. Over time, as I get accustomed to the speaker's voice, I'm able to increase the speed of the podcast to as high as 3x speed. It still feels "normal" to ...
5
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1answer
434 views

Physiological differences between brains of Conservatives and Liberals

I work for a non-profit research organization and I have been assigned to do research on this topic. I have been doing my best to find studies on this topic but every website and article seems to ...
5
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2answers
207 views

How addictive is Heroine?

I keep hearing that "*Heroine is so addictive the very first dose is enough to get you hooked on it*". Personally, I have a hard time believing any substance could do that to you. But I could believe ...