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Questions tagged [neuroscience]

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

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2answers
343 views

Can LSD connect sensory regions in the brain?

How is it possible that after using LSD you can hear sounds and see colours? I have my own experience with this phenomenon. When I´m lying totally relaxed in bed and suddenly a door is closed loudly,...
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1answer
560 views

Is there a biological limit for “amount” of happiness?

I have heard about neurotransmitters like dopamin and serotonin that are supposed to play a role in our feeling of happiness. I don't know how these chemicals works in our brain, but I am thinking ...
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954 views

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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1answer
194 views

Do cats exhibit the bouba/kiki effect?

I was fascinated when I first read Ramachandran's article about kiki bouba effect, and I was wondering if cats experience the same thing... As Ramachandran proved, our angular gyrus is responsible for ...
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2answers
230 views

Are axon terminals always part of a synapse, or are there any that just release neurotransmitters into the ether during an action potential?

By "ether" I mean to no post-synaptic cell in particular. If this is the case, how common is it for an axon terminal to not be part of a synapse? Related question: do axon terminals form only as ...
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3answers
635 views

Is it possible to objectively measure the amount of pleasure a person is experiencing?

I'd like to know if it's possible to quantify somebody's "fun meter". Maybe by measuring the amount of endorphin produced. Because every person is unique, I don't expect that amount to make another ...
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1answer
388 views

What is the role of (why )universal gas constant in Nernst equation?

The Nernst equation is an equation that relates the the total voltage, i.e. the electromotive force, of the full cell at any point in time to the standard electrode potential, temperature, activity, ...
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1answer
1k views

Voltage sensitive dyes technique: 2-photons microscopy vs confocal microscopy

I just discovered voltage sensitive dyes technique and I was wondering what would be the advantage to use 2-photons microscopy compared to confocal microscopy? They are both fluorescent techniques ...
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2answers
250 views

Is there a less colloquial term for the phenomenon known as “brain zaps”?

There is an unpleasant phenomenon, colloquially known as "brain zaps". It is generally associated with withdrawal from antidepressants, but this isn't always the trigger - I sometimes have it even ...
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1answer
87 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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1answer
92 views

How is averaging used in calculating the Bereitschaftspotential?

I have a question about the averaging involved in the Bereitschaftspotential. On the wiki page you can read that, because it is so small, the Bereitschaftspotential only becomes apparent after ...
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1answer
1k 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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1answer
92 views

What is the human brain made of?

I read an article that stated that the human brain contains 60% fat. Is this fatty tissue structural building material? Or does it just serve as an energy source for the mitochondria? Since our body ...
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1answer
69 views

What happens in the brain that allows access to a previous unavailable memory?

What happens in the brain that allows you access to a memory previous unavailable? For example I forgot the name of someone I've known for years. Two weeks later, without notice, "Diana" popped up. ...
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1answer
107 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
230 views

Is there any disease that prevents a person from being angry?

Is there any disease that prevents a person from being angry? As a reference, the resection of the amygdala reduces feelings of fear. web links ABC news on damage to the amygdala reducing fear ...
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1answer
252 views

What do you call sensations without stimuli?

Sometimes, when you close your eyes in the dark, you see what looks like sparks or flashes. Sometimes when you are tired, your vision seems to shift sideways and realign, like someone bumped into a ...
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2answers
161 views

What's the relation between firing of dopaminergic neurons and dopamine dispersion in terms of neurophysiological processes?

Question: How does the firing of dopaminergic neurons affect the dispersal of dopamine? Evidence of my limited familiarity with dopaminergic neurons and motivation for asking the question: Most of ...
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1answer
45 views

Publicly Available NEURON models

NEURON is a software package for simulating neurons and networks in great detail. Although it's quite easy to find papers that use NEURON with a simple Google Scholar search, is there some way to find ...
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1answer
127 views

Are there studies on the effect of nicotine patches on dream vividness and dream recall?

Acetylcholine plays an important role during REM Sleep. I cite an answer to the question "Why do dreams lose clarity quickly over time after we awaken?": Activity in the PFC during sleep may be ...
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1answer
644 views

What are 'gap junctions' (electrical synapses) for?

I was reading this and I found the following sentences: Apart from chemical synapses neurons can also be coupled by electrical synapses, so-called gap junctions. Specialized membrane proteins make ...
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1answer
5k views

What's the difference between executive functions and cognitive control?

I suspect that the difference between these terms may vary from researcher to researcher, since the wikipedia page treats them as synonymous. What's the difference between executive functioning and ...
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1answer
124 views

Difference in frequencies of mistakes between use of left-right vs. up-down

I have no hard data, but from my personal experience in people specifying right or left directions (similarly east or west) and up or down (north or south, top or bottom), people frequently make ...
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2answers
597 views

Why is it hard to simulate a neuron?

I read a NY Times article about the European effort to simulate a human brain and the criticism regarding the (non-)feasibility of such an endeavor (not to mention the astronomical costs). In this ...
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1answer
526 views

Why does optogenetics not mean that perfect brain-computer interfaces are possible?

There have been multiple articles and videos circulating on the Internet claiming that optogenetics has made it possible to have perfect input/output to the brain from a computer. This is obviously ...
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1answer
474 views

Neuroplasticity and Treatment of Depression

After reading 'The Brain That Changes Itself' by Norman Doidge, 'The Mind and The Brain' by Jeffrey Schwartz and a few other books, I've become curious about the science of neuroplasticity, which, as ...
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1answer
199 views

NEO-FFI vs. NEO-FFI-3: What's the difference?

I just ran out of a large shipment of NEO-FFI booklets, so I went to order more from PARinc. This shipment has lasted since 2014. It seems that the original version of the NEO-FFI that I was using (...
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1answer
218 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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1answer
2k views

How do brain zaps occur?

I've recently witnessed someone undergoing brain zaps and subsequent panic attacks after having stopped their SSRI medication and 48 hours partying with heavy boozing and no sleep. Having reviewed ...
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1answer
84 views

Is there a complete connectome of a minicolumn of the neocortex?

I know that there are projects that try to map brain connectivity. My question is whether there is a dataset available with the complete connectivity of just a single minicolumn of the neocortex. ...
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2answers
124 views

Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity interpretation

A paper I'm looking at titled "Synaptic Modifications in Cultured Hippocampal Neurons: Dependence on Spike Timing, Synaptic Strength, and Postsynaptic Cell Type" (can be found here) showed a ...
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1answer
95 views

How far can a signal travel in the neocortex without passing through the white matter?

Correct me if I am wrong please, from what I understand horizontal communication spans very short distance in all layers of the neocortex but layers I and II. In these two layers dendrites and axons ...
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2answers
229 views

Threshold time for stimulus to be consciously perceived. Why?

A visual stimulus must last longer than some threshold duration to be perceived consciously. For example, a light dot flashed for a duration of 10ms can't be consciously perceived. Why? What prevents ...
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1answer
2k views

What are presynaptic puncta?

What are presynaptic puncta? And what makes them different from presynaptic terminals?
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1answer
96 views

Are there parts of the brain which don't change over a lifetime?

We know that during our lifetime the brain develops new neural connections. In addition, there is pruning of neural connections. These phenomena together are called neuroplasticity. Is there any ...
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2answers
1k views

Difference between brain disease and brain disorder

Is there any difference between the terms brain disease and brain disorder? They are often used in combination without ...
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1answer
152 views

What is the lifetime of the synapse in the mature brain?

I know there is synaptic plasticity in the mature brain. There is a great number of plasticity mechanisms like LTD and LTP, acting on different time scales. Apart from the synaptic weight change, ...
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1answer
335 views

Can tinnitus be measured with EEG or MEG?

Can tinnitus be measured with EEG or MEG (magnetoencephalography)? Is it visible in a power spectrum? In an ERP/ERF?
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1answer
785 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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2answers
232 views

The computer model of the brain

I am a computer programmer or computer engineer, and am interested in comparing the brain to a classical computer in some way. How well does this comparison hold up? This is a general introduction ...
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1answer
97 views

Conceptual representations in brain by distributed groups of neurons

It seems generally agreed upon that semantic concepts are distributedly represented by groups and groups of groups of neurons spread over the cortex. Disregarding the localizations, shapes and ...
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1answer
151 views

Why can't hemineglect patients be trained to actively pay attention to their neglected side?

I'm still having a hard time understanding the symptoms of hemineglect, mainly because perception and attention has been two peas of a pod for most of my experiences. A Scholarpedia article states ...
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1answer
285 views

Can dendrite spines fire action potential toward the soma?

I am confused about how the signal propagates from the dendrite spines toward the soma. I believe it is commonly taught that the signal diffuses "passively", i.e. electrostatically with no ...
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1answer
235 views

Are the language and sound centres of the brain in the same area?

I am an English major currently taking a Psycholinguistics module. One of the things we learned is that speech perception is handled differently from non-speech sound perception. Our brain is trained ...
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2answers
3k views

How many synapses in the average human brain?

Knowing there are 100,000,000,000 neurons in an average human brain, and 7,000 dendrites in each neuron, and neurons are connected to each other by dendrites and axon terminals, how many synapses are ...
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1answer
333 views

How can the aversion response be explained neurologically?

If Dopamine and Dopamine D2 receptor is involved in craving, wanting and clinging towards something or incentive salience Dopamine is closely associated with reward-seeking behaviors, such as ...
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1answer
183 views

Why are empty spaces around hippocampus and striatum not filled with astrocytes?

I understand that, generally, when a neuron dies, the vacated, empty space will form a scar in the form of an astrocyte. Basically, the astrocyte thus replaces that neuron. Why then are there empty ...
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2answers
1k views

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
127 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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1answer
84 views

How can higher concepts get unrolled with upward and feedback connections differing?

In the neocortex, input patterns are compressed hierarchically. Sensory inputs in the lower levels are combined by higher levels to form abstract concepts. However, there are even more feedback ...