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14

The key point is that the brain is not a uniform structure. The outer layer, known as grey matter, is a relatively uniform and flat structure. Underneath the grey matter is white matter. An overly-simple characterization of these two areas is that grey matter performs computations, and white matter lets different areas of grey matter talk to each other. Here'...


11

The reptilian brain is the oldest part of the triune brain. And the triune brain is a unified account of brain function and brain evolution. The story goes like this. The brain can be divided into three sections: The reptilian brain, named so because it encompasses structures that did not change much from reptile to man. It includes the basal ganglia and ...


10

Most neuroscientists have dropped the right brain-left brain differentiation because cross-over of functions at multiple levels is now so widely recognized. So your understanding of two left brains is not current (if it ever was).


9

Persons of each handedness use both hemispheres of the brain. If you're asking specifically whether taking an action with your right hand preferentially activates motor control in the left hemisphere, the answer is yes. Motor function for the right side of your body is mapped to the left side of your brain, and vice versa. So for crossing your right leg ...


9

First of all, the human brain is distinctively larger than that of any other primate, mainly due to the great expansion of the cerebral cortex. The underlying structures have remained relatively stable (Toro et al., 2008). As the cortex overlies the rest of the brain, a solution had to be found, because the whole brain did not have to inflate to increase ...


8

Based on a review by Kolb et al, 2012, it seems that "the brain is finished developing by 25" refers to the point when synaptic pruning in the cerebral cortex levels off, on average. However, the prefrontal cortex, the region most unique to humans and involved in executive function, develops in this way well into the third decade of life. The above review ...


6

It all comes down to the type of memory. Infantile amnesia is largely associated with the loss of episodic memory, a type of explicit memory that can be consciously recalled (eg, remembering a past event). Implicit memory, such as learned skills (eg, remembering how to tie your shoes), the learned part of personality, and priming associations, are largely ...


6

Let's break this down into two terms: affect and emotion. Affect Affect corresponds to two dimensions that underlie emotional experience: valence and arousal. Valence - feelings of pleasantness and unpleasantness Arousal - feelings of activation (e.g., alert, energized) and deactivation (e.g., de-energized, sleepy) So what are the sources of these ...


5

The brain often does create looping conditions. When these loops involve a large number of neurons, we call it a seizure. An analogy in electrical engineering would be a feedback loop -- such as literal feedback between a microphone and speakers. In the brain, fortunately, these loops are usually self-dissolving since the neurons involved will often run out ...


4

Counting, easily. It's a matter of rote and repetition, dominated by procedural learning. Critical thinking requires more advanced circuitry and learning. There is a lot of really rapid neural development still occurring in the first couple years and children are learning from society and parents and experience in the meantime. During this time, they can ...


4

This section from the Wikipedia page on Neuroplasticity indicates (emphasis mine) Reviews of MRI studies on individuals with ADHD suggest that the long-term treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with stimulants, such as amphetamine or methylphenidate, decreases abnormalities in brain structure and function found in subjects ...


4

The difference is in whether the animal has voluntary control over the touch. If the animal touches another object by moving its body to initiate the touch, then the it is active touch. If the animal is touched without control over the movement (for example, a human experimenter grazing the whiskers with a finger), then the touch is passive.


4

In the last 20 years or so, a growing amount of neuroimaging research has demonstrated that adolescence is a period of continued brain growth and change, challenging longstanding assumptions that the brain was largely finished maturing by puberty (Giedd, et al. 1999; Sowell, et al. 1999; Sowell, et al. 2001; ...


3

Top-down knowledge is knowing what a target is. When detecting an object, the rate at which you can detect it (measured via reaction time, or 'RT') is partially dependent on how fast you can identify it based on its sensory features. Bottom-up knowledge is integrating recognition of the features, or the dimensions of an object, such as its color, ...


3

Almost every area of your brain would be involved in learning and understanding such high-level topics, so any perceived inability to learn a specific topic is very unlikely to be due to a particular area of your brain not working optimally. Learning new things can take a lot of time and practice. A lot of times people don't see as much improvement as they ...


3

I am struggling to recall the scientific term for what you are describing, but it is a simple cognitive phenomenon that guides and informs the design of physical, real-world interfaces. Let's look at a mouse on a computer. The motion of the mouse in the real world corresponds to the motion of the cursor on the screen. As an experiment, try to use the mouse ...


3

I think the treatment of the “Reptile Brain's” power given by Big Bang really sells it short. Your question immediately brought to my mind a 2009 profile by the Washington Post's Gene Weingarten of parents who leave their children in the car to die, all by accident. It's a long and difficult read, and it took me quite some time to dig it up again since I ...


3

Inhibitory synapses allows one brain region to suppress activity in another. Since the car is in motion per the laws of motion and momentum, it would be incorrect to say that suppressing one brain region would cause the car to stop moving toward the wall. The closest thing would be if those inhibitory synapses caused one part of your brain to inhibit the ...


3

The "overheat" (flushing of the skin) you experience is a common-enough reaction to stress, part of the fight-or-flight response. It's not uncommon for people to experince it during exams; generally exam/test axniety is related to both internal and external factors (or perception thereof) Self-esteem was a significant and strong predictor of test anxiety. ...


3

The brain has the abilities to do a lot of marvelous things: It can convert electromagnetic waves that reach the eyes into spectacular visions of faces, people, trees, animals, houses, etc. It can convert vibrations in the air (sound waves) into the sounds of speech, music, screaming (for help), etc. it can convert contacts at the skin into the feeling of ...


3

I'm not sure this question is answerable at that specificity. There isn't a discrete point in time where the cells are definitively a brain stem rather than a precursor structure such the bulge mentioned above. One could identify a set of a cells in earlier structures that eventually are located in the adult area we call the brain stem, but that doesn't mean ...


2

If one was to take a 30mg dose once a day for 50+ years, would it damage brain function at all? You ask a very good question, but I'm going to rephrase it for you: Is the chronic administration of low doses of methylphenidate (Ritalin), amphetamine (Adderall) or methamphetamine (Desoxyn) neurotoxic in humans? The answer: High doses of methylphenidate are ...


2

For a real answer on this topic, you need two things: one is to understand your question, and the other is an understanding of Jean Piaget's masses of research into the development of intelligence (from birth to adulthood). Regarding understanding your own question, you must appreciate that decades of philosophy and psychology reveal that you cannot separate ...


2

"Are the two halves of the brain mirror images of each other" I'm not sure if this will answer your question but here goes. If we look at the two hemispheres say from a axial view (looking down from the top), we'd find there's some asymmetry there. In terms of internal brain structures and "regions" yes, what's in the left hemisphere is also in the right ...


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