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Since I was asked in chat about binaural beats, and have been posed this question a number of times before besides, I looked into the most recent literature using Google Scholar for the single term "binaural beats" and restricted my search to papers published between 2010-2015. For convenience, this is the definition of a binaural beat I will use. ...


16

I think Keegan provides a great set of references, but I just wanted to expand on his answer in a little bit more detail. Penrose and Hameroff's ideas are mentioned a lot on the internet and although they are often debunked, you can never do it enough. I want to discuss (1) what microtubules are and (2) are there quantum effects in them? And, more ...


13

Short answer Singing increases the duration of voiced intervals in stutterers. Background Singing is an example of one of the most effective methods to decrease stuttering* (Stager, 2003). It is a so-called fluency-increasing (FI) condition in stutterers and reduces stuttering by more than 90%. Some of the few, subtle acoustic differences between song and ...


12

I don't know what precisely "nerve signals" is supposed to refer to, but neurons exchange information mainly via one pathway: neurotransmitters. And these do not travel the synaptic cleft via quantum tunnelling - obviously, since quantum tunnelling is a phenomenon on a quantum scale (concerning electrons), while neurotransmitters are far larger, at the ...


12

No, inner speech does not follow the same neural pathway as speech coming in from outside. Rather, inner speech uses the same neural mechanism as outer speech - that is, speech going out. The neural mechanisms of inner speech can be studied using recently developed technologies such as fMRI imaging of subjects instructed to or prevented from engaging in ...


11

There is very little controlled, modern research on binaural beats. I could only find one source, referenced below, from the late nineties (although there are a few other, more recent non-experimental "pilot studies"). According to their study, "presentation of beta-frequency binaural beats yielded more correct target detections and fewer false alarms than ...


11

Short answer Yes, there is a difference between hearing and understanding sound. Background Acoustic information is processed in different neural centers along the auditory pathway. The auditory system runs from the peripheral end organ in the inner ear (the cochlea) to the cortex. Along the way various processing steps are carried out. For ...


11

Disclaimer: Quantifying the capacity of the human brain is quiet complex as you might imagine. And although in cognitive neuroscience we often compare the brain to computers this is not an exact comparison, in many ways the brain is far more complicated and encodes information in a very different way than the comparison of CPU processors and hard-drives. The ...


10

Apparently your question is on backward masking, which means that the masker follows the stimulus (probe) in time. Backward masking generally occurs at higher levels, typically the cortex. In case of visual stimuli this can be the primary visual cortex, or V1 (Mace et al. 2005). Ongoing processing of the probe is then thought to be interfered with by the ...


9

My answer is probably a weird hodgepodge of sometimes poorly explained stuff, but hopefully it's coherent enough :P For many decades in psychology, we've had a mechanistic stimulus-organism-response understanding of the brain. That is, a stimulus triggers an internal psychological process, which produces some behavioral response. One of the major ...


9

Probably. What you mentioned in your question is called retinotopy. There is a mapping between locations on your retina and areas on your cortex. As you go further up the visual processing streams, the mapping gets more complex and the patterns would be less obvious. Here's an image of from a 1988 paper in the Journal of Neuroscience (Tootell, et al.). It ...


8

Pseudoscience based on false premises and misuse of statistics, I'd say at first glance...but let's take a closer look at this article. First, I'm seeing among the references a lot of articles from journals with "alternative" in their titles, and other sources that strike me as either vaguely fishy or otherwise somewhat tangential. Not what I'd hope to get ...


8

Well for one, the first neurons to decode this symbol are orientation neurons, in V1 of the primary visual cortex. So some neurons have enhanced firing for say a 45 degree angle, and neighboring neurons for a 46 degree angle, and so on. Higher up the processing stream groups of neurons respond to shapes, that are a conglomerate of the orientation lines. Then ...


8

Hypnotic states are associated with increased theta wave activity. Hypnotically susceptible participants also exhibit hemispheric beta wave asymmetry, but non-susceptible participants do not (Sabourin, Cutcomb, Crawford and Pribram, 1990). References Sabourin, M. E., Cutcomb, S. D., Crawford, H. J., & Pribram, K. (1990). EEG correlates of hypnotic ...


8

This is an incredibly broad question, but I admire your spark of curiosity so I'm going to give you a quick answer anyways. Firstly, there is no defined steps for modelling parts of the brain. The laboratory I was a member of created Spaun. Spaun is the world's largest functioning brain model and uses biologically plausible neurons as the foundation for it'...


8

According to the article "Addiction to Music Has Biochemical Basis" on Softpedia News by Tudor Vieru, which reports on findings by Robert Zatorre and Valorie Salimpoor (Salimpoor & Zatorre, 2013), who both hold appointments as neuroscientists at the McGill University: "listening to music you like also triggers the release of dopamine, a ...


8

The accepted method of praying the Rosary is to actually complete five (5) decades, each containing the Hail Mary (Ave Maria) repeated 10 times (hence the term "decade"). Each decade is followed by an Our Father (Pater Noster), Gloria, and a Hail Holy Queen, and the announcement of the "mystery" to be meditated upon during the next decade. Each day has its ...


8

I assume you're referring to the experiment by Strack, Martin, and Stepper (1988) in which people rated a cartoon as funnier when they had to hold their face in a smile shape by gripping a pencil in their teeth. This has been applied to negative affect by Larsen, Kasimatis, and Frey (1992) who had participants furrow their brows during an activity. Golf ...


7

This is a continuation of Penrose's Quantum Mind. It's not taken seriously by the majority of the neuroscience or quantum community. Here are some references to get you started: Tegmark, M. (2000). Importance of quantum decoherence in brain processes. Physical Review E, 61(4), 4194. Seife, C. (2000). Cold numbers unmake the quantum mind. Science, 287(5454),...


7

Studies have shown that some people can mentally isolate stressors so that they do not affect performance in other areas. This is sometimes referred to as isolating or repressing the memory of the stressor so that it does not influence secondary reactions. The recollection of the memory is just as painful as it would be for anyone else, but the memory itself ...


7

Like many topics in neuroscience, this is a controversial subject. While dopamine is very popular among the public as a mechanism for pleasure, recent research challenges that view and has started to tease apart pleasure from motivation, finding a distinction in dopamine. John Salamone's opinion: Low levels of dopamine make people and other animals less ...


7

One of the older theories suggested that a person literally runs out of brain-fuel when they hit the wall (Baumeister et al, 1998). They called this state "ego depletion" and it refers to the kind of mental burnout you are talking about. There is currently a lot of research activity on this topic because we (psychologists) assumed for over a decade that some ...


7

Research exists on craniopagus twins, maybe most notably Tatiana and Krista, who seem to share sensory input somewhat. I doubt that connective mechanisms such as this abnormal case would suffice to permit "compound cognition" in ways that would enhance cognitive ability similarly to your point about hominid evolution. Your relatively simple proposal for a ...


7

Bearing in mind the fact that I can't prove a negative, I'm going to say "No, it's not (yet) possible". Flow is rather loosely defined (e.g. "merging of action and awareness"), so coming up with hard measures is a challenge in and of itself -- even without bringing electrophysiology into the equasion. As a Positive Psychology concept, it belongs to the ...


7

Most of the 'true' hallucinogens are classified as 5HT2A agonists. 5HT2A is a postsynaptic serotonin receptor. Serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on the other hand act by increasing serotonin (5HT) levels in the brain, which in turn activates presynaptic 5HT1A receptors. Due to a continuous stimulation of these 5HT1A receptors they become ...


7

There are 2 common definitions of "reflex": The technical definition of "reflex" is an action that is not voluntary - ie, not mediated by cognition. From Wikipedia: ... sensory neurons do not pass directly into the brain, but synapse in the spinal cord. This characteristic allows reflex actions to occur relatively quickly by activating spinal motor ...


7

The two concepts are analogous and mutually illustrative, but empirically refer to different levels of analysis: behavioral and neural. Habituation Habituation is a form of non-associative learning, specifically, learning that a stimulus is behaviorally unimportant. If I loudly and repeatedly bang on a metal pot immediately behind your head, you will ...


7

Short answer Damage to the inner ear can result in an asymmetric distortion in pitch perception between the two ears. This phenomenon can result in the same tone being perceived as a different pitch by the two ears. Background Damage to the inner ear (the cochlea) can lead to hearing loss. Hearing loss can sometimes lead to changes in perceived pitch. For ...


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