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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. When ...


15

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 ...


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

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 ...


10

Yes, there are benefits, but I don't think it requires long-term switches. Studies have used this as a manipulation to try and increase self control and have found that it decrease aggression. Based on this, once one has mastered using the non-dominant hand, it seems like the benefit of continuing to use that hand might be over (as it no longer requires ...


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

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 ...


9

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 ...


8

Electrodermal activity is an index of sympathetic activation and a skin conductance response can occur in many situations. It is therefore a very general response and can arise as a result of stimulus novelty or “significance” (whether you want to call this an affective response is up to you but it seems very different from common sense notions of what an ...


8

As a neuroscientist, I would be highly doubtful of any neuroscientific 'evidence' about this phenomenon (if it exists). In fact, I think there is no reason to look further than the mere exposure effect: The mere-exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. ...


8

The researchers that developed this task decribe it in DeVito et al. (2009) as follows: Information Sampling Task The IST (Clark et al. 2006) is a measure of ‘reflection– impulsivity’. Subjects were told they would be presented with ten trials in each of two conditions [fixed win (FW), decreasing win (DW)] and that the task would last for 10 ...


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

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

For introductory cognitive neuroscience, I think it is often best to start with interesting neuropsychological cases -- I think such cases provide an intriguing and intuitive way to get into the relationship between mind and brain. You already plan to talk about HM (and you can mention the movie Memento if you think students might be familiar or interested ...


7

The article Autonomic nervous system activity in emotion: A review seems to answer your question. You will find in Table 2 the average electrodermal effect (unweighted) found in 134 studies for different emotions. I see in the Skin Conductance Response (SCR) row that all the 11 emotions under study produced an increase in activation from baseline, except ...


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

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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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