13 votes

Folding (wrinkles) in cortex: Why is surface area more important than volume?

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 ...
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8 votes
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Which area of the brain was first correctly associated with a specific function?

Broca is generally considered the first person to localise structure to function, however, there are some earlier individuals to consider: EDIT: i recommend the chapter Neurolinguistics from the ...
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  • 1,227
8 votes
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Why is the order of white/grey matter different in the brain and spinal cord?

I'll tackle this question from a functional point of view. Gray matter are cell bodies, white matter are myelinated fiber tracts. In the brain, the gray matter is basically the cortex, the white ...
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8 votes

Does adult neurogenesis occur only in the olfactory bulb and the hippocampus?

You are right that active adult neurogenesis is generally considered to be restricted to the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, and the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles. The latter ...
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7 votes

Are the human cerebral hemispheres only connected via the corpus callosum?

The corpus callosum is a massive horizontal white matter tract (commissure) that connects the two hemispheres and it is considered the most important route of communication between the hemispheres. ...
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7 votes

Why is Wernike's area of the brain called Wernike's area?

As often the case, named after the person who first described it. From Encyclopedia Britannica: Wernicke area, region of the brain that contains motor neurons involved in the comprehension of ...
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  • 3,471
7 votes

Which area of the brain was first correctly associated with a specific function?

Phineas Gage had his famous spike through the head in 1848, which lead to some discoveries about the function of that area, but these were quite general. See: Harlow, J. M. (1869). Recovery from the ...
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  • 2,396
6 votes
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What are presynaptic puncta?

In the article you provided (Molofsky et al., 2014) the authors refer back to (Arber, 2012) and surprisingly, the term puncta is not used in the latter. So that's pretty much a dead end. I found ...
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5 votes
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How similar are the brains of twins?

Biondi et al. (1998) compared MR images of monozygotic twins and found that while the brains of monozygotic twins are not identical, they are similar. Relevant for understanding the concordance rate ...
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  • 2,617
5 votes
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What are the neural substrates of retrieval induced forgetting?

The neural substrates most involved in retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF) appear to be the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the dorsolateral pre-frontal cortex (DLPFC) and the ventrolateral pre-...
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5 votes
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What is the meaning of "little efferent input" to retina?

Interesting question! The paper you read should have inserted an appropriate citation. Moreover, "little input" is a subjective statement and doesn't make much sense in the context, as it can mean ...
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5 votes

What causes Capgras ("imposter") Syndrome?

There have been many proposed explanations for the condition. The explanation which seems to have gained traction states that an individual with Capgras syndrome experiences a "disconnect" between the ...
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  • 1,551
5 votes

Which area of the brain was first correctly associated with a specific function?

for the record, and as confirmation of what the above answers affirm regarding ancient times here is the abstract from a fairly recent historical review of the subject: Fragments of neurology can be ...
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5 votes
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What keeps the cerebrospinal fluid circulating? Is it pumped by something?

There is no evidence that the CSF has a pump. A link to a Chiropract Medicine page (a good one, from my reading) tells us that: It is something of a misnomer to speak of CSF “circulation,” ...
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5 votes

Are axons in the brain weighted?

Is it known whether the connection strength of synapses is important to the functioning of the brain or does just the binary existence of a synapse matter? I think it's safe to say that ...
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  • 512
5 votes

What does it mean when we say that "a neuron connects to a certain cortical layer"?

Short answer In complicated matters like neural connections in a layered cortex, it is all about semantics. One should carefully place statements in their context and deduce their meaning. ...
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5 votes
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How synapses are hold in place if they're not phisically attached?

There is a physical connection. Synapses are held together by adhesion molecules, like cadherins and neuroligins/neurexins. Missler, M., Südhof, T. C., & Biederer, T. (2012). Synaptic cell ...
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5 votes

Myelin and Myelin Sheath

As Wikipedia points out: Myelin is a lipid-rich (fatty) substance formed in the central nervous system (CNS) by glial cells called oligodendrocytes, and in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) by ...
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4 votes
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What are there neuroanatomical mappings of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task?

According to Wikipedia: As predicted by the acquired brain injury literature, early PET studies have shown the task involves significant activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. ...
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4 votes
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How common is alien hand syndrome?

Alien hand syndrome (AHS) is an extremely rare disorder. It is so rare, there appears to be no available prevalence studies. In the AHS literature, case studies are therefore nearly universal. For all ...
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4 votes
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Comparative functional neuroanatomy: humans & octopodes

You could start with Hochner's papers, like this one: Hochner, B., Shomrat, T., & Fiorito, G. (2006). The octopus: a model for a comparative analysis of the evolution of learning and memory ...
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4 votes
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What brain regions are activated when a dream is remembered?

Your memory of a dream would be an autobiographical memory, which is a memory system that is based on a combination of episodic memories and semantic memories. Autobiographical memories are memories ...
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4 votes
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How many synapses in the average human brain?

The human neocortex contains approximately 1.5x10^14 synapses, connecting its 19–23 billion neurons. Source: Pakkenberg, B., Pelvig, D., Marner, L., Bundgaard, M. J., Gundersen, H. J. G., Nyengaard, ...
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4 votes

What was the quantified brain volume of Albert Einstein?

I was interested in the same question a while ago. Unfortunately, Witelson et al (1999) reported here (http://penthai.sc.mahidol.ac.th/html/articles/newsletter/paper3.pdf) that volume measurements ...
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4 votes
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Which areas of the brain make up the brain stem?

The brain stem comprises the medulla, the pons and the midbrain, according to Kandel's extremely authoritative Principles of Neural Science. This is equivalent to the midbrain and the hindbrain minus ...
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4 votes
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Are brain sub-divisions based off embryonic development used when describing mature brains?

From my point of view, the terminology regarding the early three vesicles prosencephalon, (forebrain), mesencephalon (midbrain), and rhombencephalon (hindbrain) as well as the later developmental ...
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4 votes
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Is neuroplasticity limited to the cerebral cortex in the brain?

Short answer Subcortical structures can definitely show neuroplasticity in adults. Most likely, all brain structures can show plastic changes to some degree. Background The question is rather broad, ...
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4 votes
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Are axons in the brain weighted?

Check it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-term_potentiation In other words, yes, the strength of synapses matters. A synapse that has been potentiated means that the postsynaptic neuron will fire ...
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4 votes
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How far can a signal travel in the neocortex without passing through the white matter?

The distance of horizontal communication depends on species, cortical region, and cortical layer. Very few combinations of those 3 factors have ever been studied. For the combinations with which I am ...
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4 votes

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

Unfortunately not. The closest publication would be Lee et al 2016, which is a reconstruction of a network of functionally-characterised neurons in mouse V1. They state the data "will be available" at ...
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