For questions about the biology of the nervous system, from a macroscopic to microscopic perspective.

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29
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3answers
1k views

What are current neuronal explanations and models of 'consciousness'?

I would like to understand more about consciousness from a neuroscientific perspective. I have a limited understanding of it in the philosophical/psychological sense through lectures. Although it is ...
2
votes
2answers
324 views

Neural Microfilaments for Computation?

I just watched an interesting TED talk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d5RetvkkuQ) where a Stuart Hameroff proposes that a neuron's microtubules are responsible for computations, and that they are ...
31
votes
5answers
23k views

Why would the brain flip the images perceived by your eyes?

The following is a common scientific statement, which you don't have to google long for to find: The eye views images upside-down in the manner of a camera lens, but our brains reinterpret this ...
15
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1answer
429 views

Is there a region of cortex which over a period of development becomes the seat of self?

Background Mountcastle's hypothesis, which is based on the observation of uniform cortical anatomy, suggests that the there might be a uniform cortical "algorithm". The only reason that some cortical ...
14
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3answers
654 views

Research suggesting conscious control over brain region activation?

Has there been any research proving, disproving, or exploring the concept of conscious activation of specific brain regions? To elaborate on this: I've read that performing processing tasks causes ...
12
votes
1answer
366 views

How does neural spiking begin in the fetus?

I'm interested in modeling human brain spiking activity. How does the very first spiking activity begin in the fetus? I imagine all spiking activity is initiated by the senses and internal ...
20
votes
1answer
751 views

How long should I work before taking a break?

I'd like to work as effectively as possible for 8-9 hours a day, whether at work or studying. At some point in completing my major in psych I remember hearing about the importance of taking breaks ...
14
votes
4answers
798 views

If someone becomes a split-brain patient, which side will “maintain” the continuity in their consciousness?

The brain injury might apparently produce two "independent" consciousnesses, and I'm wondering where the original person's "consciousness" would "transfer". We had a debate on this over at Reddit ...
8
votes
2answers
289 views

Are different types of long term memories stored in different parts of the brain?

I recently had some questions concerning the capacity of the brain's memory: Are different types of long term-memories like know-how, your-life, etc. remembered in different parts of the brain? If ...
10
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3answers
844 views

Neurotransmitter based imaging techniques

All the brain imaging techniques I know fall into two categories: Tracking blood Either by looking at the magnetic (fMRI), or near-infared absorption (diffuse optical imaging, NIRS) properties of ...
8
votes
2answers
7k views

Which neurotransmitters can be measured in a living human brain?

I'm interested in learning more about the modern techniques that are used for scientific studies of neurotransmitters in the living human brain. As far as I know, there are 4 neuromodulator systems ...
1
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2answers
245 views

Where do our memories get stored and how are they retrieved again?

There is a common knowledge that several brain areas are involved in memory processes and each area is involved in a different aspect of memory. But where do our memories get stored and how are they ...
3
votes
1answer
296 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 ...
15
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2answers
581 views

Biological plausibility of bayesian models of cognition

Inspired by this question: What are drawbacks to probabilistic models of cognition? I would like to know more about the biological plausibility of Bayesian models of cognition. Is there any neural ...
5
votes
2answers
988 views

Where is the visual “image” that we “see” finally assembled?

David Hubel's online book, Eye, Brain and Vision describes in great detail our early visual system. The image that we are conscious of when we open our eyes goes through a complex path: The final ...
12
votes
2answers
833 views

What form might Jungian archetypes take in the brain?

Modern psychology and psychiatry are very well grounded in scientific principles. Both, however, have a history in various analytical philosophies. Jung had the notion of an archetype, a universally ...
1
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8answers
5k views

What's the major difference between mind and brain?

I am preparing a presentation on "Mind Reading Computer", and all articles that I came across were focused on reading interpretations from brain through sensors. Articles like this clearly show a ...
2
votes
3answers
365 views

Getting started with EEG data

I want to get started with getting signals from EEG and learning on how I can read data. I have some programming skills, so designing a database and manipulating data with ruby (python seems also ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Where do our memories get stored and how are they retrieved again? [closed]

In one of Karl Lashley's 1950 papers, it is pointed out that information is not stored locally in certain area of the brain. Instead, it's stored distributively over the structure of the brain. I'm ...
9
votes
1answer
301 views

Can stress or training influence the perception of time?

I have had this experience that I fell with my bike on an icy street. During the fall time seemed to slow down and I had an apparent age-long time window to stretch my hand and safely catch my fall. ...
7
votes
1answer
255 views

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

The scholarpedia article on this subject says: Adult neurogenesis is the process of generating new neurons which integrate into existing circuits after fetal and early postnatal development ...
3
votes
0answers
85 views

What are the smallest neurons ever identified? [closed]

What are the smallest neurons ever measured? I'm happy with any superlatives, such as the thinnest axons or dendrites, smallest somata etc. Thank you :)
18
votes
2answers
406 views

How are newly created neurons recruited into existing networks?

As far as I understand, the basics of neurogenesis (abstracted down to the level that makes sense to a computer scientist) is as follows: Neural progenitor cells differentiate into new neurons that ...
15
votes
3answers
529 views

What are the key examples of the use of computational methods in the study of biological neural networks?

In an upcoming postdoc, I'm going to be looking through biological neural network data in the hopes of finding some interesting "patterns". I'm coming at this field from a mathematics/computer ...
16
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3answers
2k views

Why does neuroplasticity decrease in adults?

Although adult brains are malleable and even undergo limited neuorgenesis, the extent of the neuroplasticiy is much lower than in children. This is most obvious in language acquisition, and recovery ...
10
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2answers
6k views

How is fasting related to insomnia?

Yesterday I started a new diet using intermittent fasting. For this reason I only ate one meal all day. I was pretty surprised how well I passed that day: I studied a lot, did some sports and ...
8
votes
3answers
195 views

Abstract idealized mental visualization improves motor task performance

I practice martial arts (Aikido), which involves a lot of rotation. When practicing, I find that holding an abstract image in my head, instead of thinking about the actual technique, improves my ...
5
votes
1answer
476 views

What are the effects of social rejection on the brain?

What are the effects of social rejection on the brain? If the external circumstance can not change, how can the impact on the brain be reduced? What is the average sensitivity to social rejection ...
12
votes
3answers
966 views

In what ways can neurons fire randomly?

When developing a model of a biologically-plausible neural network, it is important to know all the circumstances under which neurons can fire. But, I am limiting this question to random firing. In ...
8
votes
2answers
327 views

How do SSRIs work?

I've found a reasonable explanation on Wikipedia... SSRIs are believed to increase the extracellular level of the neurotransmitter serotonin by inhibiting its reuptake into the presynaptic cell, ...
7
votes
0answers
317 views

Does data support Domhoff's neurocognitive theory of dreams?

Background: A friend described consistent feelings and themes during a dream. It is my understanding that the contents of our dreams are our subconscious/unconscious/preconscious processing stimuli ...
6
votes
2answers
216 views

What is the neurobiological basis of the “inner voice” used for thought or reading?

I've recently experienced a number of hypnogogic near sleep states characterized by change in thinking (stage 1-2 sleep). I noticed that if I let go and get absorbed in the state, I can follow it. I ...
6
votes
1answer
300 views

How are qualia localized in consciousness?

I understand that evolution incorporated arbitrary qualia into the default network to inform consciousness (the largest cranial global processing information subnetwork) about properties and qualities ...
10
votes
1answer
142 views

Are the center surround receptive fields learnt or inherited?

I know that neurons higher in visual pathways can learn their receptive fields after birth, but what about the connections between bipolar cells and Amacarine cells which form center/surround on/off ...
10
votes
3answers
392 views

What is the term for a psychological effect which does not have a neurobiological/genetic basis?

When a psychological condition is the result of irregular brain structures or neurotransmitter imbalances we say the condition has a neurobiological basis; this is analogous to the classic Nature in ...
9
votes
1answer
123 views

What evidence is there that the adult brain can produce new neurons?

At school I was taught that the adult brain did not produce new neurons. That we had the maximum number of neurons and this would only diminish over time due to events, like head injuries, drinking ...
8
votes
1answer
117 views

What is the role of traveling waves in circuit formation during cortical development?

Propagating waves of activity have been characterized in various regions of the brain such as the visual cortex (Nauhaus et al., 2012). Recently they have been reported for the first time to occur ...
7
votes
3answers
152 views

Can neural spiking in an organism temporarily cease?

I'm interested in modeling human brain spiking activity. Are there cases in which neural spiking completely ceases in an organism and yet later resumes? I've considered: hypothermic drowning, but ...
5
votes
3answers
407 views

Theoretical limit to the use of mental faculty of the brain

A lot of articles stress the importance of having to train the brain (By training the brain, I mean the cognitive faculty of the brain for learning things and not brain's normal functions) since the ...
5
votes
3answers
145 views

Is there a complete cortico-cortical connectivity map based on a useful partitioning of the cortex?

I have something like Brodmann Areas in mind, but any complete list of cortex regions would do. I'm primarily interested in human brains here. Ultimately I'd like enough information to be able to ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

When does reward occur? When dopamine is released or when it is binded?

I know this is a silly question, but I'm curious as to what is the exact phase when we experience of the thrill of doing an exciting activity. I believe this briefly describes the whole process. So, ...
4
votes
1answer
286 views

Physiological differences between brains of Conservatives and Liberals

I work for a non-profit research organization and I have been assigned to do research on this topic. I have been doing my best to find studies on this topic but every website and article seems to ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do scientists say brains are faster than computers?

Supposing that neurons function similarly to transistors: A neuron able to fire $200$ times per second and transistors can be switched on and off more than $100,000,000,000$ times per second. Let's ...
7
votes
2answers
23k views

Why are some people unable to easily memorize the lyrics to a song?

Although I have listened some songs hundred of times I can't sing the lyrics to any of these songs from beginning to end without pauses. However I am able to whistle the whole song without difficulty. ...
6
votes
1answer
137 views

What are the neurological differences between those who have a high tolerance to pain and those who do not?

I am curious to learn what are the neurological differences between those that have a high tolerance to pain than to those that do not. Specifically, by high tolerance to pain, I am referring to ...
6
votes
1answer
333 views

Transsexuality in animals other than humans?

In some research papers, transsexuality is correlated with measurable differences in brain structure. For example: Zhou et al. (1995) inspected the central subdivision of the bed nucleus of the ...
6
votes
1answer
140 views

Introductory resources on developmental psychology/neuroscience

I'd like to be able to answer questions such as: What neuro/psychological functions underly competences such as empathy (or others - see background below)? What neurotransmitters are of particular ...
5
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Is the weight of neural inputs in the human brain as central as it is for neurons in an artifical neural network?

As an example of an artificial neural net (ANN), a neural processing unit (NPU) is able to encode previous (learned) information by storing a weighted resistance for each input. Since ANN's are ...
3
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2answers
130 views

Is learning and memory formation mostly comprised of new synapses forming, or already-existent synapses strengthening?

I'm guessing it may be some combination of the two. If so, which is the more frequent situation? I'm also guessing it varies depending on the type of memory being formed. Let's take for instance, my ...