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

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Why is MATLAB so common in Neuroscience?

It is common knowledge that neuroscience -- particularly experimental neuroscience -- uses MATLAB more than any other programming language. I have always just taken this as a given, and pointed to ...
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2answers
53 views

Are there any serious neuroscientific theories of emotional valence?

Could anyone tell me if there are any serious neuroscientific mechanisms that have been proposed to explain how feelings of body states take on a positive or negative character (valence)? An example ...
0
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1answer
35 views

How many action potentials from presynaptic neurons would be required to make a postsynaptic neuron fire?

I am looking for a rough estimation of the number of action potentials from other neurons required to cause a neuron to fire? I read here that a potential of ~ -55mv must be reached before an action ...
6
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1answer
41 views

Number of presynaptic inputs per cell in primary visual cortex

I have been digging in the literature lately, but I haven't found a nice answer with clear cut numbers (avg +- std) to this question: How many presynaptic inputs receives a pyramidal cell in primary ...
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2answers
106 views

Why do we have so many wishes and desires?

Two years ago I started to learn (as self-education) evolution theory and neurobiology for to understand - who we are and where we came from? Now I see clearly that we are our brains, which are the ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
2
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1answer
94 views

How many synapses in the average human brain?

Knowing there are 100,000,000,000 neurons in an average human brain, and 7,000 dendrites in each neuron, and neurons are connected to each other by dendrites and axon terminals, how many synapses are ...
2
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2answers
78 views

How does subjective experience arise from matter?

Forgive me for lacking rigor, but if what I know is correct, it is established that consciousness and other higher functions characteristic of humans are a consequence of our cortex, specifically ...
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0answers
36 views

Can microdialysis be made in Drosophila melanogaster?

Microdialysis is a common method to study the effects of drugs on specific mamal brains zones (mostly in rats), in order to study the it's interaction with the function of those specific areas that ...
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1answer
48 views

How actively does your brain physically prune connections?

Is pruning defined as neural apoptosis or are connections (neural synapses) simply separated? At what rate, if known, does this occur in individuals (ages 18+)?
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2answers
145 views

Are there useful applications for three channel consumer EEG?

I stumbled upon the consumer EEG Melon (at Kickstarter). It has three electrodes and is advertised as measuring how "focused" you are. In the FAQ it says: The Melon headband has three electrodes. ...
2
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1answer
49 views

What was the quantified brain volume of Albert Einstein?

I have read articles stating that Albert Einstein had an average brain volume but couldn't find a specific measurement. I'm curious because the articles are all so ambiguous. He could have been on the ...
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0answers
57 views

Why is it easier to fall asleep in the dark?

I'm curious if there is any neurological mechanism that explains why falling asleep is easier in the dark. I recognize that this isn't true universally -- a phobia of darkness might make it easier to ...
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2answers
28 views

Are there any programmes to identify modular “NeuroBricks”?

In synthetic biology, an organization called the BioBricks Foundation tries to identify modular biological components that are amenable to engineering design, and publishes them in the Registry of ...
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0answers
22 views

How do ligands bind to and release from receptors?

I'm wondering exactly how ligands bind to and release from receptors. Until recently I presumed ligands were attracted to receptors through electrostatic forces with no chemical interaction involved, ...
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1answer
28 views

What are the neurobiological factors associated with intelligence in animals?

For example, is there a well-defined relationship between "number of neurons in the cortex" and some measure of "intelligence" in animals? I'm familiar with the encephalization quotient - that is, ...
9
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1answer
72 views

Why do long range axons in mammals travel in white matter tracts?

I am curious to know as to why long range, myelinated axons prefer to convene and form white matter tracts, rather than simply reach its target in an arbitrary fashion. Is there some kind of ...
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1answer
131 views

Can the neuronal firing rate be increased through medication/diet?

My rudimentary understanding of the neuronal firing rate is that it varies person to person, and neuron to neuron. So any specific number for a firing rate would be specific to the test subject and ...
2
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1answer
142 views

How does the body experience free-fall during a hypnic jerk

Today I learned that a sudden jerk that you sometimes experience when you are just about to fall asleep due to a sense of free-fall or weightlessness is called a hypnic jerk. If, while sleeping, I ...
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2answers
590 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 ...
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0answers
52 views

Trying to understand equations in Karl Friston article

I am trying to understand a neuroscience article by Karl Friston. In it he gives three equations that are, as I understand him, equivalent or inter-convertible and refer to both physical and Shannon ...
4
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2answers
77 views

Difference between brain disease and brain disorder

Is there any difference between the terms brain disease and brain disorder? They are often used in combination without ...
2
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1answer
167 views

OCD Motivation and Dopamine Motivation, is there a connection?

I understand that OCD is something that causes sufferers to perform irrational behavour consciously, I also understand that the motivation comes from performing the irrational behaviour/behaviours to ...
4
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2answers
80 views

Why is it hard to simulate a neuron?

I read a NY Times article about the European effort to simulate a human brain and the criticism regarding the (non-)feasibility of such an endeavor (not to mention the astronomical costs). In this ...
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1answer
93 views

Importance of Neural Synchrony to Cognition

Is there a consensus on whether computation using Neural Synchrony is reasonable or not? In "How to Build a Brain", Chris Eliasmisth cites Yuko Munakata and R. C. O'Reilly as saying that "the ...
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1answer
76 views

How does an understanding of the brain explain why people experience strong emotional responses to major sporting events?

Anyone know studies or theories that explain how massive competition events between countries or parties, like the Soccer World Cup Tournament finals or Olympic Games affect our brains? Why do people ...
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1answer
121 views

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

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 ...
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1answer
52 views

If one is flexing a muscle, for any given motoneuron involved, how many action potentials occur per second to keep the muscle flexed?

Also, will the axon terminals in a given motoneuron ever run out of neurotransmitters to release if they are constantly undergoing action potentials (say in the situation outlined above where a muscle ...
3
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1answer
49 views

How is averaging used in calculating the Bereitschaftspotential?

I have a question about the averaging involved in the Bereitschaftspotential. On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bereitschaftspotential you can read that, because it is so small, the ...
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3answers
13k 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 ...
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1answer
56 views

Law and its formula that says: more time organism working the slower (or less precise) the movements

What is the name of the law and the equation that says that "the more time an organism is working the slower (or less precise) its movements." ? I read once that there is a law in behavioral science ...
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2answers
65 views

Are axon terminals always part of a synapse, or are there any that just release neurotransmitters into the ether during an action potential?

By "ether" I mean to no post-synaptic cell in particular. If this is the case, how common is it for an axon terminal to not be part of a synapse? Related question: do axon terminals form only as ...
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2answers
118 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 ...
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1answer
45 views

How exactly does alcohol consumption damage dendrites?

How exactly does alcohol consumption damage dendrites? I'm not talking about over a long period of usage, but just one instance.
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2answers
69 views

Are the lobes of the brain anatomically distinct, or is the distinction between them not as well-defined?

If I had a brain in front of me, would I be able to find some kind of crevasse or something separately each lobe from the next? I guess what I'm asking is, are lobes more arbitrarily-defined regions ...
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1answer
806 views

Have the abilities of John Lorber's patients with limited cortical mass been further evaluated in adulthood?

Short of minor lesions or infarcts, most high-functioning adults have an intact cerebral cortex. Yet, a surprising result published anecdotally in Science in 1980 caused a lot of scientists to take ...
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0answers
76 views

Is there a correlation between brain size and amount of sleep?

As far as we know, sleep seems to be the part of the daily cycle when executive functions are resting and memories are fortifying. Many, but not all, of the functions that become dysfunctional upon ...
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0answers
28 views

Do people with prenatal hyperkinetic dysfunction have better endurace?

I have a question about hyperkinetic dysfunction. I wonder if theres a relation between HKD and the physical fitness, like endurance or strength, because I have a case, where someone never does ...
6
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1answer
77 views

How is epigenetic memory expressed in neurons?

Epigenetic memory is seen as the most evolutionarily plausible way of learning from experiences and gaining instinctual knowledge, as established by the answer to one of my previous questions. ...
4
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1answer
71 views

What does a cortical column do?

The Blue Brain project led by Henry Markram focused on simulating cortical columns under the idea they form basic processing units of the brain/cognitive function. What does a cortical column do? I ...
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0answers
42 views

Why low audio frequencies seem to detune after an intense workout?

After a specially intense workout (biking, running...), listening to music with headphones, I hear the music pitch has dropped slightly. What I find odd is that not all parts of the sound are detuned, ...
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2answers
99 views

How fast is the visual system?

I've heard that the visual system is one of our slowest sensory systems. How fast is the visual system, and how does it compare to other sensory systems (auditory, mechanosensory, pain, etc.)? For ...
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1answer
40 views

How many thalamocortical relay cells synapse onto each spiny stellate cell in neocortex?

I am curious about how many different thalamocortical relay cells synapse onto each layer IV spiny stellate cell, on average? The answer is likely to be different per region and species, of course. I ...
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0answers
49 views

Brain structures related to risk-taking behavior

I did a preliminary research on brain structures in which activity might underlie risk-taking behavior. I came to two research that described right prefrontal cortex (Knoch et al., 2006), or ...
3
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1answer
122 views

What causes a muscle to be unsteady?

I have noticed for myself that sometimes, certain muscles may become unsteady. Here are three examples: Sometimes it is more difficult to hold my hand still in the air. Another example is how my ...
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2answers
121 views

Does not using the brain erode its power? [closed]

Does not using the brain erode its power? If so, are perpetual brain exercises recommended to prevent (or increase) its power (chess, puzzles, etc)?
5
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1answer
46 views

What exactly is the neurobiological mechanism behind the functioning of the human muscle?

From what I have read, its been given that muscle functioning and coordination involves two processes: frequency summation and muscle recruitment. What I want to know is that, do these two processes ...
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0answers
39 views

Is the Orch-OR Penrose-Hameroff model for consciousness sensible? [duplicate]

I would definitely consider myself a fan of Penrose, but I know very little about Hameroff. My questions, basically, are: Do you think that the theory seems sensible and well based? Why do you ...
3
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1answer
47 views

What is the metabolic load of the visual system?

The brain consumes energy at eight times the rate that would be predicted from mass alone (20% of total organismic load). How much of this is drawn from the visual system? How does the metabolic load ...
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4answers
421 views

Computational Neuroscience software

What are the most common software tools you use in your day to day work in computational neuroscience? I am referring to neuroscience tools like GENESIS and NOT to generic tools like Excel.