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

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101 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 accross generations, as established by the answer to one of my ...
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2answers
383 views

What computerized EEG analysis algorithms are there?

I got a commercial-grade EEG headband and am trying to look at the data it outputs. The headband quantifies raw EEG signal from a single forehead dry sensor into a range of EEG bands (alpha, beta, etc)...
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128 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 ...
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1answer
405 views

What is the difference between psychophysics and neurophysiology?

I'm an engineering student who is doing some subjective tests. What are the difference between psychophysics and neurophysiology? Is it correct that in the latter case, we have to implant to read ...
9
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2answers
369 views

Do all types of synapses in the brain change based on spike-timing-dependent plasticity?

Synapses likely change their strengths based on a form of spike-timing-dependent plasticity. Is this true for all types of synapses in all parts of the human brain? I wonder if there are also synapses ...
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1answer
307 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. ...
9
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1answer
140 views

Why does strobe lighting trigger seizures in photosensitive epilepsy?

Photosensitive epilepsy (PSE) is a form of epilepsy in which seizures are triggered by visual stimuli that form patterns in time or space, such as flashing lights, bold, regular patterns, or regular ...
9
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1answer
681 views

How does body temperature and oxygenation affect thinking ability?

I'm interested if the brain works better when the temperature is higher than usual and the amount of oxygen in the air is a bit lower than in fresh mountain air. This has been my personal experience.
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1answer
247 views

How much power, in watts, does the brain use?

When IBM's Watson won on Jeopardy a few years ago, it did so using a room full of servers with a cooling system and a fat power feed, competing against a couple of humans powered by the equivalent of ...
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115 views

Is the split-brain, dual consciousness experiment from Rhawn Joseph valid?

I have been reading about the problem of possible dual consciousness in split brain patients and I came across this wikipedia page. In the "other experiments" section, the two last paragraphs about ...
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165 views

In C. elegans, which neuron has the largest span, and why is it this large?

The model organism C. elegans is about 1 mm in length. This is quite small. In fact, some C. elegans neurons span >25% of the length of its body (ref.). This observation leads me to the following ...
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148 views

Does a split brain affect the inner voice?

In the Nature link provided, split brain reportedly alters the processing of sensory input (e.g., an aberrant performance on monocular visual tasks under laboratory conditions), and impairs motor ...
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72 views

Does an action potential abolish an excitatory postsynaptic potential?

From some sources, I've read that excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) decay over time, which would imply that they aren't abolished by action potentials. However, other sources seem to indicate ...
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2answers
127 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 ...
8
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2answers
25k 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. ...
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2answers
168 views

Is there a difference between hearing and decoding the sound?

I presume that deafness is the inability of hearing any sounds. And I presume that it may also be possible to be less able to decode sounds. In other words, an inability to translate or understand the ...
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292 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 ...
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2answers
100 views

How is saccadic movement managed in the brain?

I haven't been able to find any decent articles on this specific topic. So I have three (hopefully quick) questions: What part of the brain is actively controlling saccadic movement? If this part ...
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3answers
197 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 ...
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338 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, ...
8
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1answer
226 views

Fusiform Face Area (FFA) for within class recognition?

Is there any evidence (papers, studies, etc) that the Fusiform Face Area is used for any other type of recognition besides facial recognition? I remember hearing or reading a long time ago that ...
8
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1answer
81 views

How does one study the effect of a dietary supplement on cognition?

I've really enjoyed this talk by Molly Crockett: Beware neuro-bunk. The speaker outlines the limitations of modern neuroscience when accessing the effectiveness of dietary supplements intended to ...
8
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1answer
242 views

Is performance reducible to brain activity in an unambiguous way?

As a preface, let me assume that the entirety of mental states and their corresponding behaviors in a person are entirely reducible to the physical activity of neurons sending a variety of chemicals ...
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103 views

Are the physical sensations of an emotion due to neural activity strictly in the brain or also in the body?

Symptoms of anxiety and anger are often described as some sort of energetic sensation in my chest and sometimes face or arms. Are these sensations an 'illusion' from neural activity strictly in the ...
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122 views

How similar are the brains of twins?

I am currently reading undergraduate essays on biological dysfunction and schizophrenia. The students put a lot of weight in the fact that studies of monozygotic twins show only a 50% rate of ...
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98 views

Comparative functional neuroanatomy: humans & octopodes

Cephalopod brains are toroidal (high surface area to volume ratios!), with the esophagus passing through the, uh, donut hole; octopodes are very intelligent, particularly spatially. Where can I find ...
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1answer
360 views

Can stress be detected by an fMRI?

How does stress damage the brain (if at all)? Is it akin to taking drugs, heavy drinking, or a minor stroke? Would an fMRI of a stressed person present evidence of stress?
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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 ...
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198 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
139 views

What is the result of an excess of dopamine?

I'm pretty familiar with the results of having not enough dopamine, though the reasons are not so clear to me. To get a better insight on the topic I'd like to know something about having too much ...
8
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1answer
123 views

Is there a report of a successfully EEG-Based Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) using image training?

Currently I am involved in constructing an EEG-Based BCI. The goal of the BCI is to control which light in a series of lightbulbs lights up. The plan is to use different images (i.e. a flower versus ...
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1answer
57 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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1answer
93 views

Have there been any mechanisms proposed for normalization in probabilistic population codes?

I heard a talk yesterday by Dora Angelaki about multi-sensory integration. Part of the talk was about bayesian inference with multiple noisy sources of information. I know that there has been a lot ...
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53 views

What exactly is an astroglial calcium wave?

There are quite a few conflicting reports as to what stimulates them, how they propagate, whether they communicate intercellularly, and what they look like. The only consistent information I can ...
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11k views

What is the difference between pre-synaptic versus post-synaptic?

I am unclear as to the exact meaning of the terms pre-synaptic and post-synaptic. Specifically, do they refer to the same neuron, either transmitting or receiving, before and after the chemical ...
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2answers
385 views

Is an autistic person's brain different from a non-autistic one?

Are there any differences between the autistic person's brain and the non-autistic one? To be more specific, are there any differences in brain structure or brain activity, that can be used to ...
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3answers
426 views

Non coitus sexual activity and the brain

Most animals will only engage in sexual activity that can result in reproduction. There are some exceptions; Bonobos, for instance, engage in a lot of sexual activity that does not involve coitus. ...
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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 ...
7
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1answer
262 views

What is a neurobiological explanation of borderline personality disorder?

In other words, how do the brains of those with BPD differ from those who don't have BPD? The Wikipedia article doesn't even contain any possible explanations whatsoever.
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1answer
969 views

What is the relationship between sociology and cognitive sciences?

I want to know what is the relationship between sociology and cognitive sciences. Let me start by short consideration of both: Sociology - well established discipline or a field of research ...
7
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1answer
220 views

Can prolonged neural adaptation lead to HPPD?

The human brain adapts to a constant stimulus of our neural system. For instance, if we ride a train and look out of the window for a long time and the train stops, we have the feeling of slowly ...
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1answer
275 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 ...
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2answers
114 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 ...
7
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1answer
112 views

What can be inferred about the strength of the synapse from an electron microscope image?

In the following EM image (1um scale), there are several synapses: Image or HD Version What information about the synaptic strengths can be extracted from this image? Does vesicle count contain ...
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1answer
254 views

Why does anger “cloud the mind”?

There are a lot of anecdotes on frustration and anger inhibiting judgement and problem solving. Examples include "anger clouding the mind" in pop culture, or in programming, where a rule of thumb is ...
7
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1answer
138 views

Dopamine deficiency more frequent in the addiction prone?

I found this clip about dopamine deficiency. ...[P]eople with low dopamine activity may be more prone to addiction. Is the reverse also true? Does susceptibility to addiction (genetic, etc.) ...
7
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1answer
91 views

In a central pattern generator based on reciprocal inhibition, how does one “side” get picked over the other to start out?

Consider two neurons, A and B, which reciprocally inhibit each other. If both of the neurons receive input at the same time, it seems to me that no oscillation will occur between the two. Such would ...
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1answer
109 views

Can processing effort for sub-tasks in neural networks be measured?

I often heard statements like: 80% of your brain processing is computing the effect of gravity or, similarily: You only use 20% of your brain power My question isn't about the truth of ...
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1answer
51 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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1answer
47 views

Classical conditioning paradigm for hippocampal learning

I wanted to know what a suitable classical conditioning experiment would be to analyze learning and memory capabilities in rodent models with respect to hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). For ...