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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

23
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Quit smoking supported by mental training

Given that mental training/workout releases acetylcholine (something I read in a popular-scientific book and on Wiki, see also below) , and that acetylcholine and nicotine bind to the same receptors. ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

How exactly do “you” think and interact with your body?

It has been established that our brains control many processes that your body carries out autonomously and involuntarily. However, other actions are controlled by you. (e.g. you lift an arm, you walk)....
5
votes
1answer
85 views

Are there studies on the effect of nicotine patches on dream vividness and dream recall?

Acetylcholine plays an important role during REM Sleep. I cite an answer to the question "Why do dreams lose clarity quickly over time after we awaken?": Activity in the PFC during sleep may be ...
13
votes
1answer
398 views

Does cognitive training enhance dopamine release?

Joe Hardy reports on a study by Backman et al (2011) in Science, where from the authors report: Updating of working memory has been associated with striato-frontal brain regions and phasic ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

How long does it take for electrical impulses from neurons to travel in the human brain?

Consider the maximal distance between two separated areas in the human brain. How fast can information via neuronal excitement travel between these two locations?
1
vote
1answer
131 views

How many possible states does a brain have?

Suppose I have a box, inside of which is a light which can be either on or off: it has exactly two states. Suppose I wanted to take some "snapshot" of the state of this device, and store all the ...
9
votes
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 ...
8
votes
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
27 views

How separate are the left and right hemisphere vasculature?

It appears as if there are communicating arteries between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, but it is difficult to grasp the larger picture. To what extent is the blood supply to each ...
4
votes
2answers
81 views

The function of pumps in forming the resting potential

I am confused by the following. Apparently the resting potential of -65mV is reached when the two forces, diffusion and electrical gradient are in equilibrium. So why does the book say "The ...
2
votes
2answers
186 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Source of sensory data related to cognitive effort

How does the brain assess cognitive effort? Is there a chemical that is being created or consumed at a rate that is proportionate to the amount of effort felt? I'm mostly interested in short term ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

How to write a neuroscience research abstract? [closed]

I might have to start working on a research abstract for college soon, and I am looking for basic tips on beginning one. I don't mean information about the research specifically; I simply mean ...
3
votes
0answers
46 views

Is the fight or flight response considered voluntarily or involuntarily?

I look in my rearview and see someone feet from me still speeding up and my heart rate feels like it doubles. It stayed like that for an hour. Had troubles concentrating and working well into the ...
5
votes
0answers
48 views

Why cerebellar input fibers use 2 ways to send a siganl to DCN?

Both groups of input fibers of cerebellum (mossy, climbing) start 2 pathways: 1) project directly to the deep nuclei 2) project to cerebellar cortex, which then (after some processing) sends ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

“top-down” and “bottom-up” processes

What kind of processes are "top-down" and "bottom-up" processes in the context of processing visual information in brain? Context: ...There are discrete areas in the visual cortex dedicated to ...
6
votes
1answer
108 views

Could ketosis be therapeutic for ADHD based on the neuro-energetic theory of attention?

I'm a complete neuroscience novice so please bear with me. One of the more interesting theories of the etiology of ADHD that I've read posits that the disorder may be one of neuroenergetics - the ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

What is the importance of Dissociation (Both Double/Single) in a Distributed Hierarchical Organisational model of brain function?

How does Dissociation fir with a Hierarchical Organisational model Like Luria's or Distributed model of Fellman & Van Essen? Also, how may patients do you think should be the minimal amount in ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

What are 'gap junctions' (electrical synapses) for?

I was reading this and I found the following sentences: Apart from chemical synapses neurons can also be coupled by electrical synapses, so-called gap junctions. Specialized membrane proteins make ...
6
votes
2answers
566 views

How would synapses behave if resting potential was zero?

Assuming that the resting potential is zero and the other mechanisms were exactly the same, how would it affect the generation of spikes in terms of excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic potentials(...
8
votes
1answer
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
42 views

Are there models of single neurons on slow timescales?

From what I've come across on the web, most models of single neurons seem to focus on the "fast timescale", where electrical signals are transmitted from one neuron to another. However, neurons are ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

Predictive Experiments on Neuroscience of Free Will

It seems to be very interesting that we can use modern neuroscience and cognitive science research to inform us about the ages-old question of free-will vs. determinism. The standard experiment was ...
6
votes
2answers
224 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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
8
votes
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Results from machine learning converging with results from neuroscience [closed]

I'm currently picking up deep learning, which is a trending method in the field of machine learning that have recently gained fame for breaking various records (for example in image recognition). It ...
9
votes
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
93 views

How does it come about that specific areas of the brain are associated with specific functions?

During the development of the human brain, specific areas come to perform specific functions. How (and when) does this differentiation come about? Presumably, some areas of the brain naturally take ...
5
votes
1answer
52 views

Does synesthesia lack symmetry?

Some synesthetes report seeing bright flashes when hearing a loud noise. However, in the same person, bright flashes of light are not reported as being loud. I've read of other examples like this; ...
8
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Can Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), or a magnets cap make you smarter?

According to wikipedia, TMS is a bunch of magnetic fields directed to the brain which stimulates and activates neurons. If I wear a cap full of magnets, will it stimulate my neurons? If yes, will a ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

Neurobiology of addiction recovery [closed]

While addiction is one of the most studied topics in neurobiology, I don't see very much info on recovery. The information I have found is confusing. This one says striatal DAT bindings return to ...
4
votes
0answers
32 views

How are psychological bio-markers discovered?

Recently, this paper claiming to be able to distinguish bipolar disorder from major depressive disorder via a urine sample has come to my attention. Despite reading the paper, I'm unable to ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Parasite that takes over cognitive functions [closed]

I am testing an idea for a book. The backbone of the story is that there exists a parasite that can enter the brain of a creature and take over its cognitive functions. I imagine that it could wire ...
6
votes
1answer
93 views

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

Are the human cerebral hemispheres only connected via the corpus callosum? Or is there any other structure for interaction between the left and right hemispheres?
3
votes
2answers
82 views

Are action potentials necessary for experience?

We know that, for example, during brain surgery, electrical stimulation in certain parts of the cortex is sufficient for experience, and result in reportable experiences in human subjects. We also ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the role of Chloride (Cl- ions) in membrane potential?

This Membrane Potential article mentions only that Cl- ion is used to model inhibitory GABA synapses. Does it have another role besides hyper-polarizing the cell due to inhibitory neurotransmitter ...
6
votes
2answers
181 views

How do neurons decide how to alter their output signals?

In computer science, neural networks are trained using backpropagation and other methods. Backpropagation heavily relies on mathematical formulas to describe how the weights should be changed ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Unified Theory of the Human Brain [closed]

I'm a junior researcher(Life Sciences undergraduate) starting out in computational genetics of neuroscience, and I want to create a Unified Theory/Computational Model of the human brain and all its ...
1
vote
0answers
109 views

Lifelong avoidance coping style [closed]

Suppose someone has been using avoidance coping style for most of his or her life. The avoidance tendency is present in a broad range of situations, relatively constant through his or her life, not ...
2
votes
2answers
390 views

Explanatory gaps in the formation and propagation of action potentials

To my understanding, the steps of an action potential are as follows: The neuron is at rest--there is a negative charge (K ions) inside the cell, and a positive charge (Na ions) outside the cell. ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

How can pain sensations appear to originate within the person's skull?

I've read that humans have some sort of a kinesthetic model of their body and muscles. This internal representation of the body is used to control and coordinate locomotion. I don't remember if ...
5
votes
1answer
154 views

Is there a biological limit for “amount” of happiness?

I have heard about neurotransmitters like dopamin and serotonin that are supposed to play a role in our feeling of happiness. I don't know how these chemicals works in our brain, but I am thinking ...
3
votes
1answer
335 views

Does reading a book out loud make you better in social situations?

Suppose a person reads a book out loud for 1 hour straight. Would this "exercise" the parts of the brain involved in speech? Would this make the person a better communicator in social situations?
4
votes
0answers
55 views

What personality traits correlate with estrogen?

I'm looking for psychological traits that are proved to correlate with estrogen levels. Anything of specific behavior, attitudes, life styles, emotions, preferences, you name it. (I'm looking for ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

Result of local stimulation in brain

What happens when we stimulate a brain in local regions? Some possibilities: We may trigger an action without the subject's awareness of the action; We can trigger an action in a subject, but we ...
4
votes
0answers
39 views

How does oxygen deprivation affect neural activity?

It is increasingly common for someone to regain a heartbeat after a cardiac arrest. During the time that the person is without a heartbeat, and so without circulation, the brain is deprived of oxygen. ...
8
votes
0answers
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 ...