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

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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 ...
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333 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 ...
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291 views

Do expert computer gamers have unusual physiological or mental characteristics? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Any work being done on Perception, Action, and/or Cognition in Video games? Are there any research studies that show this? See a thread on Quora for some initial ...
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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(...
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2answers
1k views

Is variation in human brain size related to mental functioning?

It seems that the head size of human beings has evolved to be relatively similar, yet there is still some amount of variation. While I'm sure the correlation is not absolute, I read that larger heads ...
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2answers
133 views

Does electricity pass through synapse?

As far as I understand, when a neuron fires the action potential generated in a cell body reaches only the presynaptic part of the synapse, then triggers the transmitter to pass through the gap, and ...
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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 ...
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2answers
270 views

Why does a neuron choose to connect to another?

I have been reading about neuron creation, guidance cues and all sorts of highly complex mechanisms used to allow one neuron axon to extend or connect - but to what end? Why does one neuron end up ...
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2answers
172 views

What does daytime actigraphy reveal about an active and awake brain?

I have interest in the study of human motion ( Actigraphy), and have built a couple of smartphone apps using its principles. The apps look at gross motor activity of an individual. Up until now, most ...
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602 views

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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1answer
141 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 ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is the order of white/grey matter different in the brain and spinal cord?

In the brain proper, grey matter forms the outer layer of the brain, and white matter forms the inner layer. In the spine, this is reversed: white matter forms the outer layer of the spine, and grey ...
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80 views

Do the colour blind have a distinct visual cortex structure?

Studying the structure of the visual cortex, it seems there are many neural structures specifically dedicated to detecting and interpreting colour. For example, parvocellular cells are particularly ...
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73 views

Is the process of long term potentiation (LTP) definitively linked with brain plasticity?

Given that the process of Long Term Potentiation (LTP) is one of the processes that increases synaptic efficacy: Is it reasonable to conclude that the process of LTP is sufficient and necessary to ...
6
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1answer
166 views

Classic cognitive neuroscience studies that highlight conclusions that could not be drawn from behavioral experiments

Background: I studied psychology prior to going into cognitive neuroscience for my PhD. While I know my own area in depth, I lack the kind of broad overview that people who have done their Masters in ...
6
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1answer
259 views

Measuring changes in hemispheric dominance over time

I've recently started using my trackball left-handed after being right-handed my whole life. The motivation is partly to balance out wrist strain, and partly to see how much my brain rejects the idea. ...
6
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1answer
205 views

How does the inner ear encode sound intensity?

Different areas of the inner ear (the cochlea) are sensitive to different acoustic frequencies. Hence, the cochlea basically performs a fast Fourier transform on the audio signal. This spectral ...
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2answers
112 views

What's the relation between firing of dopaminergic neurons and dopamine dispersion in terms of neurophysiological processes?

Question: How does the firing of dopaminergic neurons affect the dispersal of dopamine? Evidence of my limited familiarity with dopaminergic neurons and motivation for asking the question: Most of ...
6
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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?
6
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1answer
126 views

What is the neurophysiological mechanism behind double hearing?

A patient with sensorineural hearing loss can have the symptom of hearing "double" in the damaged ear. Not having a time-delayed echo, but hearing as if he (or other people) speak with "two voices" at ...
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1answer
108 views

Visual acuity and offset stimuli

I'm currently setting up and experiment that utilises a visual search task that contains a circular array of target letters and a distractor that falls outside the circle. Obviously the further away ...
6
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1answer
601 views

Neurotransmitters appearance in the evolutionary process

Recently I disagreed with the assumption, that lots of neurotransmitters came within recent 10,000 years of Homo Sapiens evolution. Judging from the available information sources, there is possibility ...
6
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1answer
141 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 ...
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2answers
99 views

How would the blind experience a hallucinogen like LSD?

I have heard that LSD allows you to see ridiculous things. But they are things that you have seen, or can imagine to see. If you've never seen before (like a blind person), what effect will LSD have ...
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2answers
302 views

Grid cells : Between what is the correlation of autocorrelogram measured?

In their seminal paper Hafting, Torkel, et al. "Microstructure of a spatial map in the entorhinal cortex." Nature 436.7052 (2005): 801-806.‏ the Mosers have discovered the grid cells. To show the ...
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1answer
105 views

What regulates the strength of motor signals?

I've seen cognitive and robot models where the input signals from the sensors are directly used as the signal for outgoing motor control. This doesn't make much sense, because obviously we're able ...
6
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1answer
173 views

How is light processed by the human brain when awake and in dreams?

I've recently seen this great video: How your brain tells you where you are. The video discusses how certain cells within the brain fire based on proximity to objects. There are great examples of ...
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61 views

Is the ordering of Brodmann areas arbitrary?

A single Brodmann area is defined based off cellular composition. Are the Brodmann areas ordinal, and if so for what reason? (e.g. is there something that makes Brodmann area 1 the "first one", and ...
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1answer
96 views

What functional purpose does a cortical column serve?

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 functional purpose does a ...
6
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1answer
355 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
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1answer
303 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 ...
6
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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 ...
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2answers
226 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
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1answer
63 views

How much of brain power consumption is for information

As previously answered on this site, the brain uses 20W of power. However, how much of this power consumption is for information processing and how much of it is for maintenance of biological ...
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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 ...
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1answer
52 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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39 views

Does the brain generate identical words in different languages similarly?

Saying (or even just thinking) a word or phrase results from activity in multiple regions of your brain. Of course, we can measure/'map' this activity to some degree; From wikipedia: EEG measures ...
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66 views

What are the common nutritional deficiencies in western countries related to reduced mental performance? [closed]

What are the common nutritional deficiencies in western countries related to reduced mental performance ? I've heard about omega 3, folid acid, and vitamin D deficiencies, the last two are now reduced ...
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134 views

How can I test whether Dorsal Raphe Nucleus(DRN) activity at night is related to variations in mood?

I'm reading this paper, which discusses Serotonin activity in the Dorsal Ralphe Nucleus(DRN), and even includes some mathematical models of how serotonin is released and reabsorbed. The paper states ...
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3answers
409 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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3answers
146 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 ...
5
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2answers
109 views

Can LSD connect sensory regions in the brain?

How is it possible that after using LSD you can hear sounds and see colours? I have my own experience with this phenomenon. When I´m lying totally relaxed in bed and suddenly a door is closed loudly,...
5
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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 ...
5
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2answers
159 views

Sensitivity of human eye to luminance

I heard once that the human eye has a logarithmic scale for luminance, e.g. to "feel" that a surface is three times as luminous compared to another, the former emits a light 8 times more powerful than ...
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2answers
91 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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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; ...
5
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1answer
72 views

How is averaging used in calculating the Bereitschaftspotential?

I have a question about the averaging involved in the Bereitschaftspotential. On the wiki page you can read that, because it is so small, the Bereitschaftspotential only becomes apparent after ...
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2answers
219 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. ...
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1answer
49 views

Is a network of neurons the only factor in memory?

Background I'm actually writing a science fiction novel set a couple decades in the future. Brains are not my field. I've done as much research as I could. In the story, the protagonist finds out he ...