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

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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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2answers
472 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
130 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
876 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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2answers
78 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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1answer
87 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. ...
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1answer
71 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 ...
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1answer
164 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 ...
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1answer
257 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. ...
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1answer
74 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?
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1answer
96 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
91 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 ...
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1answer
533 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
266 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
168 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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1answer
95 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 ...
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1answer
314 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 ...
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1answer
284 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 ...
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1answer
82 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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1answer
175 views

Why does anger “clouds the mind”?

There are a lot of anecdotes on frustration and anger inhibiting judgement and problem solving. Examples include "anger clouds the mind" in pop culture or in programming - "if you're stuck on a ...
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2answers
205 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 ...
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1answer
87 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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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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128 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
405 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
906 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
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 ...
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1answer
129 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 ...
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2answers
132 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
87 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
48 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; ...
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1answer
70 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
203 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
82 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 ...
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1answer
44 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 ...
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1answer
56 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 ...
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1answer
217 views

What's the difference between executive functions and cognitive control?

I suspect that the difference between these terms may vary from researcher to researcher, since the wikipedia page treats them as synonymous. What's the difference between executive functioning and ...
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1answer
88 views

Difference in frequencies of mistakes between use of left-right vs. up-down

I have no hard data, but from my personal experience in people specifying right or left directions (similarly east or west) and up or down (north or south, top or bottom), people frequently make ...
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1answer
457 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 ...
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2answers
103 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
166 views

Can tinnitus be measured with EEG or MEG?

Can tinnitus be measured with EEG or MEG (magnetoencephalography)? Is it visible in a power spectrum? In an ERP/ERF?
5
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1answer
497 views

What is the brain power devoted to vision and haptics?

I heard a talk by Vincent Hayward on the sense of touch as a multi-modal system, where he claimed that the brain power devoted to haptics is at least as big as the one devoted to vision. I have found ...
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2answers
88 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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1answer
717 views

How can motivation be increased by improving brain chemistry with nutrition and activities?

I'm reading some material about motivation and brain chemistry. One of the interesting articles is "7 Ways to Increase Motivation by Improving your Brain Chemistry". I'm interested in a more ...
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1answer
281 views

How many dendrite connections vs axon terminals does a multipolar cerebral neuron have?

I find countless places that say neurons have tens of thousands of "connections" or "synapses" and one axon. Do neurons have tens of thousands of dendrite connections, and a few axon terminals; or a ...
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1answer
209 views

When a person starts to scratch, why does this often start others to scratch?

Often, when a person starts scratching and complains of being itchy, whether they suggest there might be a bug biting them (for example fleas, head lice, mites) another person with them will start to ...
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1answer
108 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 ...
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1answer
81 views

Structural descriptions of neuronal networks are important for understanding brain dysfunctions; which dysfunctions, in particular?

In a recent paper, we find this quote: The brain contains vast numbers of interconnected neurons that constitute anatomical and functional networks. Structural descriptions of neuronal network ...