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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

4
votes
2answers
239 views

What brain skill does Nonogram (Picross) games develop?

I've been playing Nonogram Picross a lot lately. I really like it and you can always find a harder challenge but I would hate to waste my time for nothing. What brain skill does Nonogram (Picross) ...
4
votes
0answers
283 views

Is human Central Nervous System arousal related to choice of activity?

I'm interested in learning more about the central nervous system (CNS) arousal and the choice of what people do and how they feel about it. Lets define CNS arousal in the context of this question as ...
-1
votes
1answer
59 views

Practical Use For a Neuroimager [closed]

You may be aware that neuro-imagers have become much cheaper and many are available with a SDK. I think this will open up a huge gateway for much more intimate human interfaces. However, I am stumped ...
5
votes
0answers
49 views

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

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
617 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
203 views

How much information does the somatosensory system produce?

Are there any approximations of how many bits of information human somatosensory system produces? Especially mechano-receptors as measured in average number of bits per area of skin per second? I've ...
9
votes
1answer
137 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

Does the Hodgkin-Huxley Model take into account the action of the ion pumps (e.g., Na-K-ATPase)?

After the firing of a neuron, the sodium and potassium concentration differences vanish. It requires some time for cell to actively transport the ions in and out to re-establish the balance. Does ...
5
votes
1answer
76 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
612 views

If someone becomes a split-brain patient, which side will “maintain” the continuity in their consciousness?

The brain injury might apparently produce two "independent" consciousnesses, and I'm wondering where the original person's "consciousness" would "transfer". We had a debate on this over at Reddit ...
4
votes
1answer
190 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Is the energy of an action potential divided among multiple axon terminals?

My understanding is that the bulk of an axon is myelinated, greatly adding to the efficiency of transmitting action potentials. However, the axon terminals are not myelinated. I'm wondering if the ...
7
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
262 views

What are different ways to determine centroids of fMRI activation, their drawbacks and perks?

I'm reading an older article on bilingualism (Kim, Relkin, Lee, & Hirsch, 1997) for a seminar. They were interested in the spatial separation of two languages in early and late bilinguals. They ...
13
votes
3answers
507 views

Research suggesting conscious control over brain region activation?

Has there been any research proving, disproving, or exploring the concept of conscious activation of specific brain regions? To elaborate on this: I've read that performing processing tasks causes ...
2
votes
1answer
185 views

Possibility of perfect virtual reality [closed]

Is it biologically possible to build a "perfect" virtual reality, in which the person in that world cannot distinguish it from the real world? (e.g. as in the movie The Matrix) From my knowledge ...
6
votes
3answers
133 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
227 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
35 views

What regulates the strength of motoric signals?

I've seen cognitive/roboter models where the input signals from the sensors are directly used as the signal for outgoing motoric control. This doesn't make much sense, because obviously we're able ...
12
votes
1answer
351 views

Is there a region of cortex which over a period of development becomes the seat of self?

Background Mountcastle's hypothesis, which is based on the observation of uniform cortical anatomy, suggests that the there might be a uniform cortical "algorithm". The only reason that some cortical ...
3
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
117 views

Is happiness a result of cognitive or a side effect of neurobiological processes? [closed]

This morning I've heard this talk on Ted.com: Matt Killingsworth: Want to be happier? Stay in the moment The presenter is discussing an iPhone app used to track happiness, and seems to draw a ...
15
votes
2answers
397 views

Do we understand the non-subjective mechanisms behind pleasure and pain?

If we are to view pleasure and pain as being essentially synonymous with the more mechanistic concept of reward and punishment (i.e. as a part of learning and motivation system) then do we understand ...
1
vote
0answers
280 views

What is a good beginner level book on neuroanatomy? [closed]

I'm looking for a beginner level book on neuroanatomy. I haven't any background in neuroanatomy, other than what I learnt back at school. I'd like to take up a post grad neuroscience course to help ...
5
votes
0answers
88 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Which neurotransmitters can be measured in a living human brain?

I'm interested in learning more about the modern techniques that are used for scientific studies of neurotransmitters in the living human brain. As far as I know, there are 4 neuromodulator systems ...
4
votes
1answer
513 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
306 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
292 views

How are newly created neurons recruited into existing networks?

As far as I understand, the basics of neurogenesis (abstracted down to the level that makes sense to a computer scientist) is as follows: Neural progenitor cells differentiate into new neurons that ...
9
votes
1answer
143 views

Is there evidence that STDP is responsible for the ability to infer causation?

Spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) is a property of synapses that modifies their efficacy based on timing relationships between action potentials in the pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neuron. A ...
9
votes
2answers
587 views

In what ways can neurons fire randomly?

When developing a model of a biologically-plausible neural network, it is important to know all the circumstances under which neurons can fire. But, I am limiting this question to random firing. In ...
9
votes
1answer
258 views

How does neural spiking begin in the fetus?

I'm interested in modeling human brain spiking activity. How does the very first spiking activity begin in the fetus? I imagine all spiking activity is initiated by the senses and internal ...
12
votes
2answers
479 views

Biological plausibility of bayesian models of cognition

Inspired by this question: What are drawbacks to probabilistic models of cognition? I would like to know more about the biological plausibility of Bayesian models of cognition. Is there any neural ...
9
votes
1answer
187 views

What explains variability in the mean firing rate across biological neurons?

Biological neurons have a trade-off between high information transfer (high firing rate) and energy conservation (low firing rate). One would suspect that the maximization of this function has a ...
8
votes
1answer
114 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
498 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
377 views

What are the key examples of the use of computational methods in the study of biological neural networks?

In an upcoming postdoc, I'm going to be looking through biological neural network data in the hopes of finding some interesting "patterns". I'm coming at this field from a mathematics/computer ...
7
votes
1answer
100 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
138 views

Hebbian Learning Rule, Local or Global?

I just learned about the Hebbian Learning Rule. It essentially says "Neurons that fire together, wire together". I'm wondering if the learning rule is affected by the spatial distance of the two ...
9
votes
1answer
147 views

Computational Model Linking Neural Activity to Behavior

A big question in neuroscience is how neural activity represents knowledge. We can use modelling to explore how different levels of neural activity- subthreshold currents, action potentials, local ...
5
votes
3answers
199 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
459 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
203 views

Does each sensory neuron type have a characteristic spike sequence pattern?

Background It is known that all sensory information is input to the brain as neural spike sequences. Now, to distinguish between the spike sequences generated by retinal red/blue/green cone cells ...
7
votes
0answers
50 views

What are some known roles or correlations of glucocorticoid receptor function to behaviour?

The NR3C1 gene encodes for a neuron-specific glucocorticoid receptor (GR), of which methylation levels have been shown to relate to altered maternal care and stress response in rodents (Weaver et al., ...
10
votes
3answers
287 views

What is the term for a psychological effect which does not have a neurobiological/genetic basis?

When a psychological condition is the result of irregular brain structures or neurotransmitter imbalances we say the condition has a neurobiological basis; this is analogous to the classic Nature in ...
10
votes
1answer
89 views

Has an upper-limit on the physical spacing represented by grid cells in Entorhinal cortex been probed?

There is considerable research reporting activity of unit recordings from grid cells in the Entorhinal cortex (e.g. [1]) - typically of rats running around in enclosed spaces. Is there any ...
6
votes
2answers
160 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
206 views

What is a reliable physiological measure (e.g., serotonin levels) of positive affect?

Is there a reliable physiological measure or correlate to positive affect? What does research say on this? I thought that serotonin levels are correlated with self-reported happiness levels, but, ...
7
votes
2answers
318 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
216 views

What structures in the brain are called upon to strengthen coupling between bilateral movements?

It is very difficult for the normally-coordinated person to be able to pat his/her head and rub his/her stomach at the same time (or pick a similar activity). It seems to be possible to maintain the ...