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

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90 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 ...
12
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2answers
294 views

What causes short-term dysphoria following intense pleasure?

I'm interested in the phenomenon of short term Dysphoria: Dysphoria is a state of feeling unwell or unhappy; a feeling of emotional and mental discomfort as a symptom of discontentment, ...
5
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1answer
80 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 ...
5
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0answers
75 views

Do widespread brain toxins explain violence rates?

Saw this: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline Lead emissions from tailpipes rose steadily from the early '40s through the early '70s, nearly quadrupling over ...
2
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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 ...
5
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1answer
76 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 ...
4
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1answer
194 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 ...
7
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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 ...
10
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3answers
202 views

What neural mechanism explains the tendency to visually attend to the whole scene before attending to details?

I have the intuition that human vision first attends to large-scale objects and then small-scale details. Is there any mechanism in the visual cortex that will explain this phenomenon? Is there a ...
2
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1answer
189 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 ...
11
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3answers
295 views

How does the brain learn what something is for the first time?

I'm trying to understand how the idea of what a thing is originates in humans. For example, in computer science, it is possible to know what an object is and what it does, by examining its ...
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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 ...
3
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1answer
77 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
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0answers
124 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 ...
6
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3answers
149 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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0answers
326 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 ...
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0answers
98 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 ...
5
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1answer
130 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 ...
4
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1answer
536 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 ...
10
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1answer
107 views

How similar are human brains within the same haplogroup?

I've read about neuroscience and listen to talks like this one Juan Enriquez: Will our kids be a different species, I'm starting to realize that humans are not all the same, and are instead quite ...
7
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1answer
3k 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 ...
12
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3answers
494 views

Is there a better way to describe brain activity than EEG “brain waves”

I've been reading about EEG brain waves, which are specific waveforms that are observed on the EEG output, and are usually scored by humans. This concept has been around for quite some time. Is there ...
6
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1answer
328 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 ...
11
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1answer
227 views

What causes laughter?

I was looking at this video from VSauce: "Why did the chicken cross the road?", where several facts about this old joke are exposed and explained. At some point, (6:59) Michael explains that there is ...
4
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1answer
740 views

How do we get used to smells?

How do we get used to smells? For example, you walk into a room with a certain stench, but it seems no matter how strong it may be, spending enough time in the room will allow you to stop smelling ...
10
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1answer
151 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 ...
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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., ...
6
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1answer
140 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 ...
4
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0answers
290 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 ...
4
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2answers
210 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
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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
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2answers
161 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 ...
19
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1answer
751 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
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2answers
210 views

Neural basis of primitive (newborn) reflexes

The Wikipedia article on primitive reflexes, or newborn reflexes, states that they originate in the CNS. Here's the list of reflexes from the article: Moro Walking/stepping Rooting Sucking Tonic ...
9
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1answer
475 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. ...
10
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1answer
211 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, ...
10
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3answers
382 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 ...
12
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1answer
260 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 ...
7
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2answers
324 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 ...
8
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2answers
249 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 ...
8
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3answers
482 views

Neurotransmitter based imaging techniques

All the brain imaging techniques I know fall into two categories: Tracking blood Either by looking at the magnetic (fMRI), or near-infared absorption (diffuse optical imaging, NIRS) properties of ...
6
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1answer
231 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
530 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 ...
12
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1answer
361 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 ...
11
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2answers
562 views

What form might Jungian archetypes take in the brain?

Modern psychology and psychiatry are very well grounded in scientific principles. Both, however, have a history in various analytical philosophies. Jung had the notion of an archetype, a universally ...
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3answers
201 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 ...
18
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3answers
894 views

What are current neuronal explanations and models of 'consciousness'?

I would like to understand more about consciousness from a neuroscientific perspective. I have a limited understanding of it in the philosophical/psychological sense through lectures. Although it is ...
4
votes
1answer
178 views

Physiological differences between brains of Conservatives and Liberals

I work for a non-profit research organization and I have been assigned to do research on this topic. I have been doing my best to find studies on this topic but every website and article seems to ...
6
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1answer
132 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 ...
8
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1answer
115 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 ...