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

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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) ...
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1answer
104 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 ...
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1answer
55 views

If one is flexing a muscle, for any given motoneuron involved, how many action potentials occur per second to keep the muscle flexed?

Also, will the axon terminals in a given motoneuron ever run out of neurotransmitters to release if they are constantly undergoing action potentials (say in the situation outlined above where a muscle ...
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1answer
661 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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2answers
227 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 ...
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1answer
164 views

MRI images upside-down in FSLVIEW

I'm visualizing structural data in FSLVIEW, but the sagittal and coronal planes are both upside-down / not in the conventional orientation, i.e. rotated by 90º and 180º. I understand that this ...
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1answer
80 views

What does a cortical column do?

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 does a cortical column do? I ...
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31 views

why is this stack exchange called 'cognitive sciences'? [migrated]

looking at the tags in this stack exchange, many are psychology and many are neuroscience. as somebody who does research in neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry, and neurology, it would have never ...
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37 views

Is there a psychological/physical reason why sometimes your brain won't switch off when you want to sleep?

What is happening to the brain when you are trying to sleep but can't? I think this is a fairly common phenomena. In a situation when you are tired and ready to sleep, why can't you switch off? It's ...
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25 views

Is movement/activity level related to serotonin availability or reuptake rates in the brain?

I'm aware of this research article that explores the relationship between motion and serotonin systems: 5-HT and motor control: a hypothesis. Based on the article above, it seems to me that a "very ...
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37 views

Why does the unilateral 6-OHDA lesion Parkinson's model cause ipsilateral rotations?

As far as I understand, the loss of dopaminergic neurons should hinder movement in the contralateral side of the body, resulting in contralateral rotations when the animal tries to move forward.
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What is the relationship between topographic maps and sensory memory?

Sensory maps are defined functionally: they exist for a certain time window, are overwritten quickly, are generally inaccessible to introspective control. Topographic maps are defined biologically: ...
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140 views

What are the neurological differences between varying types of love?

It stands to reason that the biochemical cascade involved when a person experiences love, gives a feeling of well-being and drive. Studies in neuroscience have involved chemicals that are present ...
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71 views

What is the neurological mechanism behind the feelings associated with loneliness?

Loneliness can be debilitating, and the feelings associated with it can be overwhelming, including feeling 'cold inside', sad, hopeless and even helpless. Many things can 'cause' loneliness', both ...
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0answers
95 views

Is dominance a hypothetical construct or is it based in neurobiology?

There are several personality tests which have dominance as trait or type as result. In addition to this question: How to measure dominance and submissiveness? How are dominant types constructed in ...
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53 views

To what degree does environment govern the severity of symptoms in schizophrenia?

From what I understand about the physiology of schizophrenia it is thought to be caused by chemical imbalances resulting from genetic factors, fueled by environmental factors. I've garnered that ...
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127 views

What biological processes occur when you love someone romantically? [closed]

How can romantic love be described by scientists?
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69 views

When did neurotransmitters derived from monoamines first appear in evolutionary history? [closed]

When did neurotransmitters derived from monoamines first appear in evolutionary history? What are main the points in evolution for monoamines based on the neurotransmitter system ? Edition I'm ...
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190 views

Plot a schematic outline of the brain [closed]

I know that I can read, write and analyse different type of brain scanning data using various Medical Imaging Tools available for R. But I am looking for something very simple - a possibility to just ...
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363 views

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

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 ...
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3answers
155 views

What are the effects of implanting electrodes into the brains of monkeys?

If one implants electrodes into a monkey's brain in order to allow the monkey to control a mechanical arm, then is the monkeys able to move both it's natural and it's mechanical arms at once? What ...
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3answers
215 views

How are personality traits “encoded” in the brain?

How are personality traits – such as optimism, sensation seeking or need for cognition – "encoded" in the brain? Do people with different levels of, say, extraversion have different neuronal ...
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2answers
104 views

Are the lobes of the brain anatomically distinct, or is the distinction between them not as well-defined?

If I had a brain in front of me, would I be able to find some kind of crevasse or something separately each lobe from the next? I guess what I'm asking is, are lobes more arbitrarily-defined regions ...
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127 views

Neurosurgically grown neural link between two brains?

I guess it's possible to surgically restore neural connection after a trauma (e.g. a severed hand can be reattached if done quickly). And, from history of evolution of hominids, it seems that just by ...
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109 views

Does a person experience release of dopamine while doing something she/he enjoys?

I am wondering if a person would experience an increase in the level of dopamine while doing something she/he enjoys such as playing guitar or reading a book. And what are some other neurotransmitter ...
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1answer
567 views

How does posture affect cerebral blood flow?

This is a follow-up question to an answer on Quora: In the upright posture, venous outflow is considerably less pulsatile (57%) and occurs predominantly through the vertebral plexus, while in ...
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1answer
91 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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Are there mental reflexes?

Similar to knee-jerk or withdrawal, are there any innate reflexes in cognition? Are they based on personality, or are there any that are universal?
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1answer
74 views

Where in the brain is meaning extracted from visual information?

I am looking into several systems for improving learning speeds and ran into a question I seem unable to answer on my own: When we read a word, it somehow gets converted into it's abstract meaning. ...
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2answers
120 views

Is learning and memory formation mostly comprised of new synapses forming, or already-existent synapses strengthening?

I'm guessing it may be some combination of the two. If so, which is the more frequent situation? I'm also guessing it varies depending on the type of memory being formed. Let's take for instance, my ...
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1answer
249 views

Neuroplasticity and Treatment of Depression

After reading 'The Brain That Changes Itself' by Norman Doidge, 'The Mind and The Brain' by Jeffrey Schwartz and a few other books, I've become curious about the science of neuroplasticity, which, as ...
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1answer
164 views

What causes lack of energy? The relative importance of testosterone versus emotional, genetic, and environmental factors

Some people assume that males lack of energy because of low testosterone. I would think that lack of energy could be due to esteem levels, emotional abuse, low self-worth, and even genetics to some ...
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1answer
256 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?
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1answer
96 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 ...
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1answer
53 views

Can fMRI and EEG signals be generated from NEF models?

The basic function of the NEF is to map the outside world onto neurons, using the firing rates of the neurons. It also supports various neuron models. Have these firing rates been used to create EEG ...
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1answer
51 views

How is averaging used in calculating the Bereitschaftspotential?

I have a question about the averaging involved in the Bereitschaftspotential. On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bereitschaftspotential you can read that, because it is so small, the ...
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1answer
66 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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1answer
105 views

What are presynaptic puncta?

What are presynaptic puncta? And what makes them different from presynaptic terminals?
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1answer
55 views

What is the metabolic load of the visual system?

The brain consumes energy at eight times the rate that would be predicted from mass alone (20% of total organismic load). How much of this is drawn from the visual system? How does the metabolic load ...
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2answers
41 views

Is pacemaker action potential considered a calcium dependent or sodium/calcium dependent?

Is a sinoatrial node action potential (AP) considered a Ca2+ dependent (No Na+) action potential? I was under the understanding that Ca2+ dependent APs were present only in Purkinje and endocrine ...
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1answer
172 views

Why does optogenetics not mean that perfect brain-computer interfaces are possible?

There have been multiple articles and videos circulating on the Internet claiming that optogenetics has made it possible to have perfect input/output to the brain from a computer. This is obviously ...
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1answer
81 views

What is the lifetime of the synapse in the mature brain?

I know there is synaptic plasticity in the mature brain. There is a great number of plasticity mechanisms like LTD and LTP, acting on different time scales. Apart from the synaptic weight change, ...
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1answer
70 views

Where to find published results of positive psychology cancer treatment study mentioned in Martin Seligman's book?

In Dr. Martin Seligman's book, "Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life", there was mention of a study involving teaching cancer patients to fight learned helplessness. I believe this ...
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2answers
136 views

Why neural architecture is not hardwired for N-dimensional vision but hardwired for abstract math?

In The Theoretical Minimum, in lecture 1, Leonard Susskind says that you can only visualize 3 dimentional images. (see yourself). Therefore, he says, in order to deal with N dimensions, you need to ...
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1answer
49 views

How does Parkinson's disease result in tremors?

From what I understand, Parkinson's disease is caused by the death of dopamine producing cells in the substantia nigra, however I don't understand how that causses the symptoms of Parkinson's. I am ...
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1answer
130 views

What is the difference between a biological and behaviorist perspective in psychology?

I was recently reading through a textbook and was unable to clearly identify the differences between the two due to a vague definition of both. Can someone provide an in-depth explanation of the two ...
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1answer
99 views

Is meaning-seeking behavior a biological optimization problem?

In short, I'm interested in cognitive, neuroscientific, biological and/or computational perspectives on what we vaguely refer to as meaning seeking. Of course, this is a large topic, but any ...
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2answers
251 views

The psychology of nymphomania

So this is a question that requires maturity and discretion. I present it as an authentic point of research for a class I am taking. I understand the basic principles of mania, psychomania, and ...
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3answers
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Can repetitive sports-related head injuries make a person senile many years later?

Would repetitive football injuries to the cranium show up decades later, causing symptoms resembling mild retardation, OCD, etc.? What is the best way to determine this in terms of imaging, testing, ...
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Are there any programmes to identify modular “NeuroBricks”?

In synthetic biology, an organization called the BioBricks Foundation tries to identify modular biological components that are amenable to engineering design, and publishes them in the Registry of ...