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

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What neurobiological changes are associated with the end of the critical period in children?

Developing children are in a critical period during which they are much better at learning certain tasks like speaking a language. After the critical period ends, children have a qualitatively more ...
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56 views

How exactly do “you” think and interact with your body?

It has been established that our brains control many processes that your body carries out autonomously and involuntarily. However, other actions are controlled by you. (e.g. you lift an arm, you ...
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49 views

What exactly is the neurobiological mechanism behind the functioning of the human muscle?

From what I have read, its been given that muscle functioning and coordination involves two processes: frequency summation and muscle recruitment. What I want to know is that, do these two processes ...
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113 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 ...
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51 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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Why cerebellar input fibers use 2 ways to send a siganl to DCN?

Both groups of input fibers of cerebellum (mossy, climbing) start 2 pathways: 1) project directly to the deep nuclei 2) project to cerebellar cortex, which then (after some processing) sends ...
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35 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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35 views

How does de-myelination occur in multiple sclerosis? [closed]

From what I understand, only the oligodendrocytes are affected in multiple sclerosis, and they are attacked by T cells which cross the blood-brain barrier. This leads me to two questions: How is the ...
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115 views

What is the neurobiological basis of Spearman general factor of intelligence?

I found here a brief intro to genetic factor of human intelligence: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1036362 Also there is known that gyrus hipocampii is basis of STM which have role in general ...
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166 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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76 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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61 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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136 views

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

How can romantic love be described by scientists?
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555 views

Computational Neuroscience software

What are the most common software tools you use in your day to day work in computational neuroscience? I am referring to neuroscience tools like GENESIS and NOT to generic tools like Excel.
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268 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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1k 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 ...
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209 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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281 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 ...
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95 views

Are axons in the brain weighted?

Is it known whether the connection strength of synapses is important to the functioning of the brain or does just the binary existence of a synapse matter? Also, how widely do the strengths of ...
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57 views

Why is the order of brainwaves not labelled “alphabetically”?

The brainwave - frequency breakdown is as follows: Delta wave – (0.1 – 3 Hz) Theta wave – (4 – 7 Hz) Alpha wave – (8 – 15 Hz) Mu wave – (7.5 – 12.5 Hz) SMR wave – (12.5 – 15.5 Hz) Beta wave – (16 – ...
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435 views

What is the role of Chloride (Cl- ions) in membrane potential?

This Membrane Potential article mentions only that Cl- ion is used to model inhibitory GABA synapses. Does it have another role besides hyper-polarizing the cell due to inhibitory neurotransmitter ...
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197 views

Colorado Boulder study about brain morphometric measures of Cannabis users methodologically weak?

I'm relating to this study: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/35/4/1505.short The researchers found no differences in subcortical brain structures for daily Cannabis users vs. controls. However the ...
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141 views

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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78 views

Activity in a brain region and additional blood requirement: What is the causal relation?

May I know causal dependence of the blood flow in the brain? How it is determined by the brain that particular brain region requires additional blood?
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94 views

Are connections in the human brain directed?

Do connections in our brain have a direction, or do they behave equally in both directions? I am especially interested in the structures responsible for memory.
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174 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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288 views

What are the neurobiological triggers for sleepwalking?

This phenomena has always fascinated me, ever since my parents told me (and filmed me) doing exactly that - sleepwalking. I have read the pamphlet "Sleepwalking" from the Sleep Health Foundation, ...
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210 views

Why do some people stutter only when they are nervous?

Background: I don't stutter at least not always. For example, if I be reading out a article to myself, It is sure that I will not stutter even that I am reading it out loud. The times when I do ...
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170 views

Difference between brain disease and brain disorder

Is there any difference between the terms brain disease and brain disorder? They are often used in combination without ...
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413 views

What is the difference between computational neuroscience, theoretical neuroscience, and neuroinformatics (if there is one)?

In particular, theoretical and computational neuroscience seem to be synonymous with each other. Neuroinformatics at least seems to deal somewhat more with solving things numerically and the usage and ...
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89 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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184 views

Is it possible to objectively measure the amount of pleasure a person is experiencing?

I'd like to know if it's possible to quantify somebody's "fun meter". Maybe by measuring the amount of endorphin produced. Because every person is unique, I don't expect that amount to make another ...
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1answer
126 views

How does chronic stress improve memory processes?

There seems to be more information on the detrimental effects of stress on memory. There is evidence to the contrary. Stress effects on memory: an update and integration. Schwabe L, et al doi: ...
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466 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) ...
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115 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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221 views

What are presynaptic puncta?

What are presynaptic puncta? And what makes them different from presynaptic terminals?
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61 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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64 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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67 views

The function of pumps in forming the resting potential

I am confused by the following. Apparently the resting potential of -65mV is reached when the two forces, diffusion and electrical gradient are in equilibrium. So why does the book say "The ...
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233 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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46 views

Are there specific neurotransmitters for specific sensations?

Nerves can detect pressure, temperature, light (eyes), sound, friction- at least. Does each sensation have its own neurotransmitter? I'm only a little familiar with neurotransmitters. This page ...
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54 views

Can dendrite spines fire action potential toward the soma?

I am confused about how the signal propagates from the dendrite spines toward the soma. I believe it is commonly taught that the signal diffuses "passively", i.e. electrostatically with no ...
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253 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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97 views

How does an understanding of the brain explain why people experience strong emotional responses to major sporting events?

Anyone know studies or theories that explain how massive competition events between countries or parties, like the Soccer World Cup Tournament finals or Olympic Games affect our brains? Why do people ...
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How separate are the left and right hemisphere vasculature?

It appears as if there are communicating arteries between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, but it is difficult to grasp the larger picture. To what extent is the blood supply to each ...
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very weird Split Brain Dual Consciousness experiments references on Wikipedia

I have been reading about the problem of possible dual consciousness in split brain patients and I came across this wikipedia page about: ...
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How are psychological bio-markers discovered?

Recently, this paper claiming to be able to distinguish bipolar disorder from major depressive disorder via a urine sample has come to my attention. Despite reading the paper, I'm unable to ...
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What personality traits correlate with estrogen?

I'm looking for psychological traits that are proved to correlate with estrogen levels. Anything of specific behavior, attitudes, life styles, emotions, preferences, you name it. (I'm looking for ...
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How does oxygen deprivation affect neural activity?

It is increasingly common for someone to regain a heartbeat after a cardiac arrest. During the time that the person is without a heartbeat, and so without circulation, the brain is deprived of oxygen. ...
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Have any drugs been shown to increase the neuroplasticity of adult brains?

I read recently in the book "meet your happy chemicals" that the hormones of puberty are neurochemicals that cause your neurons to connect and myelinate more easily. If this is true have any studies ...