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

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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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87 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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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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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 ...
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3answers
116 views

Why do scientists say brains are faster than computers?

Supposing that neurons function similarly to transistors: A neuron fires 200 times per second and transistors can be switched on and off more than 100,000,000,000 times per second. Let's say it fires ...
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232 views

Getting started with EEG data

I want to get started with getting signals from EEG and learning on how I can read data. I have some programming skills, so designing a database and manipulating data with ruby (python seems also ...
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216 views

Neural Microfilaments for Computation?

I just watched an interesting TED talk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d5RetvkkuQ) where a Stuart Hameroff proposes that a neuron's microtubules are responsible for computations, and that they are ...
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52 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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200 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 ...
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219 views

Are there axioms in the mind? [closed]

While studying artificial neural networks, I stumbled upon the following question: Are there any hard-wired axioms in the brain that must exist equally in every conscious mind? I could imagine that, ...
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1answer
122 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
115 views

Does every human brain have the same shape?

Apart from the general structure (6 layer cortex, same areas, etc.) does every brain have the exact same number and arrangement of sulci, gyri, etc? Do these elements have the same shape?
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66 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 ...
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1answer
122 views

OCD Motivation and Dopamine Motivation, is there a connection?

I understand that OCD is something that causes sufferers to perform irrational behavour consciously, I also understand that the motivation comes from performing the irrational behaviour/behaviours to ...
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2answers
111 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
81 views

How do thoughts work at the neuron level?

How does thought work at the biological level of individual neurons? I believe there are many neurons which are active in the brain at the same time. For example, our senses are constantly taking in ...
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1answer
69 views

Are there neurological conditions that can be worsened by B group vitamins?

I know that vitamins B6 and B12 are very important for the brain function, and both are involved in metabolism of homocysteine. Buildup of homocysteine has been associated with cognitive impairment. ...
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1answer
182 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 ...
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1answer
161 views

What is the neurological mechanism responsible for losing one's temper?

I'd imagine that losing one's temper is quite normal, I can not think of anyone who has not experienced it. For me, it is rare, but does happen, I find that there can be 3 broad stages occur (note: ...
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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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63 views

Can “7 deadly sins/virtues” be explained in terms of brain hormone level or receptor mutations? [closed]

I'm thinking about this question on biology.se: do hormones make men think of sex? From the interview linked in the answer, I get two takeaways: a man who lost most testosterone for 4 months ...
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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 ...
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114 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 ...
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213 views

Are end-stage Alzheimer's patients still conscious? [closed]

I asked the same question at Reddit here, but none of the responses were convincing. So here's the thing: to the extent of what we know about consciousness, are end-stage Alzheimer's patients still ...
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1answer
117 views

How does the body experience free-fall during a hypnic jerk

Today I learned that a sudden jerk that you sometimes experience when you are just about to fall asleep due to a sense of free-fall or weightlessness is called a hypnic jerk. If, while sleeping, I ...
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249 views

Studies linking brain chemistry to sexual infidelity

This study Oxytocin Modulates Social Distance between Males and Females examines the effects of Oxytocin (OXT) on men in monogamous relationships. It demonstrates that OXT assists in maintaining ...
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54 views

Is there another example of a strongly emergent phenomenon besides the mind?

If you agree that the mind arises from the brain and is an emergent property of it, then the mind has to be strongly emergent, rather than weakly emergent. Is there any other example in reality of a ...
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1answer
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What are the neurobiological factors associated with intelligence in animals?

For example, is there a well-defined relationship between "number of neurons in the cortex" and some measure of "intelligence" in animals? I'm familiar with the encephalization quotient - that is, ...
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1answer
51 views

Law and its formula that says: more time organism working the slower (or less precise) the movements

What is the name of the law and the equation that says that "the more time an organism is working the slower (or less precise) its movements." ? I read once that there is a law in behavioral science ...
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2answers
61 views

How to make diagnosis of these symptoms using Pet scan, fMRI, and EEG?

The symptoms are muscle weakness, slow reaction time, visual perception issues, seizures, hearing loss, weight gain, general sense of pain and delusions. Using the above scanning techniques, a doctor ...
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1answer
45 views

Neurotransmitter control via biofeedback?

According to this thread, certain regions of the brain, and even some distributed activation patterns can be up/down regulated via bio-feedback. Is it possible in theory and is there any research ...
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1answer
65 views

Can the neuronal firing rate be increased through medication/diet?

My rudimentary understanding of the neuronal firing rate is that it varies person to person, and neuron to neuron. So any specific number for a firing rate would be specific to the test subject and ...
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1answer
65 views

How does the brain learn abstract maths?

I have found quite a bit of information of how, on a neurological level, we learn the most basic forms of maths. We seem to be hardwired from the get go, to deal with manageable quantities, can ...
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Why do we have so many wishes and desires?

Two years ago I started to learn (as self-education) evolution theory and neurobiology for to understand - who we are and where we came from? Now I see clearly that we are our brains, which are the ...
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Is there a correlation between brain size and amount of sleep?

As far as we know, sleep seems to be the part of the daily cycle when executive functions are resting and memories are fortifying. Many, but not all, of the functions that become dysfunctional upon ...
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Why low audio frequencies seem to detune after an intense workout?

After a specially intense workout (biking, running...), listening to music with headphones, I hear the music pitch has dropped slightly. What I find odd is that not all parts of the sound are detuned, ...
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44 views

Brain structures related to risk-taking behavior

I did a preliminary research on brain structures in which activity might underlie risk-taking behavior. I came to two research that described right prefrontal cortex (Knoch et al., 2006), or ...
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49 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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Do our brains have difficulties detecting no?

In most business seminars, or in movie the secret, for example, it is said that if we want to be rich we need to believe we want to be rich. We got to want peace, not anti war. We got to be pro ...
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59 views

Are our brains just energy conserving systems? [closed]

Is the brain a purely energy conserving system that creates behaviours for conserving the energy distributed to the brain, based on the input of sensory information that our bodies take in?
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46 views

What are the neurobiological mechanisms behind clumsiness

Some people are inherently clumsy (including your's truly). Everything from frequently stubbing their toes to, as in my case 2 days ago, falling down a single step and managing to crack a rib and ...
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270 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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1answer
120 views

Where do our memories get stored and how are they retrieved again?

In one of Karl Lashley's 1950 papers, it is pointed out that information is not stored locally in certain area of the brain. Instead, it's stored distributively over the structure of the brain. I'm ...
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3answers
193 views

What's the major difference between mind and brain?

I am preparing a presentation on "Mind Reading Computer", and all articles that I came across were focused on reading interpretations from brain through sensors. Articles like this clearly show a ...
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122 views

How many calories do we burn when we try to understand mathematical proofs?

While thinking we burn calories. For comparison: "And if it’s the right wood and the right chess grand masters in the middle of a tournament, they are going through 6,000 to 7,000 calories a day ...
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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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1answer
35 views

What is the current consensus on if fMRI studies in blood flow actually match brain activity?

How good is blood flow (BOLD signal) as a measure of actual neural activity? What deficiencies exist?
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35 views

How exactly does alcohol consumption damage dendrites?

How exactly does alcohol consumption damage dendrites? I'm not talking about over a long period of usage, but just one instance.
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Do people with prenatal hyperkinetic dysfunction have better endurace?

I have a question about hyperkinetic dysfunction. I wonder if theres a relation between HKD and the physical fitness, like endurance or strength, because I have a case, where someone never does ...
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Is the Orch-OR Penrose-Hameroff model for consciousness sensible? [duplicate]

I would definitely consider myself a fan of Penrose, but I know very little about Hameroff. My questions, basically, are: Do you think that the theory seems sensible and well based? Why do you ...