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

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Are there studies on the effect of nicotine patches on dream vividness and dream recall?

Acetylcholine plays an important role during REM Sleep. I cite an answer to the question "Why do dreams lose clarity quickly over time after we awaken?": Activity in the PFC during sleep may be ...
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1answer
57 views

What are 'gap junctions' (electrical synapses) for?

I was reading this and I found the following sentences: Apart from chemical synapses neurons can also be coupled by electrical synapses, so-called gap junctions. Specialized membrane proteins make ...
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94 views

Predictive Experiments on Neuroscience of Free Will

It seems to be very interesting that we can use modern neuroscience and cognitive science research to inform us about the ages-old question of free-will vs. determinism. The standard experiment was ...
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394 views

What's the difference between executive functions and cognitive control?

I suspect that the difference between these terms may vary from researcher to researcher, since the wikipedia page treats them as synonymous. What's the difference between executive functioning and ...
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88 views

Difference in frequencies of mistakes between use of left-right vs. up-down

I have no hard data, but from my personal experience in people specifying right or left directions (similarly east or west) and up or down (north or south, top or bottom), people frequently make ...
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492 views

What are the effects of social rejection on the brain?

What are the effects of social rejection on the brain? If the external circumstance can not change, how can the impact on the brain be reduced? What is the average sensitivity to social rejection ...
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1answer
75 views

How far can a signal travel in the neocortex without passing through the white matter?

Correct me if I am wrong please, from what I understand horizontal communication spans very short distance in all layers of the neocortex but layers I and II. In these two layers dendrites and axons ...
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2answers
106 views

Why is it hard to simulate a neuron?

I read a NY Times article about the European effort to simulate a human brain and the criticism regarding the (non-)feasibility of such an endeavor (not to mention the astronomical costs). In this ...
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180 views

Can tinnitus be measured with EEG or MEG?

Can tinnitus be measured with EEG or MEG (magnetoencephalography)? Is it visible in a power spectrum? In an ERP/ERF?
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538 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 ...
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51 views

What is the relationship between visual attention network and visual stream (Two-streams hypothesis)?

There are two visual attention networks proposed by Maurizio Corbetta and Gordon L. Shulman (2002). These are top-down and bottom-up attention networks. One system, which includes parts of the ...
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76 views

Is touch sensitivity higher for females?

I read a long time ago that in a study of two-week old infants response to touch, the female babies were far and away more sensitive. In most gender comparisons, there are the familiar "two humps" in ...
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126 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 ...
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737 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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34 views

Is a network of neurons the only factor in memory?

Background I'm actually writing a science fiction novel set a couple decades in the future. Brains are not my field. I've done as much research as I could. In the story, the protagonist finds out he ...
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48 views

Why can't hemineglect patients be trained to actively pay attention to their neglected side?

I'm still having a hard time understanding the symptoms of hemineglect, mainly because perception and attention has been two peas of a pod for most of my experiences. A Scholarpedia article states ...
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524 views

How many dendrite connections vs axon terminals does a multipolar cerebral neuron have?

I find countless places that say neurons have tens of thousands of "connections" or "synapses" and one axon. Do neurons have tens of thousands of dendrite connections, and a few axon terminals; or a ...
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217 views

When a person starts to scratch, why does this often start others to scratch?

Often, when a person starts scratching and complains of being itchy, whether they suggest there might be a bug biting them (for example fleas, head lice, mites) another person with them will start to ...
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81 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 ...
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139 views

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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64 views

How / when does neurogenesis occur while learning?

I've heard that learning to Juggle (new things) helps increase neurogenesis. So, what does it depend on? Does it have to be a physical skill only? Or can I study / read about Economics(which is ...
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57 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 walk)....
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50 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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114 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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58 views

Does STDP make the Hebbian learning rule redundant?

On Scholarpedia they introduce STDP (spike timing dependent plasticity) as a temporally asymmetric form of Hebbian learning, making it sound as if the original Hebbian rule still has relevance in ...
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Voltage sensitive dyes technique: 2-photons microscopy vs confocal microscopy

I just discovered voltage sensitive dyes technique and I was wondering what would be the advantage to use 2-photons microscopy compared to confocal microscopy? They are both fluorescent techniques ...
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48 views

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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41 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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41 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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116 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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176 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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83 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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67 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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141 views

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

How can romantic love be described by scientists?
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598 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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Why do scientists say brains are faster than computers?

Supposing that neurons function similarly to transistors: A neuron able to fire $200$ times per second and transistors can be switched on and off more than $100,000,000,000$ times per second. Let's ...
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3answers
289 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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1answer
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 it....
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2answers
119 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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288 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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98 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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80 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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38 views

Can one neuron spike inhibit and excite at the same time?

Is it possible to have a neuron that in some synapses releases inhibitory neurotransmitters and excitatory in others (everything triggered by the same spike) ?
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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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203 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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280 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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2answers
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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1answer
480 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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97 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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186 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 ...