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

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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
201 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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1answer
189 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
47 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
34 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
61 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
124 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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2answers
115 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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2answers
28 views

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 ...
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1answer
150 views

Why do the hemispheres of the brain control the opposite sides of the body?

History of question: This previous question asked about both hemispheric specialisation and control of opposite sides of the body. The point was made that these are two very different questions. So ...
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1answer
119 views

What causes a muscle to be unsteady?

I have noticed for myself that sometimes, certain muscles may become unsteady. Here are three examples: Sometimes it is more difficult to hold my hand still in the air. Another example is how my ...
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1answer
104 views

What are the neurological mechanisms behind risking one's own life for another?

Every so often, we hear of people who go that extra mile and put their life on the line (and sometimes, give their life) for another person - whether it is a loved one or a complete stranger ...
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1answer
54 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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1answer
32 views

How do we localize pain?

I know that different points of the brain correspond to different point of the body. But how a sensory information reaches its correct corresponding area? For example, let say I put a pencil's ...
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1answer
76 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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0answers
26 views

How does neurotransmitter distribution and usage vary thought the brain?

I understand that neurotransmitters are used to send signals between neurons in the brain and that some are used for rather specific functions. However, is the exact ...
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50 views

Neuropharmacology and Simulation

I've been wondering whether neural simulations have had applications in (cognitive)neuropharmacological research already. One always reads about the promise of the technology in helping us cure ...
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0answers
57 views

Why is it easier to fall asleep in the dark?

I'm curious if there is any neurological mechanism that explains why falling asleep is easier in the dark. I recognize that this isn't true universally -- a phobia of darkness might make it easier to ...
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0answers
49 views

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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57 views

Diagram of the peripheral nervous system of different animals?

Can anyone recommend a good resource (free or paid) for finding detailed images of the nervous systems of various animals? In particular I am looking for images of the peripheral nervous system of ...
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96 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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107 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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0answers
58 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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91 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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37 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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5answers
338 views

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
271 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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2answers
78 views

How does subjective experience arise from matter?

Forgive me for lacking rigor, but if what I know is correct, it is established that consciousness and other higher functions characteristic of humans are a consequence of our cortex, specifically ...
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2answers
215 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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1answer
235 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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2answers
68 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
162 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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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 ...
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1answer
40 views

How to filter noise in EEG data

I am a computer science student and I'm doing something for a psychology professor. We have EEG data from an experiment where a person was shown 140 images for 2 seconds each. We placed 64 electrodes ...
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1answer
49 views

What was the quantified brain volume of Albert Einstein?

I have read articles stating that Albert Einstein had an average brain volume but couldn't find a specific measurement. I'm curious because the articles are all so ambiguous. He could have been on the ...
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1answer
165 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 ...
2
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1answer
129 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
53 views

What is the biological reason behind disorganized thinking and disorganized behavior in thought disorders?

Having disorganized thinking is different for everyone. But, it is sometimes described as not being able to connect thoughts together. I am asking about disorganized thinking other than communication ...
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1answer
38 views

Is cortisol an effective measure of stress for pre and post task performance?

I have a teleoperation system and I want to see how much stress a person is under before during and after operating it. I thought cortisol would be a correlate of stress. Can I measure levels rapidly, ...
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1answer
94 views

How many synapses in the average human brain?

Knowing there are 100,000,000,000 neurons in an average human brain, and 7,000 dendrites in each neuron, and neurons are connected to each other by dendrites and axon terminals, how many synapses are ...
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1answer
91 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
76 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
198 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
49 views

What is runaway excitation?

Can someone give me a brief explanation of this term? Found it in a paper but there doesn't seem to be an explanation that is consistent out there to my knowledge.
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1answer
28 views

What is the relationship between neurotransmitter release and resting potential in retinal bipolar cells?

Retinal bipolar cells are known to have resting potentials from which they can become more or less polarized. What I'm wondering is whether a bipolar cell's neurotransmitter-release rate is zero when ...
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1answer
166 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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0answers
36 views

What neurotransmitters can be suppressed/promoted by tDCS

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) has been shown to modify suppression in the visual cortex and GABA suppression in motor control. As of now, the exact neurobiological mechanism that ...
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0answers
21 views

Perforated patches: Can antibiotics used to induce holes in membrane produce perforations of differential size?

Perforated patches are a special type of patch clamping. I understand that it is sometimes preferred to whole-cell recordings because it prevents complete diffusion of the electrode solution into the ...
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2answers
77 views

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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0answers
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How do ligands bind to and release from receptors?

I'm wondering exactly how ligands bind to and release from receptors. Until recently I presumed ligands were attracted to receptors through electrostatic forces with no chemical interaction involved, ...