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

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Can positive self-affirmation improve mood?

Most people get "depressed" every now and then - nothing serious, but people sometimes feel down. I am wondering if positive self-affirmation can make you happier by physically increasing the ...
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0answers
59 views

What are the smallest neurons ever identified? [closed]

What are the smallest neurons ever measured? I'm happy with any superlatives, such as the thinnest axons or dendrites, smallest somata etc. Thank you :)
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34 views

Are there parts of the brain which don't change over a lifetime?

We know that during our lifetime the brain develops new neural connections and also there is pruning of neural connections. These phenomena together are called neuroplasticity. Is there any research ...
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44 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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32 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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0answers
56 views

Neuropharmacology and Simulation [closed]

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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172 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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0answers
62 views

Diagram of the peripheral nervous system of different animals? [closed]

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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215 views

How much information does the somatosensory system produce? [on hold]

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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55 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
625 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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2answers
285 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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3answers
291 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
93 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
237 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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2answers
56 views

How many action potentials from presynaptic neurons would be required to make a postsynaptic neuron fire?

I am looking for a rough estimation of the number of action potentials from other neurons required to cause a neuron to fire? I read here that a potential of ~ -55mv must be reached before an action ...
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1answer
278 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
64 views

Explanatory gaps in the formation and propagation of action potentials

To my understanding, the steps of an action potential are as follows: The neuron is at rest--there is a negative charge (K ions) inside the cell, and a positive charge (Na ions) outside the cell. ...
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1answer
63 views

What is so “potential” about action potentials?

When an action potential is propagating through a neuron, it seems to me that the time for "potential of action" is over, and that we are now just in a state of "action". Why don't we just call action ...
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2answers
79 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
281 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
215 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
69 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
42 views

How does my spinal cord know to take reflexive action?

As in, how does my body know that a stove is not hot enough to warrant a reflex? Is it because there isn't a sudden electrical surge going through the nervous system?
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1answer
78 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
45 views

What is the neurobiological difference between Jungian Judging and Perceiving individual?

Jungian or Myers Briggs type indicator reserves the last letter of a 4 letter archetype to stand for Judging or Perceiving. Part of being a Judging type is punctuality - being on time, keeping ...
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1answer
55 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
207 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
163 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
103 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, ...
2
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1answer
104 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 ...
2
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1answer
97 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
216 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 ...
2
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1answer
77 views

What are the neurobiological factors related to depression?

While it is agreed that neurotransmitters aren't the primary "cause" of depression, what other factors are a part of this mental illness that focus on the neurobiological aspects of it?
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1answer
92 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 ...
2
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1answer
36 views

Determining the position of the calcium ion in the three dimensional space

Is it possible to determine the position of a single calcium ion or its population in the context of a three dimensional space with relatively good time frequency, say 1 Hz, taking into account ...
2
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1answer
108 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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1answer
176 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
29 views

How can we analyse user behavior to predict urge of smoking?

The problem which I want to target is to be able to successfully predict (to a degree) that a person is going to smoke in near future. I want to look at the relationship between chemical reactions ...
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0answers
45 views

How can we use EEG data to predict urge of smoking?

I am from Computer Sciences background. The problem which I want to target is to be able to successfully predict (to a degree) that a person is going to smoke in near future. I have a brainwave ...
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0answers
30 views

Physiological mapping of frustration

What physiological changes are seen in the brain when a person is experiencing frustration? What effects do these changes have on learning? Optional background: I'm trying to figure out an ...
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0answers
26 views

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

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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0answers
42 views

Can microdialysis be made in Drosophila melanogaster?

Microdialysis is a common method to study the effects of drugs on specific mamal brains zones (mostly in rats), in order to study the it's interaction with the function of those specific areas that ...
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0answers
36 views

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, ...
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0answers
45 views

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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0answers
52 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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0answers
78 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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141 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 ...