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

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Does reading a book out loud make you better in social situations?

Suppose a person reads a book out loud for 1 hour straight. Would this "exercise" the parts of the brain involved in speech? Would this make the person a better communicator in social situations?
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1answer
371 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
119 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
100 views

How can pain sensations appear to originate within the person's skull?

I've read that humans have some sort of a kinesthetic model of their body and muscles. This internal representation of the body is used to control and coordinate locomotion. I don't remember if ...
3
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1answer
57 views

What is forward masking

I am trying to understand what is visual masking (or more specificaly forward masking). I have read the explanation here, but still.. I understand that a background can interfere with a frontal ...
3
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1answer
57 views

Is the weight of neural inputs in the human brain as central as it is for neurons in an artifical neural network?

As an example of an artificial neural net (ANN), a neural processing unit (NPU) is able to encode previous (learned) information by storing a weighted resistance for each input. Since ANN's are ...
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2answers
51 views

Do studies exist that can map specimens of neocortex to the functions they perform(ed) in vivo?

Much brain research has proposed that the brain (the neocortex, esp.) is set up in areas - an area for faces, an area for language, etc.. The experiments typically go 1) damage an area 2) observe ...
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1answer
64 views

Can fMRI and EEG signals be generated from NEF models?

The basic function of the NEF is to map the outside world onto neurons, using the firing rates of the neurons. It also supports various neuron models. Have these firing rates been used to create EEG ...
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1answer
61 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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3answers
51 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
746 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
220 views

Does the human visual system implement (adaptive) histogram equalization?

The human visual system is very good at 'cancelling out' shadows and other lightning effects, and focusing on the contrast in images. A famous example of this is Adelson's checker shadow illusion: ...
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1answer
29 views

Publicly Available NEURON models

NEURON is a software package for simulating neurons and networks in great detail. Although it's quite easy to find papers that use NEURON with a simple Google Scholar search, is there some way to find ...
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1answer
54 views

Do dissolving myelinated connections explain learning?

In order to understand how we get rid of established habits/behavior: Can myelinated connections be dissolved or are new connections created that bypass those connections?
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1answer
112 views

How to build a high sensitivity EEG headset for continual monitoring?

After having a conversation with a couple of the more popular "consumer" level EEG makers such as Versus, I have found that their monitoring abilities are either ...
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3answers
96 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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1answer
153 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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2answers
48 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
85 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
170 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
57 views

How do neurons limit their input current?

I know that many neurons have an input current-spiking frequency (I-F) relationships, e.g. as seen here. However, all the I-F curves I've encountered show the input current in a fairly small range (...
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1answer
36 views

What is the function of the connection between the two halves of the thalamus?

What kind of direct exchange do we have between the two halves of the thalamus, whether going through the thalamic adhesion or not? Do we know what parts of left and right thalamus are connected and ...
3
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1answer
28 views

What is the location of the center-surround receptive fields of retinal ganglion cells?

I have read wikipedia article about receptive fields of visual system and it states the following: The receptive field is often identified as the region of the retina where the action of light ...
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1answer
28 views

Where are intrinsically bursting neurons found in the mammalian brain?

There are neurons in the brain that exhibit bursting behaviour. In some cases, this is due to interactions with the surrounding neural network. In other cases, it is due to intrinsic biological ...
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1answer
119 views

Threshold time for stimulus to be consciously perceived. Why?

A visual stimulus must last longer than some threshold duration to be perceived consciously. For example, a light dot flashed for a duration of 10ms can't be consciously perceived. Why? What prevents ...
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1answer
55 views

How does Parkinson's disease result in tremors?

From what I understand, Parkinson's disease is caused by the death of dopamine producing cells in the substantia nigra, however I don't understand how that causses the symptoms of Parkinson's. I am ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the difference between a biological and behaviorist perspective in psychology?

I was recently reading through a textbook and was unable to clearly identify the differences between the two due to a vague definition of both. Can someone provide an in-depth explanation of the two ...
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1answer
125 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
40 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
32 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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2answers
455 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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1answer
277 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 ...
3
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1answer
233 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
220 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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1answer
132 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
91 views

link between top-down (bottom-up) processing and cortex layers

What are the relations between top-down and bottom-up processings and the flows of information in the brain? For example, does top-down processing start from some layers and go to lower layers? If so ...
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2answers
42 views

Are there models of single neurons on slow timescales?

From what I've come across on the web, most models of single neurons seem to focus on the "fast timescale", where electrical signals are transmitted from one neuron to another. However, neurons are ...
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1answer
115 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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30 views

How does the hippocampus and the “Papez” circuit form a memory?

It is admitted the hippocampus is necessary to the formation of new long term memories. At first, information goes back and forth between various parts of the cortex and the hippocampus. That's how a ...
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0answers
40 views

Infants tend to look longer at novel stimuli than at repeated stimuli, is this true in adults?

I have recently read an article in which it is stated, that the researchers can discriminate if a baby knows an object, by looking at the length of time the baby looks at the object. Do adults also ...
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43 views

Neurotransmitter detection in the brain

How are the effects of drugs in the brain, in terms of neurotransmitters measured? For example, Selective Seretonin Reuptake Inhibitors are a class of anti-depressants. How was and is this type of ...
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0answers
46 views

Is the fight or flight response considered voluntarily or involuntarily?

I look in my rearview and see someone feet from me still speeding up and my heart rate feels like it doubles. It stayed like that for an hour. Had troubles concentrating and working well into the ...
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130 views

What are the brain regions related to tinnitus shown in this figure?

I am interested in learning about the neural mechanisms behind tinnitus, and was wondering if someone could help me to name the parts of the brain on this image that show increased activity in ...
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0answers
86 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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47 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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0answers
52 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
44 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
46 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 distribution/concentration/...
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0answers
61 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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0answers
47 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 ...