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

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146 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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
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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 ...
3
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2answers
168 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
30 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
23 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 ...
3
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1answer
63 views

Can two neurons in the brain be connected more then once?

Can two given neurons in the human brain can be directly connected more than once, either mutually or in the same or direction? Also, can the same neuron have transitive connections to itself (in ...
3
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1answer
52 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
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 ...
3
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1answer
53 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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2answers
42 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
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
123 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
439 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
260 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
227 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
218 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
131 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 ...
3
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1answer
88 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
111 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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29 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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42 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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126 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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0answers
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
51 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 ...
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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
46 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
222 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
67 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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0answers
93 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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0answers
220 views

How much information does the somatosensory system produce? [closed]

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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2answers
328 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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2answers
171 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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3answers
367 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
270 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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4answers
199 views

If a human brain would be placed inside that of an animal: Could it talk?

Assumption: Animals can't talk 'human' because of their small(er) brain. Perhaps a strange thought, but I was really wondering: If we could place a human brain inside that of an animal: Would we be ...
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2answers
91 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 ...
2
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1answer
40 views

Can neuron change from excitatory to inhibitory (end vice versa) over time?

According to this answer a neuron can release only specific type of neurotransmitters at the time, however, could it change over time? For example a neuron that now releases only inhibitory ...
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4answers
93 views

What are the rules that govern neuron behavior?

This is what I know so far: Neurons are nodes with a number called the threshold. Neurons are connected to other neurons through directed axons. Axons take the signals produced by neurons and ...
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2answers
376 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
342 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, ...