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

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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
84 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
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
60 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 ...
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1answer
49 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
27 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
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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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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425 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
257 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
226 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
217 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
130 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
118 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
81 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
109 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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27 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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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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40 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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45 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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121 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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85 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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50 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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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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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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45 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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221 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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66 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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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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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
324 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
165 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
365 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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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
194 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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90 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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4answers
90 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 ...
2
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2answers
338 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
340 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
70 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
109 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 ...
2
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1answer
74 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 long does a spiking signal last?

It is surprisingly hard to find information about the timing of neurons, in particular how long an action potential can contribute to the summation of a neuron. Is it on the order of milliseconds or ...
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1answer
30 views

How large is a neurotransmitter? Max and min sizes?

What size(s) are neurotransmitters? What is their size relative to the synaptic cleft? Relatively speaking, can we tell how far they must travel to cross the gap? Twice their own length? More? I ...