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

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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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46 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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48 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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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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49 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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229 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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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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97 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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333 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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191 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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107 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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273 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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210 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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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
402 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
360 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
71 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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120 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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54 views

Can a hyperpolarized neuron fire action potentials?

Is there any chance that a neuron could fire when hyperpolarized? In that case, would the spike be different than usual?
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1answer
51 views

What prevents a neuron from activating an incoming synapse?

As is known, a neuron can have incoming and outgoing synapses. When a neuron fires, what does prevent that only outgoing synapses are activated?
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1answer
75 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
44 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
31 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 ...
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1answer
31 views

Where can I find good references about the neuronal connections in various areas in the cortex?

As an example, I would like to know which Brodmann areas innervate the layer IV of area 10 in the brain. To which degree are these connections known? What are good books or other kinds of resources ...
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1answer
176 views

“top-down” and “bottom-up” processes

What kind of processes are "top-down" and "bottom-up" processes in the context of processing visual information in brain? Context: ...There are discrete areas in the visual cortex dedicated to ...
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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
321 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
307 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 ...
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1answer
58 views

Does oxytocin reduce brain activity?

In the book "Psychologie" by Richard J. Gerrig, Philip Zimbardo I read there are studies claiming that: "die gegenwärtige Forschung legt nahe, dass das Hormon eine facettenreiche Rolle bei ...
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1answer
27 views

What is the relation of visual quality and distance from the central field of view?

I have read somewhere that Our visual perception degrades non-linearly with distance from the fovea. However, it was not referenced. I was wondering if there is a reference talking about this?...
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1answer
32 views

What is the purpose of non-spiking and anaxonic neurons?

What is the purpose of non-spiking neurons and anaxonic neurons in neural tissue?
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1answer
47 views

During synchronized waves oscillation (alpha beta etc…) do neurons fire only once for each wave cycle?

Or can they fire few times then pause and again, firefew times and pause periodically? If the second case happens then do we know if the neurons that fire in synchronity fire the same number of ...
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1answer
26 views

What is the difference between 'stereoscopic depth' and 'crossed/uncrossed disparity'?

What is the difference between stereoscopic depth and crossed/uncrossed disparity, and specifically in terms of their use in the methods to manipulate visual stimuli to investigate depth-perception?
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194 views

How many possible states does a brain have?

Suppose I have a box, inside of which is a light which can be either on or off: it has exactly two states. Suppose I wanted to take some "snapshot" of the state of this device, and store all the ...
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65 views

How long does it take for electrical impulses from neurons to travel in the human brain?

Consider the maximal distance between two separated areas in the human brain. How fast can information via neuronal excitement travel between these two locations?
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1answer
161 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
49 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
117 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
272 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
20 views

What is the definition of a receptive field?

I have read the wikipedia article on receptive fields (RFs). There, a receptive field is defined as: The receptive field of an individual sensory neuron is the particular region of the sensory ...
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1answer
33 views

What are the estimates in total neurons and average connections per neuron for each of the processing areas of the visual cortex?

I am trying to find ballpark estimates for the number of neurons in each functional area of the visual cortex (V1, V2, V3, etc). While nice if known, the numbers themselves are not as important to me ...
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4answers
281 views

Is it possible to increase the capacity of human brain like “Lucy”?

I saw the film "Lucy" in 2015. The film says that humans can use 100% percent of the capacity of their brains. According to my personal ideas, the capacity of the brain will changed based on the ...
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1answer
237 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
40 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 ...
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1answer
54 views

What is the current consensus on if fMRI studies in blood flow actually match brain activity?

How good is blood flow (BOLD signal) as a measure of actual neural activity? What deficiencies exist?
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1answer
169 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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21 views

What is the role of non-synaptic plasticity in learning and memory?

Is non-synaptic plasticity (e.g. changes in the spike threshold) believed to play a large role in learning and memory? If so, which roles are these effects believed to play?
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How can higher concepts get unrolled with upward and feedback connections differing?

In the neocortex, input patterns are compressed hierarchically. Sensory inputs in the lower levels are combined by higher levels to form abstract concepts. However, there are even more feedback ...
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Is there a disorder that causes one to feel heat from an inanimate object? [closed]

We just met a woman that feels heat (literally, hot enough for her to say she was burned) from inanimate objects. She says it is mainly the floors and chairs in her home, and she is unable to walk in ...