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

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2answers
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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. ...
2
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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, ...
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1answer
30 views

What is the storage capacity of the human brain?

Theories have emerged that attempt to quantize the data storage capacity of a neural network. The brain is a very large neural network. So, what is the storage capacity of the brain? (Posted from ...
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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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2answers
113 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
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
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 ...
2
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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
161 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?
2
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1answer
298 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 ...
2
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1answer
299 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
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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2answers
63 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
156 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 ...
2
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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, ...
2
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1answer
115 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
268 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
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
252 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
225 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.
2
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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
166 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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0answers
20 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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0answers
12 views

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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0answers
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Is there a disorder that causes one to feel heat from an inanimate object?

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 ...
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0answers
36 views

Source of sensory data related to cognitive effort

How does the brain assess cognitive effort? Is there a chemical that is being created or consumed at a rate that is proportionate to the amount of effort felt? I'm mostly interested in short term ...
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0answers
34 views

Neurobiology of addiction recovery [closed]

While addiction is one of the most studied topics in neurobiology, I don't see very much info on recovery. The information I have found is confusing. This one says striatal DAT bindings return to ...
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0answers
33 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
61 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
31 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
48 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
50 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
55 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
153 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 ...
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0answers
344 views

Are end-stage Alzheimer's patients still conscious? [closed]

I asked the same question at Reddit here, but none of the responses were convincing. So here's the thing: to the extent of what we know about consciousness, are end-stage Alzheimer's patients still ...
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1answer
102 views

Quit smoking supported by mental training

Given that mental training/workout releases acetylcholine (something I read in a popular-scientific book and on Wiki, see also below) , and that acetylcholine and nicotine bind to the same receptors. ...
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8answers
5k views

What's the major difference between mind and brain?

I am preparing a presentation on "Mind Reading Computer", and all articles that I came across were focused on reading interpretations from brain through sensors. Articles like this clearly show a ...
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1answer
40 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
105 views

Can Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), or a magnets cap make you smarter?

According to wikipedia, TMS is a bunch of magnetic fields directed to the brain which stimulates and activates neurons. If I wear a cap full of magnets, will it stimulate my neurons? If yes, will a ...
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1answer
71 views

Is there another example of a strongly emergent phenomenon besides the mind?

If you agree that the mind arises from the brain and is an emergent property of it, then the mind has to be strongly emergent, rather than weakly emergent. Is there any other example in reality of a ...
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1answer
543 views

Studies linking brain chemistry to sexual infidelity

This study Oxytocin Modulates Social Distance between Males and Females examines the effects of Oxytocin (OXT) on men in monogamous relationships. It demonstrates that OXT assists in maintaining ...
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2answers
94 views

How useful are neural circuits in psychology?

We can identify many kinds of patterns of how neurons connect such as lateral inhibition, negative/positive feedback, convergence, divergence, and facilitation. But have any of these circuits been ...
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1answer
37 views

What are the neurobiological factors associated with intelligence in animals?

For example, is there a well-defined relationship between "number of neurons in the cortex" and some measure of "intelligence" in animals? I'm familiar with the encephalization quotient - that is, ...
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1answer
45 views

Is the amount of learning modulated by reward transmitters?

The human brain is a signal processing system. Input streams contain sensory, motor, reward and possibly more signals mixed. I wonder if neuro transmitters associated with reward increase or decrease ...
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1answer
33 views

What is input resistance and how to interpret its values?

For example, this site gives a distribution of values of the input resistance of various cells. The values are in MOhms. The definition says that "input resistance measured at steady-state voltage ...
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1answer
129 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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1answer
91 views

Brain after (electrical) blackout

I was wondering what happens if we lose all electrical impulses in our nervous system for a minimum amount of time. So first of all it is obvious that we will break together, as we are dead while we ...