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

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9
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2answers
90 views

How is tone volume encoded?

I am wondering whether increasing the volume would result in (a) a neuron that was already firing to now increase its spike rate, (b) a different group of neurons to add their activity to the ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Why do some people stutter only when they are nervous?

Background: I don't stutter at least not always. For example, if I be reading out a article to myself, It is sure that I will not stutter even that I am reading it out loud. The times when I do ...
3
votes
0answers
17 views

Is movement/activity level related to serotonin availability or reuptake rates in the brain?

I'm aware of this research article that explores the relationship between motion and serotonin systems: 5-HT and motor control: a hypothesis. Based on the article above, it seems to me that a "very ...
2
votes
1answer
60 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
61 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
151 views

What is the neurobiological basis of the “inner voice” used for thought or reading?

I've recently experienced a number of hypnogogic near sleep states characterized by change in thinking (stage 1-2 sleep). I noticed that if I let go and get absorbed in the state, I can follow it. I ...
25
votes
3answers
16k views

Why would the brain flip the images perceived by your eyes?

The following is a common scientific statement, which you don't have to google long for to find: The eye views images upside-down in the manner of a camera lens, but our brains reinterpret this ...
5
votes
1answer
104 views

Do widespread brain toxins explain violence rates?

Saw this: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/01/lead-crime-link-gasoline Lead emissions from tailpipes rose steadily from the early '40s through the early '70s, nearly quadrupling over ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

What's the difference between executive functions and cognitive control?

I suspect that the difference between these terms may vary from researcher to researcher, since the wikipedia page treats them as synonymous. What's the difference between executive functioning and ...
2
votes
1answer
74 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?
6
votes
0answers
57 views

Are the center surround receptive fields learnt or inherited?

I know that neurons higher in visual pathways can learn their receptive fields after birth, but what about the connections between bipolar cells and Amacarine cells which form center/surround on/off ...
6
votes
1answer
81 views

Why does anger “clouds the mind”?

There are a lot of anecdotes on frustration and anger inhibiting judgement and problem solving. Examples include "anger clouds the mind" in pop culture or in programming - "if you're stuck on a ...
3
votes
0answers
54 views

Can positive self-affirmation improve mood?

Most people get "depressed" every now and then - nothing serious, but people sometimes feel down. I am wondering if positive self-affirmation can make you happier by physically increasing the ...
5
votes
1answer
251 views

How are qualia localized in consciousness?

I understand that evolution incorporated arbitrary qualia into the default network to inform consciousness (the largest cranial global processing information subnetwork) about properties and qualities ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Difference in frequencies of mistakes between use of left-right vs. up-down

I have no hard data, but from my personal experience in people specifying right or left directions (similarly east or west) and up or down (north or south, top or bottom), people frequently make ...
3
votes
1answer
39 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
68 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
792 views

What do the super-large brains of whales and elephants map to?

Elephants and whales have brains that are much larger than those of humans. It is presumed that much of their brain is used up for their larger bodies (after all, there is a allometric scaling between ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

Psychological problem with glasses and hats on head? [closed]

I knew a kid who, when they was little, they would have attacks when a relative removed their glasses. She would sometimes do it on purpose in front of them and they would have emotional outbursts ...
6
votes
1answer
68 views

Visual acuity and offset stimuli

I'm currently setting up and experiment that utilises a visual search task that contains a circular array of target letters and a distractor that falls outside the circle. Obviously the further away ...
3
votes
0answers
53 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 :)
6
votes
2answers
93 views

Is there a difference between hearing and decoding the sound?

I presume that deafness is the inability of hearing any sounds. And I presume that it's also possible to be less able to decode (and translate to a meaningful message) what others speak [happens a lot ...
7
votes
2answers
239 views

How do SSRIs work?

I've found a reasonable explanation on Wikipedia... SSRIs are believed to increase the extracellular level of the neurotransmitter serotonin by inhibiting its reuptake into the presynaptic cell, ...
2
votes
1answer
36 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
28 views

How does de-myelination occur in multiple sclerosis? [closed]

From what I understand, only the oligodendrocytes are affected in multiple sclerosis, and they are attacked by T cells which cross the blood-brain barrier. This leads me to two questions: How is the ...
6
votes
2answers
81 views

Long term effect of using noise generators

Some people use noise generators as http://playnoise.com/ to reduce distraction by background noise. Is there any research on the long term effects of this? Does this affect the neuronal connections ...
3
votes
1answer
92 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
175 views

Colorado Boulder study about brain morphometric measures of Cannabis users methodologically weak?

I'm relating to this study: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/35/4/1505.short The researchers found no differences in subcortical brain structures for daily Cannabis users vs. controls. However the ...
3
votes
2answers
53 views

Are there mental reflexes?

Similar to knee-jerk or withdrawal, are there any innate reflexes in cognition? Are they based on personality, or are there any that are universal?
2
votes
1answer
39 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?
4
votes
0answers
36 views

Why does the unilateral 6-OHDA lesion Parkinson's model cause ipsilateral rotations?

As far as I understand, the loss of dopaminergic neurons should hinder movement in the contralateral side of the body, resulting in contralateral rotations when the animal tries to move forward.
4
votes
2answers
71 views

Activity in a brain region and additional blood requirement: What is the causal relation?

May I know causal dependence of the blood flow in the brain? How it is determined by the brain that particular brain region requires additional blood?
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Smallest neurons [duplicate]

What are the smallest measured neurons ever measured in the animal kingdom? I did some research but couldn't find a definite answer. In us, it's the cerebellar granule cell as far as I know, but I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

Why is the order of brainwaves not labelled “alphabetically”?

The brainwave - frequency breakdown is as follows: Delta wave – (0.1 – 3 Hz) Theta wave – (4 – 7 Hz) Alpha wave – (8 – 15 Hz) Mu wave – (7.5 – 12.5 Hz) SMR wave – (12.5 – 15.5 Hz) Beta wave – (16 – ...
1
vote
0answers
18 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
50 views

How many dendrite connections vs axon terminals does a multipolar cerebral neuron have?

I find countless places that say neurons have tens of thousands of "connections" or "synapses" and one axon. Do neurons have tens of thousands of dendrite connections, and a few axon terminals; or a ...
2
votes
0answers
44 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
13 views

Benefits of using more complicated neuron models in NEF models

The NEF allows you to use almost any neuron model as long as it has an equation for it's activity and it's spikes in some way. Usually, a simple leaky-integrate-fire (LIF) neuron model is used, but ...
3
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
55 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
29 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
87 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Regarding the mind and what it can affect

About the question 'Can the mind mind affect the brain?': Some responses are 'no' because the mind is a physical 'thing' or structure (if I read it correctly). Yet if the Mind is only a physical ...
21
votes
1answer
999 views

Have the abilities of John Lorber's patients with limited cortical mass been further evaluated in adulthood?

Short of minor lesions or infarcts, most high-functioning adults have an intact cerebral cortex. Yet, a surprising result published anecdotally in Science in 1980 caused a lot of scientists to take ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

What are presynaptic puncta?

What are presynaptic puncta? And what makes them different from presynaptic terminals?
7
votes
2answers
472 views

What is the difference between pre-synaptic versus post-synaptic?

I am unclear as to the exact meaning of the terms pre-synaptic and post-synaptic. Specifically, do they refer to the same neuron, either transmitting or receiving, before and after the chemical ...
3
votes
0answers
33 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
80 views

Grid cells : Between what is the correlation of autocorrelogram measured?

In their seminal paper Hafting, Torkel, et al. "Microstructure of a spatial map in the entorhinal cortex." Nature 436.7052 (2005): 801-806.‏ the Mosers have discovered the grid cells. To show the ...
10
votes
1answer
126 views

What is the mechanism behind unihemispheric sleep in animals?

It is known that dolphins have the ability to sleep with only one half of their brain at a time. According to this popular science source: Dolphins sleep by resting one half of their brain at a ...
5
votes
2answers
64 views

Do the colour blind have a distinct visual cortex structure?

Studying the structure of the visual cortex, it seems there are many neural structures specifically dedicated to detecting and interpreting colour. For example, parvocellular cells are particularly ...