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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

2
votes
0answers
10 views

Why is the order of white/grey matter different in the brain and spinal cord?

In the brain proper, grey matter forms the outer layer of the brain, and white matter forms the inner layer. In the spine, this is reversed: white matter forms the outer layer of the spine, and grey ...
9
votes
3answers
713 views

In what ways can neurons fire randomly?

When developing a model of a biologically-plausible neural network, it is important to know all the circumstances under which neurons can fire. But, I am limiting this question to random firing. In ...
3
votes
0answers
13 views

Classical conditioning paradigm for hippocampal learning

I wanted to know what a suitable classical conditioning experiment would be to analyze learning and memory capabilities in rodent models with respect to hippocampal long-term potentiation. For ...
2
votes
0answers
22 views

Have any drugs been shown to increase the neuroplasticity of adult brains?

I read recently in the book "meet your happy chemicals" that the hormones of puberty are neurochemicals that cause your neurons to connect and myelinate more easily. If this is true have any studies ...
8
votes
1answer
82 views
+50

Comparative functional neuroanatomy: humans & octopodes

Cephalopod brains are toroidal (high surface area to volume ratios!), with the esophagus passing through the, uh, donut hole; octopodes are very intelligent, particularly spatially. Where can I find ...
7
votes
1answer
234 views

Can stress or training influence the perception of time?

I have had this experience that I fell with my bike on an icy street. During the fall time seemed to slow down and I had an apparent age-long time window to stretch my hand and safely catch my fall. ...
9
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
213 views

What explains variability in the mean firing rate across biological neurons?

Biological neurons have a trade-off between high information transfer (high firing rate) and energy conservation (low firing rate). One would suspect that the maximization of this function has a ...
7
votes
1answer
57 views

Does an action potential abolish an excitatory postsynaptic potential?

From some sources, I've read that excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) decay over time, which would imply that they aren't abolished by action potentials. However, other sources seem to indicate ...
2
votes
2answers
57 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
117 views

Why is it easier to fall asleep in the dark?

I'm curious if there is any neurological mechanism that explains why falling asleep is easier in the dark. I recognize that this isn't true universally -- a phobia of darkness might make it easier to ...
3
votes
0answers
13 views

Neurobiology of addiction recovery

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 ...
4
votes
0answers
34 views

How similar are the brains of twins?

I am currently reading undergraduate essays on biological dysfunction and schizophrenia. The students put a lot of weight in the fact that studies of monozygotic twins show only a 50% rate of ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

What is the neurobiological difference between Jungian Judging and Perceiving individual?

Jungian or Myers Briggs type indicator reserves the last letter of a 4 letter archetype to stand for Judging or Perceiving. Part of being a Judging type is punctuality - being on time, keeping ...
11
votes
2answers
134 views

Which are the multisensory brain areas?

What would be an example of a multisensory brain area, where multiple senses (e.g. smell and taste) are combined to decode the corresponding stimuli from more than one sensory organ? I was thinking ...
6
votes
1answer
171 views

Can prolonged neural adaptation lead to HPPD?

The human brain adapts to a constant stimulus of our neural system. For instance, if we ride a train and look out of the window for a long time and the train stops, we have the feeling of slowly ...
11
votes
2answers
554 views

What is the “static” in human vision called?

Sort of like a cheap digital Camera, the human eye has certain feedback that's perceived but doesn't actually exist in the real world; a little layer of Static that's especially noticeable in pitch ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Is the weight of neural inputs in the human brain as central as it is for neurons in an artifical neural network?

As an example of an artificial neural net (ANN), a neural processing unit (NPU) is able to encode previous (learned) information by storing a weighted resistance for each input. Since ANN's are ...
4
votes
0answers
33 views

Is there a psychological/physical reason why sometimes your brain won't switch off when you want to sleep?

What is happening to the brain when you are trying to sleep but can't? I think this is a fairly common phenomena. In a situation when you are tired and ready to sleep, why can't you switch off? It's ...
9
votes
2answers
91 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
107 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
23 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
67 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
63 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
163 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
17k 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
108 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
60 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
77 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
1answer
90 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
59 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
258 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
74 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
46 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
77 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
814 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
24 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
71 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
59 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
97 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
249 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
29 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
84 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
95 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
179 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
59 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
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?
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?