Tagged Questions

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

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10 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. Background Humans tend to desire meaning in their ...
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7 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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0answers
36 views

Is there a report of a successfully EEG-Based Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) using image training?

Currently I am involved in constructing an EEG-Based BCI. The goal of the BCI is to control which light in a series of lightbulbs lights up. The plan is to use different images (i.e. a flower versus ...
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18 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, but ...
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18 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 ...
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1answer
24 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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0answers
21 views

What ways can STEM teaching change in USA to accommodate social needs of females?

Brizendine seems to point to the female brain as a handicap for STEM education due to the typical female's need for communication and sociability because of their estrogen needs eschew solitary ...
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1answer
43 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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15 views

Perforated patches: Can antibiotics used to induce holes in membrane produce perforations of differential size?

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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25 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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1answer
27 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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8 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
36 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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24 views

Do all humans have some amount of prions?

I understand that some humans can have prions that develop into neural diseases, but do all of us have at least some amount of prions in our bodies, and more specifically our brains?
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1answer
65 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 ...
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2answers
69 views

What background is required to understand the book “Principles of Neural Science”?

What is the necessary background to read this book and comprehend it? I've taken Calc I-II, Chem 1A and Bio 1A. Is this enough?
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1answer
56 views

Evolutionary motivation for the existence of pleasure

Firstly, I'd like to understand, what exactly is pleasure? If we presume we are streams of thoughts, thoughts being neurons activated in some pattern, and that basically anything what the conscience ...
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2answers
101 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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2answers
143 views

Why does a neuron choose to connect to another?

I have been reading about neuron creation, guidance cues and all sorts of highly complex mechanisms used to allow one neuron axon to extend or connect - but to what end? Why does one neuron end up ...
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0answers
46 views

Neuropharmacology and Simulation

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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2answers
184 views

Why is MATLAB so common in Neuroscience?

It is common knowledge that neuroscience -- particularly experimental neuroscience -- uses MATLAB more than any other programming language. I have always just taken this as a given, and pointed to ...
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1answer
34 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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2answers
50 views

Are there any serious neuroscientific theories of emotional valence?

Could anyone tell me if there are any serious neuroscientific mechanisms that have been proposed to explain how feelings of body states take on a positive or negative character (valence)? An example ...
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1answer
41 views

Number of presynaptic inputs per cell in primary visual cortex

I have been digging in the literature lately, but I haven't found a nice answer with clear cut numbers (avg +- std) to this question: How many presynaptic inputs receives a pyramidal cell in primary ...
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35 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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2answers
74 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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1answer
46 views

How actively does your brain physically prune connections?

Is pruning defined as neural apoptosis or are connections (neural synapses) simply separated? At what rate, if known, does this occur in individuals (ages 18+)?
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2answers
67 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, ...
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0answers
54 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 ...
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1answer
91 views

How many synapses in the average human brain?

Knowing there are 100,000,000,000 neurons in an average human brain, and 7,000 dendrites in each neuron, and neurons are connected to each other by dendrites and axon terminals, how many synapses are ...
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1answer
48 views

What was the quantified brain volume of Albert Einstein?

I have read articles stating that Albert Einstein had an average brain volume but couldn't find a specific measurement. I'm curious because the articles are all so ambiguous. He could have been on the ...
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2answers
28 views

Are there any programmes to identify modular “NeuroBricks”?

In synthetic biology, an organization called the BioBricks Foundation tries to identify modular biological components that are amenable to engineering design, and publishes them in the Registry of ...
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0answers
20 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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1answer
28 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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5answers
313 views

Why do scientists say brains are faster than computers?

Supposing that neurons function similarly to transistors: A neuron able to fire $200$ times per second and transistors can be switched on and off more than $100,000,000,000$ times per second. Let's ...
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1answer
46 views

Prerequisite Request: Neurorobotics [closed]

For the newly emerging field, Neurorobotics. Can one list several highly recommended prerequisite courses prior to entering this field ? Except for classical machine learning, computational ...
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0answers
49 views

Trying to understand equations in Karl Friston article

I am trying to understand a neuroscience article by Karl Friston. In it he gives three equations that are, as I understand him, equivalent or inter-convertible and refer to both physical and Shannon ...
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1answer
160 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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2answers
77 views

Why is it hard to simulate a neuron?

I read a NY Times article about the European effort to simulate a human brain and the criticism regarding the (non-)feasibility of such an endeavor (not to mention the astronomical costs). In this ...
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2answers
72 views

Difference between brain disease and brain disorder

Is there any difference between the terms brain disease and brain disorder? They are often used in combination without ...
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1answer
84 views

Importance of Neural Synchrony to Cognition

Is there a consensus on whether computation using Neural Synchrony is reasonable or not? In "How to Build a Brain", Chris Eliasmisth cites Yuko Munakata and R. C. O'Reilly as saying that "the ...
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1answer
74 views

How does an understanding of the brain explain why people experience strong emotional responses to major sporting events?

Anyone know studies or theories that explain how massive competition events between countries or parties, like the Soccer World Cup Tournament finals or Olympic Games affect our brains? Why do people ...
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1answer
111 views

Can the neuronal firing rate be increased through medication/diet?

My rudimentary understanding of the neuronal firing rate is that it varies person to person, and neuron to neuron. So any specific number for a firing rate would be specific to the test subject and ...
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1answer
50 views

If one is flexing a muscle, for any given motoneuron involved, how many action potentials occur per second to keep the muscle flexed?

Also, will the axon terminals in a given motoneuron ever run out of neurotransmitters to release if they are constantly undergoing action potentials (say in the situation outlined above where a muscle ...
3
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1answer
49 views

How is averaging used in calculating the Bereitschaftspotential?

I have a question about the averaging involved in the Bereitschaftspotential. On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bereitschaftspotential you can read that, because it is so small, the ...
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2answers
110 views

Is learning and memory formation mostly comprised of new synapses forming, or already-existent synapses strengthening?

I'm guessing it may be some combination of the two. If so, which is the more frequent situation? I'm also guessing it varies depending on the type of memory being formed. Let's take for instance, my ...
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1answer
54 views

Law and its formula that says: more time organism working the slower (or less precise) the movements

What is the name of the law and the equation that says that "the more time an organism is working the slower (or less precise) its movements." ? I read once that there is a law in behavioral science ...
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2answers
60 views

Are axon terminals always part of a synapse, or are there any that just release neurotransmitters into the ether during an action potential?

By "ether" I mean to no post-synaptic cell in particular. If this is the case, how common is it for an axon terminal to not be part of a synapse? Related question: do axon terminals form only as ...
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2answers
105 views

Why do we have so many wishes and desires?

Two years ago I started to learn (as self-education) evolution theory and neurobiology for to understand - who we are and where we came from? Now I see clearly that we are our brains, which are the ...
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2answers
109 views

Where do our memories get stored and how are they retrieved again?

There is a common knowledge that several brain areas are involved in memory processes and each area is involved in a different aspect of memory. But where do our memories get stored and how are they ...