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10

I don't know what precisely "nerve signals" is supposed to refer to, but neurons exchange information mainly via one pathway: neurotransmitters. And these do not travel the synaptic cleft via quantum tunnelling - obviously, since quantum tunnelling is a phenomenon on a quantum scale (concerning electrons), while neurotransmitters are far larger, at the ...


9

I think Keegan provides a great set of references, but I just wanted to expand on his answer in a little bit more detail. Penrose and Hameroff's ideas are mentioned a lot on the internet and although they are often debunked, you can never do it enough. I want to discuss (1) what microtubules are and (2) are there quantum effects in them? And, more ...


8

As a neuroscientist, I would be highly doubtful of any neuroscientific 'evidence' about this phenomenon (if it exists). In fact, I think there is no reason to look further than the mere exposure effect: The mere-exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with ...


7

Well for one, the first neurons to decode this symbol are orientation neurons, in V1 of the primary visual cortex. So some neurons have enhanced firing for say a 45 degree angle, and neighboring neurons for a 46 degree angle, and so on. Higher up the processing stream groups of neurons respond to shapes, that are a conglomerate of the orientation lines. Then ...


7

Like many topics in neuroscience, this is a controversial subject. While dopamine is very popular among the public as a mechanism for pleasure, recent research challenges that view and has started to tease apart pleasure from motivation, finding a distinction in dopamine. John Salamone's opinion: Low levels of dopamine make people and other animals ...


7

Electrodermal activity is an index of sympathetic activation and a skin conductance response can occur in many situations. It is therefore a very general response and can arise as a result of stimulus novelty or “significance” (whether you want to call this an affective response is up to you but it seems very different from common sense notions of what an ...


7

Good question! Apparently your question is on backward masking, which means that the masker follows the stimulus (probe) in time. Backward masking generally occurs at higher levels, typically the cortex. In case of visual stimuli this can be the primary visual cortex, or V1 (Mace et al. 2005). Ongoing processing of the probe is then thought to be ...


7

Short answer Yes, there is a difference between hearing and understanding sound. Background Acoustic information is processed in different neural centers along the auditory pathway. The auditory system runs from the peripheral end organ in the inner ear (the cochlea) to the cortex. Along the way various processing steps are carried out. For ...


7

There is very little controlled, modern research on binaural beats. I could only find one source, referenced below, from the late nineties (although there are a few other, more recent non-experimental "pilot studies"). According to their study, "presentation of beta-frequency binaural beats yielded more correct target detections and fewer false alarms than ...


6

Research exists on craniopagus twins, maybe most notably Tatiana and Krista, who seem to share sensory input somewhat. I doubt that connective mechanisms such as this abnormal case would suffice to permit "compound cognition" in ways that would enhance cognitive ability similarly to your point about hominid evolution. Your relatively simple proposal for a ...


6

Pseudoscience based on false premises and misuse of statistics, I'd say at first glance...but let's take a closer look at this article. First, I'm seeing among the references a lot of articles from journals with "alternative" in their titles, and other sources that strike me as either vaguely fishy or otherwise somewhat tangential. Not what I'd hope to get ...


6

There is a model of neural mechanisms of accumulation and triggering in the domain of perceptual choice called the leaky competing accumulator (Usher and McClelland, 2001) model. It uses decision units that fire when sufficient evidence has accumulated. Ratcliff and McKoon (2008) pointed out that LCA associated with their Diffusion model accurately modeled ...


6

The researchers that developed this task decribe it in DeVito et al. (2009) as follows: Information Sampling Task The IST (Clark et al. 2006) is a measure of ‘reflection– impulsivity’. Subjects were told they would be presented with ten trials in each of two conditions [fixed win (FW), decreasing win (DW)] and that the task would last for 10 ...


6

If non-human animals do have intelligence too, why is their intelligence not as advanced as humans? Notions like “advanced” or “better” really have no place in evolutionary thinking. Again, evolutionary fitness is about self-reproduction and success compared to whatever competition is present at any moment. There is no force “optimizing” species to meet ...


6

A fear of heights on buildings is very common because there are natural vestibular and vertigo responses within certain height ranges. Furthermore, the effect is heightened if you're exposed to the elements out on a balcony as opposed to within the building. Fear of flying is almost always related to the sensations of landing and taking off. If you've ...


6

I can't speak to your first question, but I think the second question could be profitably reframed. The orbitofrontal cortex seems to represent incentive/reward value of primary sensory information and is thus linked to the "hot" decision-making system, which manages decisions where there is a gain/loss of reward at stake or risk--this would necessarily ...


6

The two concepts are analogous and mutually illustrative, but empirically refer to different levels of analysis: behavioral and neural. Habituation Habituation is a form of non-associative learning, specifically, learning that a stimulus is behaviorally unimportant. If I loudly and repeatedly bang on a metal pot immediately behind your head, you will ...


6

Interesting question! I performed a fairly extensive search in Google Scholar and Scopus using various keyword searches, including, but not limited to "color blindness and plasticity", "color blind and brain", "dichromates brain", and "monochromates brain". Strikingly, I found nothing. The reason is aptly explained by Solomon & Rosa, 2014 and I quote ...


5

I think there is a misperception at work in your question. There is a wide variety of objects that we never perceive in such a binary manner: colors, fruit (apples, oranges, plums, ...), weather, and basically every other concrete objects. The only things we perceive in a binary fashion are abstract ideas! Good versus evil. Liberal versus conservative. And ...


5

Thoughts on the paper The paper appears to provide a high level overview of the role of mathematics in cognitive science. I'm not a sufficient expert in the overall field of cognitive science where I'd feel comfortable to truly judge the accuracy of the overall synthesis that Andler (2012) provides. That said, much of the paper is about providing examples ...


5

This is a continuation of Penrose's Quantum Mind. It's not taken seriously by the majority of the neuroscience or quantum community. Here are some references to get you started: Tegmark, M. (2000). Importance of quantum decoherence in brain processes. Physical Review E, 61(4), 4194. Seife, C. (2000). Cold numbers unmake the quantum mind. Science, ...


5

First, biological features do not always arise from some intrinsic benefit. They can also be byproducts of other adaptations, or spandrels. That being said, one example of a possible benefit is specialization. For instance, birds will develop asymmetries in their visual system based on light inputs to their outward-facing eye (one eye faces the eggshell, ...


5

For introductory cognitive neuroscience, I think it is often best to start with interesting neuropsychological cases -- I think such cases provide an intriguing and intuitive way to get into the relationship between mind and brain. You already plan to talk about HM (and you can mention the movie Memento if you think students might be familiar or interested ...


5

The article Autonomic nervous system activity in emotion: A review seems to answer your question. You will find in Table 2 the average electrodermal effect (unweighted) found in 134 studies for different emotions. I see in the Skin Conductance Response (SCR) row that all the 11 emotions under study produced an increase in activation from baseline, except ...


5

Let's first be clear that we didn't evolve from monkeys/apes/etc. That's a common misconception. Evolution states that we and monkeys/apes/etc. evolved from a common ancestor. Same with fish. If you go back far enough, we and fish share a common ancestor... we did not, however, evolve from today's Salmon or Macaque. That being said, the origin of ...


5

The fovea (highest-resolution area of the retina) can only "see" the central two degrees of the visual field; the field of foveal vision is approximately circular, although it varies slightly by individual. This depends on the distance from the eye or sensor. This is called "visual angle" or "angular size", and it can be calculated using the formula ...


5

In the human brain, information is not stored like cars in a parking lot, with no relation between them, where you can drive away with one car without touching any of the others, but as knots in a network. Thus, a name is stored with connections reaching out to everything that you felt was connected to that name: the tasty italian cookies you ate while you ...


5

I'm using your example, because another example would lead to a different interpretation. Using your example is not meant to help you, just to illustrate my answer. The normal situation is to forget things. There are people who dispute this, believing that you store any and all information you ever encountered (after all, what would the famous 90% unused ...



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