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12

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 ...


12

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 ...


11

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 ...


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 ...


8

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 ...


8

Short answer Singing increases the duration of voiced intervals in stutterers. Background Singing is an example of one of the most effective methods to decrease stuttering* (Stager, 2003). It is a so-called fluency-increasing (FI) condition in stutterers and reduces stuttering by more than 90%. Some of the few, subtle acoustic differences between song and ...


8

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 ...


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

Since I was asked in chat about binaural beats, and have been posed this question a number of times before besides, I looked into the most recent literature using Google Scholar for the single term "binaural beats" and restricted my search to papers published between 2010-2015. For convenience, this is the definition of a binaural beat I will use. When ...


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

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 ...


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

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

I'm not sure how helpful my answer will be, but I get my "news" from scanning journals related to my interests. I look through 1) broad review journals, 2) broad empirical journals and 3) more specific empirical journals. In general, I find that popular media outlets do a poor job of reporting on research in psychology/neuroscience (but hopefully someone ...


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

This is likely related to other illusions of relative size, such as the Ebbinghaus (A) and Delboeuf (B) illusions. These illusions show that perception is not a 1:1 representation of retinal input. Instead it is a mental (re-)construction. As reviewed by Mrucek et al: an object's size is not inherently represented in the size of its projected ...


6

Short answer Damage to the inner ear can result in an asymmetric distortion in pitch perception between the two ears. This phenomenon can result in the same tone being perceived as a different pitch by the two ears. Background Damage to the inner ear (the cochlea) can lead to hearing loss. Hearing loss can sometimes lead to changes in perceived pitch. For ...


6

The learning rule you describe (i.e. the change of synaptic weights from source neuron to target neuron depending on the temporal difference between source and target activity) is often referred to as 'classical' or 'standard' STDP (spike-timing dependent plasticity) and is focused on connections between excitatory cells. However, this simple form of ...


6

Most of the 'true' hallucinogens are classified as 5HT2A agonists. 5HT2A is a postsynaptic serotonin receptor. Serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on the other hand act by increasing serotonin (5HT) levels in the brain, which in turn activates presynaptic 5HT1A receptors. Due to a continuous stimulation of these 5HT1A receptors they become ...


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 ...


6

This answer supports the comment by Krysta that we are simply used to the mirrors we have and could just as easily learn to use a "true mirror". In 1950, Theodor Erismann and Ivo Kohler performed a famous self-experiment in Innsbruck, Austria. Kohler wore a pair of glasses that turned his view of the world upside down continually for 124 days (sic). After ...


6

It is well documented that people are able to selectively attend to different speakers. The ability to tune-in to a particular speaker and filter out others was dubbed the cocktail party effect, since it is the kind of skill that is required in when trying to have a conversation with another person in a crowded party. A common way of studying this ...



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