The study of the structure and function of the nervous system and its components.

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Are all action potentials the same shape and amplitude when graphed with respect to time?

The most common visualization of an action potential is a graph of the difference in membrane potential (y axis) at a particular time (x axis). According to my textbook Cognitive Psychology by E. ...
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1answer
65 views

How does a microelectrode work?

On Wikipedia, the entire microelectrode page states only the following: A microelectrode is an electrode of very small size, used in electrophysiology for either recording of neural signals or ...
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92 views

How precisely can we sense temperature differences?

We have thermoreceptors, thus we can sense temperature (both warm and cold). I'm interested in the sensitivity of our thermoreceptors - What is the smallest temperature difference that we can sense? ...
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140 views

Is it possible for a human to wake up in a wrong way?

There's an old folk saying that goes like "He got out of bed on a wrong foot" - to indicate that the person's day is going poorly because of the way that person woke up. Is it is possible for a human ...
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1answer
39 views

Safe parameters for external nerve stimulation using electrical impulses

Introduction I've recently stumbled upon David Eagleman's TED talk on the concept of sensory substitution and addition. Being the most inspiring thing I've seen on the internet for the last few ...
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40 views

Behavioral change in dolphins during different hemispheres activity periods?

It is known that dolphins never sleep in the sense that we do, instead they have one hemisphere of the brain sleeping while the other one is awake. I wonder, do they show observable changes in ...
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1answer
82 views

How pain can stimulate the vagus nerve

I'm trying to find out why a prompt, severe, short pain is causing a stimulation of the vagus nerve. What could the physiological explanation be? Is that because the pain is triggering the ...
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4answers
899 views

Is there any way a human could whistle and be unable to speak?

Is there any situation anatomically, where a human could understand the speech of others perfectly, without any capabilities of speech themselves, but would retain the ability to whistle with a tune? ...
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1answer
69 views

Why are skin tactile receptors considered to be phasic receptors?

A phasic receptor by definition is one that quickly adapts to change. In terms of neuron firing, this means that it does not trigger another firing because the receptors are used to the stimulus. But ...
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126 views

Is there a biological neuron that spikes in response to hyperpolarizing currents?

As some background I've been building Electrophysiological models of neurons, and in the process stumbled upon a model, that in all respects is biologically plausible, but has a bizarre property I ...
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26 views

Immediate Early Genes during sleep

In Neuroscience 3rd ed by Bear et al. on page 607, immediate early genes are described as related to changing synaptic strength, yet have decreased expression during sleep. The explanation given is ...
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1answer
110 views

What is the mechanism behind tinnitus?

I seem to have come across two contrasting explanations for tinnitus induced by loud noises- i.e. damage to the hair cells in the cochlea. On the one hand, I have read that damage to the hair cells ...
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1answer
103 views

What are the total number of action potentials in the human brain?

Is there an approximate figure of the total number of action potentials in the human brain? It's my understanding that there are ~ 60 billion neurons in the brain with ~ 100 trillion connections ...
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60 views

How we share pain?

When somebody else tells me about his or her itching or pain in some specific body part I sometimes begin to feel similar feelings. I can think of about three explanations: I feel pain all over my ...
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1answer
71 views

How can TMS induce enough depolarization to cause an action potential?

Creating an action potential needs at least tens of mV potential difference across the membrane to occur. But the membrane is really thin, surely less then 0.01µm (some reference give 25A). Then the ...
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1answer
64 views

What (open) software there are for simulating behaviour of human (cortical) neurons?

Is there any reliable open-source software for simulating the behaviour of human cortical neurons? I am looking for serious software, so let's assume I have access to a computer with more than 10,000 ...
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2answers
51 views

Immediate stroke/seizure Therapy

Can an oncoming stroke/seizure, be stopped by a setup consisting of a brain-computer-interface (BCI) that immediately detects the variation in wave-form, and then another machine that neutralizes the ...
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1answer
101 views

Is it possible to process electrical signals from the brain and interpret the results as exact thoughts?

If the brain uses extremely low voltage signals to communicate (from what I understand around 100 mV), what sort of breakthroughs would be necessary to intercept these signals and interpret them as ...
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0answers
82 views

Is the six-layer cortex model of the mammalian cortex still the most accepted model?

I've been reading a bit about the different layers of the cerebral cortex and its clear that certainly not every region of the cortex has the same number of layers. Thus, the idea that every region ...
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1answer
33 views

What is an auditory upward sweep?

I was reading an article in nature communications, when I came across this sentence: "The ‘match’ rule was indicated by either a blue circle or a auditory upward sweep".So I tried googling what was an ...
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3answers
294 views

Can the human brain be reduced to a binary system?

Does the brain really function like a computer as in, ultimately every response is related to a binary sequence based on whether particular neurons fire or not?
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1answer
589 views

Are sensory receptors neurons?

Background There are many receptor types in the body, with various functions and various mechanisms of transduction. Receptor cells are considered to be part of the peripheral nervous system, as they ...
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2answers
171 views

How can action potentials be generated through thoughts?

I think I understand how a signal is transferred from neuron to neuron (from How do the brain and nerves create electrical pulses?). My question, however, is not about the standard textbook material ...
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1answer
213 views

Relationship between nerves and axons

I just wanted to get a realistic viewpoint of our nervous system. I understand arteries and veins, but I wanted to know how similar our nervous system is to that? I understand we have neurons ...
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119 views

Why did the Brain develop in the front in most organisms?

I was wondering: why most, well, pretty much all organism with a brain have it right in front of their bodies or at the top.
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1answer
155 views

Is brain transplantation possible?

Many organs can be transplanted nowadays, including the liver, lungs and kidneys. Can the brain be transplanted?
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28 views

Is it a medical condition to not able to recall the word in a language while having a conversation [closed]

While having a conversation it happens to some peopl that clearly they know there exists a perfect word to be used but can not recall it during the conversation in real time and hence forced to use ...
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1answer
135 views

Can people with paralyzed eye muscles see?

As far as I am aware, the saccades of the eye are central to visual perception. If the eye is held still, the human stops seeing, even if light is reaching the retina and the visual pathway is intact. ...
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54 views

What were the first neural systems like?

I'm curious about the origin of the neural network. I'm thinking perhaps once life evolved beyond the single cell organism, it needed a simple neural network to coordinate those cells, and cell ...
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2answers
109 views

Parallels between pixelized image and the human retina

On Wikipedia it is explained that the human eye has a certain 'resolution'. Does this mean that the retinal image consists of pixels? If yes, what shape would these pixels have?
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24 views

Why after physical activity I see flickering concentric circles? [duplicate]

After prolonged hard physical exercise such as running uphill I sometimes experience rapidly vibrating black-and-white concentric circles for a few minutes, looking like a sinusoidal zone plate, small ...
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1answer
67 views

What happens when someone is stung by a jellyfish?

What happens in the human body when someone is stung by a jellyfish; namely a box jelly. Judging by what I have heard about the stings I'm guessing that they involve a neurotoxin. But what is ...
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15 views

Retinal eccentricity to colour sensitivity [duplicate]

Colour perception goes out to 50 degrees but is the sensitivity to RGB. Question is it the same in the four quadrants of the retinal field? That is if the red colour sensitivity eg is 30 temporal ...
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2answers
129 views

What triggers programmed cell death in humans (from outside the cell)?

What triggers programmed cell death in humans? Is it decided by the brain (for the entire body)? Or is it a local decision of a cell by its environment? Something else? I realize that there might be ...
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1answer
127 views

What's the worst that can happen from too much sleep deprivation? Can you die?

It is well known that sleep deprivation causes considerable discomfort in humans (and has even used as a form of torture), but nevertheless there have been people who went through protracted sleep ...
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1answer
63 views

Are there any known health benefits / risks from milliampere current (0.1-2 mA) on forehead?

This is about devices like that sold by foc.us that allows user to apply a small current on a specific part of the forehead. For the sake of this question I use the foc.us "gamer" model as example. ...
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148 views

Advantage of opponent color?

Opponent process is a color theory that states that the human visual system interprets information about color by processing signals from cones and rods in an antagonistic manner (source). What is ...
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2answers
266 views

Action potential changes in low sodium concentrations but constant osmotic pressure

If I bathe a squid axon in a fluid that has high sodium concentration , why does the duration of action potential decrease compared to a control experiment in low sodium bath but maintained at the ...
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1answer
233 views

Single long axon vs serial neurons

Based on the comments in this post and also this chat. For discussions and speculations please comment in the chat. The basic question is what is the advantage of having a single long axon such as ...
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1answer
54 views

Satisfication with irrelevant things [closed]

I am not sure if this question is better suited CogSci.SE so please tell me. My question is why are we satisfied when we get things that aren't useful in any important way? For example, relating to ...
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Do snakes get dizzy?

I've seen snakes get captured in sacks and I've wondered if the snake would get dizzy if the sack were twirled around. I have not done any tests (and don't plan to) because snakes scare me.
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577 views

Why does anxiety cause diarrhea or constipation?

Anxiety sometimes cause diarrhea, sometimes constipation, and sometimes both. It's interesting because it seems their underlying neurophysiology is somehow different. What are underlying physiological ...
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2answers
2k views

Can brain cells move?

I was discussing this with my brother. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that they can move. Thanks EDIT: By movement I mean long distance migration (preferably within the brain only).
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Hydrophobia Outside of Rabies?

RELATED: Why does rabies cause hydrophobia? Agony, Hydrophobia and viruses in the light of evolutionary principles Has hydrophobia been found outside of rabies? I have only seen it ...
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1answer
316 views

What percent of the population has some form of synesthesia?

Data I am trying to get my hands on: What types of synesthesia (e.g. Grapheme-color synesthesia, Chromesthesia, etc.) are most common across the population? What percent of population has that ...
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1answer
45 views

Neuron Growth and Regeneration

Are nerves and/or neurons able to grow and repair after damage, but not regenerate? Is this specific to humans? I have heard of people being paralyzed, but after much therapy are able to use their ...
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1answer
90 views

Effect of closed eyes on balance?

Suppose you want to stand on one leg. Doing it eyes open is not that difficult, but doing it eyes closed seems to be difficult. Why?
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1answer
119 views

Can rapid eye blinking induce epileptic seizures?

Photosensitive epilepsies are characterized by visually-induced seizures. Flashing-light stimuli are known to induce seizures in some (but not all) patients. My question is whether people with this ...
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3answers
91 views

If my brain lost all of its activity for a moment, would my memory be gone too?

I can't remember which question it was, but in the past here, it was explained to me that memory is actively stored in the brain, rather than "physically". Meaning, memories are made up of the brain's ...
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2answers
176 views

Can the human eye distinguish colors in the periphery?

In the back of my mind I have the idea that human eyes can't notice the color of objects in the far periphery, and that any subjective perception of colors is done by the brain that tries to fill in ...