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

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337 views

Why do nerve cells convert electric signals to chemical signals?

One would assume that a faster response time in the nervous system would be beneficial. However, nerve cells have to convert electrical impulses to chemical signals and cross a synapse. Why didn't ...
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167 views

How does the brain recall information?

In computers, finding a single word is realized through serial attempts across all available connections to find a specified target. How does the brain solve this? How does the whole process, from ...
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170 views

Is there a difference between visual sensation and imagination in the brain?

How substantial is the difference between the neural signal associated with seeing an image and the imagination of that image? Surely, it can not entirely copy the pathway from the sensory organs to ...
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289 views

At what point during an action potential are the sodium potassium pumps working?

I'm trying to understand how all of the potentials during an action potential are created. My question specifically is about the sodium potassium pumps, however I would also be grateful if someone ...
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73 views

What stimulates a nociceptor?

For instance, when pressure is applied to the skin, what determines how much pressure results in nociceptor stimulation. And when a sharp object pierces the skin, why is pain, rather than simply touch,...
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130 views

How are neural networks encoded in the DNA? [closed]

The central nervous systems as well as the brain->muscles and sensory cells->brain nervous pathways, need to be precisely wired for life to be possible. Moreover they are wired almost exactly the same ...
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13 views

How do mindfulness meditation and lucid dreaming relate?

It has occurred to me that mindfulness meditation and lucid dreaming are probably closely related. I'd like to know how brain activation patterns and other biological parameters compare between the ...
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74 views

What neurons make up the CNS?

I generally see it written that there are three types of neurons, classified by projection: (1) sensory neurons, (2) interneurons, and (3) motor neurons. Now, in the CNS, I don’t think there would be ...
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59 views

Is this “Sympathetic fight response” axis accurate?

Peripheral sensory cell > Preganglionic cell > Dorsal root ganglia cell in the ''Sympathetic chain'' > Ventral root ganglia cell in the ''sympathetic chain'' > Post-ganglionic cell that activates an ...
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326 views

Why do we like music?

Music is, of course, just a sequence of sounds. Sounds are vibrations in the air, which our ears detect. So why do we find certain sequences of sounds to be appealing? What makes us want to hear these ...
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27 views

Is there any evidence to suggest that exercise reduces the side effects of caffeine?

I heard a friend say: I'm not drinking coffee this week. My body can only process the caffeine if I run at least 15km a week. I found this claim fascinating - that exercise temporarily ...
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23 views

Does music enhance neural activity/cognitive or cerebral function, or is it just mania? [closed]

I always find myself drew upon curiosity whilst studying, to whether certain types of music are or are not, effecting me in a sense of cognitive ability. Take a fantastic piece such as, Mozart's, ...
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170 views

What is the speed of neurotransmitter release and receptor binding in a neuronal synapse?

Obviously neural signals travel at extremely high speeds, but I'm wondering how much that speed is affected by the release and binding time of neurotransmitters. If my sources are correct, a well ...
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121 views

Dendrodendritic synapse through axodendritic synapse at same dendrite?

Reading Wikipedia's article of dendrodendritic synapse, I find that: Dendrodendritic synapses are activated in a similar fashion to axodendritic synapses in respects to using a chemical synapse. ...
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109 views

Are antihistamines considered to be psychoactive substances?

I have heard many times that the widely used antihistamines are not considered to be psychoactive drugs. Yet their impact on ones cognitive functions can be substantial. According to some sources, ...
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31 views

Textbook on molecular basis of memory

Looking at the rules in the meta, it seems book-recs are a little on the iffy side for on-topic so I hope this is okay. I am looking for a (graduate-level) textbook that has a thorough treatment of ...
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111 views

How does the brain manifest and realize the intention to resist sleep?

The question title says it all. What happens in my brain when I resist sleep? I would appreciate explanations on neurotransmitter changes, what areas of the brain activate to resist sleep, what can an ...
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70 views

How does the flow of ions along voltage-gated channels lead to nerve conduction along axons?

Let's say the axon lies along the x axis, and voltage-gated sodium channels lie parallel to the y axis. When a channel is opened, sodium ions will flow along the y direction into the cellular fluid. ...
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62 views

Nernst equation?

I keep seeing the Nernst equation in two different forms, one using the natural log and the other using log base 10. Could someone explain why there are two different versions, and which should be ...
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104 views

Why doesn't the ambient lighting condition change the perception of colors we see on a monitor?

Suppose that I take a picture of an object illuminated by an incandescent light bulb and I choose the daylight white balance setting. The picture I then get will display a white object as looking ...
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108 views

Do individual neurons communicate with the origin of thoughts?

When mapping the different neural pathways in the brain, often pictures such as these are drawn: Or similar versions. Clearly these sketches draw the neural pathways as being a two-sided connection,...
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83 views

All-trans-retinal being converted back to 11-cis-retinal or vitamin A

There are two pathways all-trans-retinal can take after detaching from the scotopsin: (1) it can convert back to 11-cis-retinal, or (2) it can convert to all-trans-retinol (form of vitamin A), which ...
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19 views

Limits of brain neuronal spatial mapping

It is being claimed that brain maps the world space in (roughly) 1-to-1 correspondance of a place to a neuron (link1, link2). My question is: as the mapping happens in 1-to-1 manner, then is it ...
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45 views

What are known methods of non-surgically disabling neural tracts/pathways (esp. Corpus Callosum)?

I think I've read something about usage of TTX and optogenetics, but I cannot find the papers for either anymore. Any reference would be much appreciated, especially those concerning mice and the ...
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237 views

How do neurons inverse an action potential?

See the following figure (source): The pathway on the right (SN $\rightarrow$ interneuron $\rightarrow$ F Neuron $ \rightarrow $ flexor muscle), is explained as follows: The action potential in ...
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37 views

Distribution of synaptic connections

What is the roughly the distribution of the various synaptic connections in the brain. Consider the following types: axoaxonic synapse between the axon of one neuron and the axon of another neuron....
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175 views

Differences between synaptic connections

Consider the following synaptic connections (from here): axodendritic - A term pertaining to an excitatory or inhibitory synaptic connection between the presynaptic axon of a transmitting neuron ...
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37 views

My eyes were accidentally exposed to high infrared radiation and they hurt, why? [closed]

My eyes were exposed to high amounts of infrared radiation. They hurt - why?
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52 views

Why to use transgenic mice in ALS models?

In ALS mice model with mutant SOD1 - there are use of transgenic mice, with insert of human mutant SOD1. Why is that? Why not to mutate directly mice SOD1 ? In transgenic mice, after few generations ...
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51 views

How the brain is affected by Alzheimer's disease

What exactly happens to the neurones in the brain? why can't they be repaired/restored? Why is it that there are so called 'good days'? What happens to the brain on such days?
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69 views

Is there a lower temperature limit, below which we cannot sense a difference in temperature?

At work I have to handle samples stored at -20 and -70 degrees Celsius, and they don't feel that different to me.
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97 views

What is the role of the tissue surrounding neurons in decision making and taking control of impulses?

How does the fatty tissue surrounding neurons supports and enhances the speed of electrical impulses? How does it stabilize connections that take control of impulses and decision-making? The cells ...
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60 views

Nerve fiber responses to intense stimuli

Can one instantaneous, high-intensity stimulus performed on a nerve fiber generate a series of action potentials? Or are nerve fibers limited to one response action potential, no matter how intense ...
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260 views

How are reflexes suppressed?

What neurophysiological process keeps reflex arcs in check? For example, the withdrawal reflex causes the hand to jerk back when the fingers touch something painfully hot incidentally. However, that ...
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251 views

Depolarization and hyperpolarization in stereocilia of the inner ear

It’s a well mentioned fact that when the stereocilia of the cochlear hair cells bend in one direction, the hair cell depolarizes, and when the stereocilia bend in the other direction, the cell ...
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741 views

Why is the neuronal plasma membrane more permeable to potassium ions than sodium ions?

From what I understand, the greater permeability of the neuronal plasma membrane to K+ ions (which diffuse out) than Na+ ions (which diffuse in) helps to maintain the -60 mV resting membrane potential....
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88 views

Why does ALS start in middle age?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) often starts at middle age, but I didn't find any suggestion why. Something seems to trigger the symptoms in middle age. If I am not mistaken, the sporadic ALS is ...
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24 views

Typical neuronal firing rates across the human cerebral cortex

I would like to find a scientific article (or articles), which would summarize typical neuronal firing rates in different parts of the human cerebral cortex. Any good references on this?
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31 views

Does the number of nodes determines the rate at which a neural signal is transmitted?

I know that the the bigger the neuron's diameter is, the faster the neuron signal is transmitted. This makes sense according to the proportionality of resistance to the inverse of area and thus, in ...
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60 views

Do all different types of neurons serve different roles?

I know from my basic education in neurology that the brain has various sorts of neurons. These are usually bunched into 3 different categories (sensory, moto and interneurons). I read in a recently ...
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232 views

Does antidromic conduction occur in the brain under normal conditions?

So I am reading a book on neuroscience and they mentioned in passing that the action potential is capable of travelling in either direction along the axon (orthodromic vs antidromic), The wikipedia ...
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Do we use 100% of our cerebral capacity?

I saw a movie yesterday called Lucy. In this movie, a girl called Lucy absorbs a large amount of CPH4, and her brain capacity slowly increases. So that brings me to my question which is : Do we ...
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254 views

Are there nerves in the umbilical cord?

I have always imagined that cutting the umbilical cord after birth might be painful. But I have always been confused about who would feel the pain and why. It occurred to me that the mother or the ...
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2answers
57 views

Is there a way to know how many sodium channels are active (conducting) at a given time in the brain?

I was doing some reading about anti-epileptic sodium channel blockers, then wondered how many sodium channels are actually conducting (actively passing ions) at any given time, that is, in an "average,...
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366 views

How does a neuron change as you learn?

I am currently taking a course called "Introduction to Machine Learning with ENCOG 3", and I have a question about how well the Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm for a "neural network" ...
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90 views

How does an increased amplitude affect nerve conduction velocity?

My professor said that increasing the amplitude (the amount of depolarization e.g. depolarizing from -80 mV instead of -50 mV) leads to a greater conduction velocity.
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42 views

Are there emotions that motivate pattern completion? If so, where in the brain are they located?

I have been studying musical "tension." Musical tension essentially refers to the "expectations" one builds up in a melody that are then "released" when a stimulus matching the expectation occurs. For ...
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16 views

Why is dopamine considered both an excitatory and Inhibitory neurotransmitter? [duplicate]

To me it seems the one allows flow and the other prevents flow. How does dopamine do both?
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345 views

What were the symptoms of Phineas Gage after suffering his brain injury?

Phineas Gage was a construction worker who suffered a head injury due to an explosion at a construction site. A metal rod was pushed up his cheek and through his head. I have heard he demonstrated ...
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104 views

How do neurons receive the ions needed for creating electrical pulses?

I really wonder how ions are transported into the brain and the neurons for creating electrical potentials - how do ions get from our digestive system to the neurons? Or are the ions just freely ...