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

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What is the core mechanism behind neuroplasticity?

Specifically I am looking at reopening of the critical period of plasticity. Modern neuroscience has started to unlock the secret of neuroplasticity. A common experimental setup is with mice. They ...
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52 views

Can neurotransmitter depletion cause short-term drug tolerance?

I'm curious to know if neurotransmitter degradation factors into drug tolerance and neural conduction and, if so, to what extent. As I recall from textbooks I read as an undergrad, one mechanism of ...
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164 views

If a dead snake reflexively attacks itself, why does it not always attack itself?

Recently there has been this video going around of a snake that had been decapitated. Its body swung around to the decapitated head and the head attacked the body on "reflex". Now we know that most ...
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249 views

Why do antidepressants have a delayed onset of action?

Why do antidepressants take so long to reach efficacy? I've read of theories about it perhaps being due to the strength of negative feedback via serotonergic and adrenergic autoreceptors during the ...
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64 views

on/off behavior of neural networks

What causes a group of disembodied neurons in a dish to fire after a silence? If there are no neurons providing a stimulus for more firing (as in a dish of disembodied rat neurons), then why don't ...
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468 views

Why does it hurt more when you touch a nerve directly?

I am not a biologist nor know much about biology (so please explain in layman's terms) however I have always been curious as to why this is. What causes the difference in pain between touching an ...
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64 views

Somatosensory System

I have a test in my upcoming Neuroscience class, one of the items on the study guide is: Identify 2 means by which a maintained, constant stimulus produces only a transient excitation of the ...
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121 views

What evidence gives clues to the physiological basis for conversion disorder?

Conversion disorder has a set of DSM diagnosis criteria, which, among other things, includes ruling out all neurological disease. However, as the media has shown us (and one could argue a biased ...
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67 views

Can the negative afterimage appear only if there is light or is it possible in darkness?

Reading the following paragraph: After staring at the red and blue shamrock, you saw a green and yellow afterimage. Opponent-process theory proposes that as you stared at the red and blue ...
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154 views

What causes Paresthesia (Pins and Needles) at a cellular level?

I've looked it up in plenty of places like the Wikipedia page and such, and it is clear that the most common cause of Paresthesia is either a fair amount of pressure on a specific patch of skin ...
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78 views

What is the current consensus, if any, about why long term potentiation is not clearly correlated with learning?

I was watching a video where a professor said that according to some experiments, Long Term Potentiation (LTP) is correlated with better learning, while in yet other experiments, LTP is correlated ...
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172 views

Why do the brains of cocaine-users shrink faster than the brains of non-cocaine users?

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/04/cocaine-may-age-the-brain.html?rss=1 Cocaine-dependent individuals showed a significantly greater-than-normal age-related decline in gray matter in ...
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282 views

Why do humans alone have the capability to have religious/spiritual experiences?

What is it in our brain that makes having such experiences possible? I assume other species don't have these. Sure there are instances in the natural world where you can see individuals of the species ...
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179 views

Why has evolution made neurons use spiking?

I'm going to be forward and say that I'm not a biologist. I don't claim to fully understand the functionality of a neuron from an electrical/chemical perspective... I'm curiously gazing from the ...
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571 views

Under what circumstances will a human neuron divide?

I read somewhere that a mature neuron loses its ability to divide, except for very specific situations. I was unable to find the description of those situations. What are they? (I'm sorry I'm not ...
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56 views

How to measure trajectory regularity?

I have two animal running trajectories. A regular one with repeated back and forth running between point A and B, like the one on top in the figure. The other one is very irregular, animal paused and ...
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98 views

Membrane potential after exposure to glutamate

Neurons were kept in a physiological solution. During the resting phase, the membrane potential in the axoplasm of neurons was negative compared to the extracellular space and a potential ...
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175 views

Where do the 31 spinal nerves start/meet?

Which part of the brain is the first place (from top to bottom) where all 31 pairs of spinal nerves (on each side) meet? Or if they all start at one place - where is that? Nominally, the beginning of ...
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334 views

Do effects of caffeine on human body change with habitual use?

I've been reading about homeostatic nature of a lot of neurobiological processes - the brain is trying to maintain a balance by desensitizing receptors, re-uptaking and breaking down ...
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84 views

Bugs' love for light

Do bugs love light bulbs because they resemble the stars or is it the sun? How do they sense the bulb? What is the purpose of this "brightophilia" that has evolved in insects?
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50 views

Mechanisms of extracellular stimulation of neurons

When stimulating a group of neurons with an electrode, let's say we put it in a region that contains axons, what is the mechanism by which the axons are stimulated? I've been told electrodes ...
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86 views

How long does a signal from the brain take to reach the limbs?

If the brain sends a signal to move what's the time it takes the signal to travel via neurons to motor neurons in hands, arms and legs? How fast do those signals travel?
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57 views

What is the biological principle of this “holotropic breathwork” technique?

Holotropic breathwork is a non-drug technique developed by Stanislav Grof used in psychotherapy. The therapy as a whole is usually called holotropic breathwork (at least by Grof himself) and will most ...
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148 views

What is the difference between different brain regions

The brain is separated into different regions, and different regions perform different tasks. Well, what are the differences between these regions on the cellular/systemic level. The brain is made up ...
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178 views

Zombie Ant Fungus?

Ophiocordyceps unilateralis is a parasitoidal fungus that alters the behavior of the infected. Source: Wiki page. How is the fungus able to alter the behavior of the infected to such specfic ...
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670 views

Why is Botulinum toxin the most potent poison known?

Botulinum toxin (trade name Botox) inhibits acetylcholine release in neurons and causes botulism, an acute paralytic disease which leads to nerve degeneration and takes a long time to recover. I've ...
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163 views

Can children restore brain cells?

By "children" I mean young people at the age of 10 or lower. I know that the adult brain cannot restore brain cells, but what about children? I mean, the brain must develop from a few cells to a 90 ...
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94 views

Are CN3, CN7, CN9 and CN10 the only Parasymphatetic Cranial Nerves?

It has been my thought for a long time that that is the case but I am unsure about it now, since the parasympathetic tract of colon sigmoideum does not seem to have connection with CN 10. It connects ...
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494 views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being ambidextrous?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being ambidextrous? We have two hands and we nearly can't use one and this seems like a weakness, and a stupid one when you first think about it. But ...
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112 views

What kinds of arousal can a human brain experience?

I've been reading about the new phenomenon called "arousal addiction". The context in which this term is used is Internet, Porn and/or video game addiction(cummulatively Internet Addiction Disorder - ...
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159 views

Is there a way for a 19th century scientist to prove that the octopus doesn't revive?

Say a sophiscated scientist in the 19th century noted that applying soy sauce on a dead octopus leads to movement of the legs, as a result of the voltage differences resulting from the salt in the soy ...
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128 views

Epilepsy explained by computational neuroscience

A few years ago, on my maths masters, I did a module in theoretical neuroscience. I was shown that the mathematical framework the course developed for neurons, with a small adjustment in the ...
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53 views

Do local field potentials (LFP) create waves on the surfaces of nerve cells?

Are waves created by the LFP on the surfaces of neurons cell bodies? Since the cells have a resting potential, do these waves create harmonic oscillation of the membranes at particular frequencies? ...
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85 views

The mechanism of mechanoreception?

I am interested in knowing the molecular mechanism behind mechanoreception/mechanotransduction (i.e. mechanism behind receptor potential generation on mechanical stimulation). I know that most ...
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180 views

How is membrane capacitance related to the increased speed of saltatory conduction?

Here is the original question which inspired my question. As explained by the answers there, the reason saltatory conduction in myelinated neurons is faster than non-myelinated conduction is because ...
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209 views

Are there any types of cancer that cause neurons to divide?

After birth neurons generally do not divide. But is there any specific type of rare cancer or tumour where neurons divide? And if there is such a cancer, then how is it possible for a neuron to regain ...
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41 views

What are the molecular mechanisms that make the turtle brain more resistant to hypoxia?

I know that turtle brains, particularly those of individual species that hibernate and burrow are particularly resilient to hypoxia and any tissue damage secondary to a hypoxic event. What are the ...
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47 views

Is there a type of amnesia that seperately affects long-term memory?

Is there a medical condition that affects the long term memory, but leaving the short-term and working memories totally or fairly intact?
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680 views

Why Do Nerve Signals Get Crossed?

First off, I don't know if this is a normal healthy thing to occur. There have been many times where I have an itch on say my arm and I scratch it, only to feel the scratching elsewhere on my body. I ...
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183 views

Is it technically possible to make someone see something when their eyes are closed?

I'm writing a little article and need any information about how human vision works and latest technologies and discoveries around. Actually its not a professional article. Its for a group of my ...
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108 views

Why do we yawn?

I've read a new study which suggests that yawning may help you keep a cool head. Also, the findings might hold some hope for sufferers of insomnia, migraines, and even epilepsy. Is there any ...
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294 views

How does the eugeroic modafinil work?

How does the drug, modafinil (Provigil), exert its eugeroic (wakefulness-promoting) effects? I've read that it works by increasing dopamine and histamine concentrations in the CNS and by serving as a ...
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166 views

What is the biological basis for the perception of time?

How is the "time axis" of memories encoded in the brain? I guess the time of the event could be "stored" with each event, but how is this translated into neurons etc.?
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156 views

What is the purpose of the adrenal medulla?

The adrenal medulla is less of a 'real' endocrine organ like the others in the endocrine system and much more an extension of the sympathetic nervous system. In fact, its chromaffin cells are modified ...
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129 views

Does playing music during sleep actually suppress rather than rouse the brain?

I've long been interested in the effect of music/sound on dreaming, and even built 2 apps that play music during REM period. Now I'm looking at this article about FMRI studies of a sleeping brain, and ...
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56 views

Missing cells from immunopanning

Why do I not have any cells left in my positive panning plate after transferring from the negative panning plate during immunopanning? I am trying to purify retinal ganglion cells from postnatal rats ...
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1k views

What part of the brain controls depth perception?

Specifically the part of the brain that does depth perception based on binocular vision. I have searched all over the web and have turned up nothing. Is it the same part of the brain that processes ...
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253 views

Does frequency of eye blinking reveal anything about human biology/nervous system?

I'm looking at an output of a single dry sensor EEG headband with the sensor positioned above left eye. As a side effect of it's placement, the device picks up eye blinks, and some eye motion as ...
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265 views

Effects of exercise on the brain

I am well aware of the phenomenon of neurogenesis induced by exercise, as well as the dopamine release that results from exercise. I am really interested in neuropsychology and the effects of exercise ...
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101 views

What light intensity determines the start/end of a photoperiod in humans?

I'm reading this article, which discusses the influence of Long Photoperiod (LP) and Short Photoperiod (SP) on melatonin production: HIOMT drives the photoperiodic changes in the amplitude of the ...