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

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Do adjacent axons in a nerve influence each other?

Suppose I have a nerve fiber consisting of several axons all running in parallel to each other. When an action potential is generated in a certain axon, this will alter the concentration of sodium ...
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119 views

How are synaptic vesicles brought to the synapse?

I'm reading about how synaptobrevin is used to identify synaptic vesicles for tethering near the synaptic cleft. Since neurons have a synapse and dendrites, I'd like to know how exactly the vesicles ...
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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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2k views

Why do neurons have a negative resting potential?

Neurons expend the majority of their energy powering ion pumps to maintain the chemical gradients that power their electrical activity. To have a negative resting potential, neurons leak potassium ...
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111 views

Disproportion in cranial nerve innervation?

The cranial nerve innervation is highly disproportionate, as far as humans are concerned. I am not sure of the advantage of being innervated by cranial nerve versus being innervated by a normal ...
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299 views

Why is membrane potential not zero at equilibrium?

For the squid giant axon, the membrane potential computed by the Goldman equation is -60mV. And the Nernst potentials are (the differences between the K+ and the Na+'s Nernst potential and the ...
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86 views

If a non-mammal is starved of oxygen for some time, how long would it take the animal's neurons to die?

This is a follow-up question to Why do neurons die so quickly (relative to other cells) when deprived of oxygen?. I'm particularly interested in the case of reptiles, octopuses, and other ...
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205 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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199 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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344 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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180 views

Are brain cells replaced over time?

You know how your cells die all the time and new ones are made to replace them, so you practically have a new body every maybe 5 years? Many people say you become a completely different person every ...
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210 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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47 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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3k views

What is the function of nodes of Ranvier in axons?

In a neuroscience class I'm taking, it was explained that myelin covers axons in sections, the uncovered sections are called nodes of Ranvier, and signals propagate much faster in the covered ...
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141 views

What protocol does the nervous system use?

I just read How does an inhibitory synapse communicate to the cell body of a neuron? and found myself asking this question ... hopefully I'm not asking the same thing Any body possessed of a nervous ...
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95 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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Hebbian theory “fire together” clarification

Donald Hebb states it as follows: "Let us assume that the persistence or repetition of a reverberatory activity (or "trace") tends to induce lasting cellular changes that add to its stability.… ...
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133 views

Is (Brain Mass)/(Total Mass) still considered a valid indicator of intelligence?

I was reading this(1) and it led me back to ask a very basic question (I'm not a neuroscientist). All the way back to undergrad anthropology and neuroscience courses I remember being taught the ...
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142 views

What are the constraints when growing an artificial brain?

Are there any experiments on growing artificial brains from brain tissue? What are the constraints? Will such tissue grown to the mass greater than that of human brain surpass it in intellect or it ...
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133 views

How does the brain avoid feedback loops?

The article Ants Swarm Like Brains Think really helped me to understand the way that neurons which are pretty dumb on their own (like ants) can work together to create a pretty genius system (a brain ...
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40 views

Braquio-abduction illusion explanation and references

Illusion: Lying down on a hard flat floor move arms up and down (as when doing a snow angel) while keeping them touching the floor. While repeating it a few times the floor begins to appear concave, ...
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140 views

How does someone with red-green colorblindness see yellow on a monitor/television?

I recently watched the video This Is Not Yellow explaining how red, green, and blue pixels can be used to create images of all other colors. Since yellow is created with red and green pixels, how is a ...
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Confused at what is happening with these action potentials

Ok so for a bit of a background, I am doing a science project looking at the action potentials of the earthworm. I anaesthatized the worms then hooked them up to a spiker box ...
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202 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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89 views

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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62 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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180 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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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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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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61 views

Are there baby drinks closer to breast-milk?

Many women cannot or will not feed their children with breast-milk. It is my understanding breast-milk has many advantages over formula. Some psychological like oxytocin and some physiological like ...
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67 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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124 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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79 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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194 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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84 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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190 views

Are these claims of “revolutionising” understanding of human vision and hearing valid?

I've started a hobby machine vision project (and posted some questions to this end on other SE sites) and on a side track, also been looking at relevant research in human vision (and partly, hearing). ...
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77 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 ...
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742 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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83 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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161 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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35 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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60 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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134 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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226 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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370 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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85 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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51 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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80 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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319 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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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 ...