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

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Does one neurotransmitter travel all the way through the nervous system?

Nerve impulses of course go really fast, but the neurotransmitters have to travel through millions of nerves, so how can it go that fast? Is it a sort of relay with lots of neurotransmitters taking ...
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903 views

Serotonin - Does being aroused make you sleepy?

My Psychology text book says Serotonin causes "Sleep, arousal levels and emotion" Does this really mean that when you are being aroused, Serotonin is released, which in turn makes you sleepy? If so, ...
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227 views

A good textbook on Neuroscience [closed]

I want to start learning Neuroscience. Can someone give me an advice about a nice textbook for beginners? I'm particularly interested in the application of Neuroscience in programming and AI ...
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208 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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3k views

How does Golgi's neural histological stain work?

What is known about the targets of Golgi staining of neurons? Are larger neurons more likely to be stained? Are specific cell types more susceptible than others? The current wikipedia article says ...
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76 views

Can we disambiguate competing molecular mechanisms of learning and plasticity by measuring electrical activity of neurons?

I have been reading with fascination about the several molecular- and cellular-scale mechanisms and structural changes that underlie what we refer to as long-term plasticity. For instance, [1], [2], ...
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19 views

Which Receptors are involved in Psychedelia/Psychosis?

Which receptors are involved in Psychedelia/Psychosis? I know that the 5-HT2A, 5-HT3, D2, κ-opioid and NMDA receptors are likely involved in psychosis.
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142 views

What is the biochemical reason for mental fatigue?

Is it known exactly why the brain needs sleep? What's dropping low / going high when we experience mental fatigue? I can see why low glucose could result in mental fatigue, are other reasons known?
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149 views

Systems identification in small neural network

When analyzing data from cortex, we often try to understand what each neuron does in terms of its inputs from other neurons - a specific kind of a systems identification strategy. Most current ...
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96 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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205 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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100 views

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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220 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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112 views

How reversible is DAT upregulation from long-term ADHD medication use?

A mechanism for ADHD stimulant medication tolerance has now been found. See http://neurosciencenews.com/adhd-medication-patient-brains-adapt-dat/. Here's the thing though: what exactly is the ...
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446 views

Why do we feel tired if we sleep excessively?

When we eat, finally we feel full. I know which mechanism causes the sensation of being full. But when we sleep excessively we often still want more sleep. Why does this happen? Is there a mechanism ...
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225 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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103 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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251 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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146 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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126 views

Neuroscience of temperature regulation and perception

The hypothalamus is known to be important in the regulation of body temperature, but I'm curious whether anyone knows about the neurocircuitry of perceived temperature. It seems like there could be a ...
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129 views

Is warmth/temperature sensed linearly or on a different scale?

I understand that the atmospheric temperature is sensed relative to external body temperature. However, is the sensation of warmth registered linearly, or is it on a logarithmic scale, similar to ...
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90 views

In scuba diving, are nitrogen narcosis and high pressure nervous syndrome the same thing?

In training for scuba diving, they tell you that when you're bellow 100 ft or so you have to watch out for changes in mental state that resemble drunkenness. The cause of these mental disturbances is ...
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404 views

Do memories have mass?

If it were possible to live forever, would our brains grow infinitely with the number of memories that we store? Or would we remove old memories as we create new ones?
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3answers
188 views

Action Potential Distribution On Synapses

This is a biology+physics question. Since there is no biology section, I am asking here. In brain, when a neuron reaches to threshold value, it fires an action potential. In most graphics, that is ...
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198 views

Does the speed of electrical impulses through neurones decrease with age?

From what I read on the NatGeo app, it stated that the speed of the electrical impulses that are sent by a neurone will be approximately 332 kilometers per hour. Will the speed of this electrical ...
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1k views

How and where, in the human brain, are memories stored?

Background I am a computer programmer who is fascinated by artificial intelligence and artificial neural networks, and I am becoming more curious about how biological neural networks work. Context ...
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657 views

How do neurons form new connections in brain plasticity?

I've been reading about brain plasticity and how the brain can "rewire" itself. One of the things that is not clear to me - how neurons can establish new connections. Does this rewiring mean that ...
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170 views

What are the “stars” we see after a bump on the head?

Sorry if this might appear funny. When I close my eyes for a longer time, and suddenly open it, I see some twinkling white small circles, and when i concentrate on anyone of them it disappears, as ...
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524 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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3answers
406 views

Is there such thing as “half-life” of dopamine?

If a dopamine is released at T=0 and binds to receptor D2, what determines the time when the concentration of this neurotransmitter bound to the receptor reaches half of the original concentration? In ...
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293 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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111 views

How stable is in vivo whole cell patch clamping?

For a head fixed animal, how stable is the current state-of-the-art whole cell recording from a cortical neuron? The animal's breathing, and heart beat must move the neuron relative to the recording ...
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988 views

Is “tonic activity” common for neurons firing in the brain?

I've been reading about Dorsal Raphe Nucleus, a serotonin- rich part of the brain. I noticed mentioning of "tonic activity" - regular pulsing that releases neurotransmitters. On top of this "tone" the ...
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49 views

The relationship between the currents of intracellular and extracellular ions of a cell

In a cell, assume that only sodium, potassium, chloride and calcium ions can cross the membrane and their currents are: $I_{Na}$, $I_{K}$, $I_{Cl}$ and $I_{Ca}$, across the whole membrane. There is ...
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50 views

Does Dorsal Raphe Nuclei firing pattern change in response to voluntary breathing?

I'm reading this paper, which discusses how Serotonin may be involved in motor functions of mammals: 5-HT and motor control: a hypothesis . The paper includes the following diagram of the Dorsal ...
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122 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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1answer
63 views

How well does it actually work to surgically reroute the optical nerve?

Two publications, Roe et al, 1992[1] and Metin & Frost, 1989[2], describe results pertaining to the ability of a region of cortex to process information from a different sensory mode than the one ...
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1answer
146 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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1answer
463 views

Is there a relationship between Melatonin, Norepinephrine and depression in humans?

I'm reading a booklet on melatonin published in 1996, titled "Melatonin and the Biological Clock". This particular paragraph caught my attention and I would like to better understand what it means: ...
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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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354 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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299 views

Long-term-potentiation and memory. Where do we stand?

I was reading the answers to the question: How and where, in the human brain, are memories stored? and, as expected, LTP and LTD came out. Every time I read about LTP/LTD there is always something ...
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334 views

Could an “overactive” brain increase the chances of Alzheimer's Disease?

From Raichle ME. 2010. Two views of brain function. Trends in cognitive sciences 14: 180–90: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of progressive cognitive decline and dementia in ...
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123 views

Is there a biophysical causation from local field potential (LFP) to spikes?

Many experiments showed that neurons tend to fire at some phase (usually trough) of local field potential (LFP) oscillations, such as theta or gamma rhythm. LFP is supposedly generated by a population ...
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63 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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76 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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3answers
225 views

What alternatives are there to the amyloid hypothesis?

Given the recent failure of the Bapi clinical trial, there is a lot of questions that have arised from he amyloid hypothesis. However, I can't really think of many other mechanisms that don't involved ...
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1answer
152 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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33 views

Could silicon oil block Na+ ion channels in the membrane of an axon and prevent Na+ influx?

Could silicon oil block Na+ ion channels in the membrane of an axon and prevent Na+ influx? I have been wondering if Na+ influx could have been a diluting factor in anterograde fills. If so, could ...
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445 views

When did vision evolve for the first time?

Today I wondered what the first organism to evolve vision would have been. I assume that it would have been kind of primitive and basic, but of course extremely innovative and eventually useful to a ...