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

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7k views

What is the difference between a graded potential and an action potential?

I was under the impression the only signals neurons send using changes in membrane potential are action potentials. But my biology professor showed us diagrams of graded potentials and action ...
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1answer
231 views

Can we change our dopamine baseline levels?

Can we change our dopamine baseline levels? High dopamine levels improve alertness, problem solving, but may also cause anxiety and aggression. I've read that smiling and laughing, eating certain ...
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1answer
178 views

Can plants feel pain? [closed]

I was wondering whether plants could feel pain, for example, does grass feel pain when you mow the lawn? Or do the plants and trees that grow vegetables and fruits feel pain when you harvest them? ...
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1answer
640 views

What determines whether an action potential is inhibitory or excitatory?

What determines whether an action potential is inhibitory or excitatory? Is it determined by the receptors, the neurotransmitters, or some other mechanism?
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1answer
1k 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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2answers
20k views

What are the functions and differences between axons and dendrites?

My textbook doesn't do a very good job of pointing out what the differences between the two are. It basically mentions axons only in the same breath as the synapse (that synapses are the endings/tips ...
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1answer
80 views

Is transplantation of neurons between species possible?

Can brain tissue from one species be implanted into the brain of another species? Because the brain is tolerant to the introduction of antigens (it is said to be immuno-privileged), I was wondering ...
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2answers
371 views

Does learning increase the number of neurons in the brain?

I am attempting to understand neurogenesis related to learning. Does learning increase the number of neurons in the human brain? What would be some good scientific publications to read?
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1answer
53 views

Can we change the direction of a neurological signal? [closed]

My question is can we change the direction of a neurological signal? When a neurological signal is generated it goes to the brain. Along the way it passes synapses. Can we make it change it's pathway ...
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2answers
124 views

Why do negative ions flow into a cell in an inhibitory synapse, even though a neuron has a negative resting potential?

In my spare time I have been reading an introductory Psychology textbook and this question came to my mind after reading about action potentials. I have no previous knowledge in chemistry so if I do ...
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2answers
115 views

What features cause mechano sensory adaptation?

In relation to mechanoreceptors (e.g. pacinian corpuscles), what stops a constant stimulus from producing action potentials? I understand that adaption is used to filter out stimuli that aren't ...
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1answer
49 views

Hodgin-Huxley model for a single neuron - continuation

As continuation to This question I have posted. Another set of questions is given for the same model : This time it is also given that for $t<0$ the membrane potential is $u_0$, and at $t=0$ it ...
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1answer
72 views

Hodgin-Huxley model for a single neuron

I am viewing (through edX ) an introduction course to computational neuroscience. In the second lecture, the Hodgin-Huxley model is considered. I am going over some of the questions and have ...
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2answers
4k 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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1answer
69 views

What determines the pathway of a neurological signal?

My question is about the neurological signals. In our body when a signal, for example a hearing signal from hair cells, is built, it goes through a lot of neurons and it passes a lot of synapses. I am ...
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2answers
469 views

Epinephrine vs. Adrenaline

Both names are widely used, with what appears to me as a slight prevalence of “epinephrine” in scientific literature and an overwhelming prevalence of “adrenaline” in popular media. Are there any ...
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1answer
819 views

Lumosity.com? Is it based on science?

I always see these Lumosity adds on TV, and I personally feel they are just trying to "sell me something". I did some layman's research(wikipedia) and read that "Studies of Lumosity's effectiveness ...
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0answers
47 views

How nerves interact with other cells? [closed]

I read in a book by Mick O'Hare, that injuries inflicted by electric current are caused by tension of your muscles. Is that explainable only with physics or nerves really use electrical signal as ...
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2answers
152 views

Introductory book in genetics? [duplicate]

I am working in the field of neuroscience with a background in computer science. I try to find new ways of analyzing brain imaging data (mostly MRI, EEG, MEG, fMRI) with modern machine learning ...
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1answer
119 views

Is the autonomic nervous system only activated by internal stimuli?

My professor claims that the autonomic nervous system is only activated by stimuli from organs but I really feel like I've read that it can be activated by outside stimuli, although I'm not sure what ...
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1answer
183 views

Why does getting certain chemicals in cuts hurt?

More specifically, shampoo. What are the mechanics of detecting a noxious chemical stimulus in terms of which receptors recognise what, how do they do it, and how is this information relayed to the ...
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1answer
86 views

Do both Carbamazepinum and Lamotriginum increase glutamate threshold?

I have in my notes that: Carbamazepinum increases threshold for glutamate Lamotriginum delays release of glutamic acid I would like to simplify these sentences into a single line. I would like to ...
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2answers
292 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
336 views

Do rare earth metals actually repel sharks? [closed]

Stroud claims that sharks are effectively repelled by the use of rare earth metals in the water. There has even been a patent issued by the same author for rare earth-wrapped fish hooks to reduce the ...
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2answers
399 views

Mechanism behind negative conductance of ion channels

I am struggling to understand negative conductance shown on I-V curves on ion channels. Mechanistically, negative conductance means that inward (or outward) current increases when voltage across ...
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1answer
407 views

How old does a baby have to be before it can retain memories?

For most people (my earliest memories are of perhaps when I was 2 or so) their earliest memories would be when they were over a year old. How old does the average baby have to be before it can ...
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1answer
1k views

What kind of memory is “keyboard/keypad memory”?

I work in IT and I have observed many people who cannot remember their iPhone passwords or computer passwords off the top of their head. However, if presented with a keyboard or a phone with a ...
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1answer
42 views

Can nociceptors die because of too much mechanical stress?

In martial art people hit their body (e.g., with small bean bags) to become more insensitive to pain. Can the sensory neurons die during this procedure? I think this is just an urban legend. Instead, ...
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1answer
501 views

How does Sodium Valproate cause neural plasticity

I have been reading a fascinating paper: Valproate reopens critical-period learning of absolute pitch 18 individuals were given Sodium Valproate (VPA) for a fortnight during which they trained on a ...
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1answer
299 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. ...
2
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1answer
113 views

What would be required to evolve an animal (non-human) brain to obtain human-level cognition? [closed]

Could any animal subject to the right conditions evolve human-level intelligence? Suppose that an artificial intelligence (AI) decided to artificially evolve a population of octopus (don't ask why, ...
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3answers
690 views

Does a neuron ever generate an action potential without stimuli?

Most accounts I read involving action potentials and synapses and the like tend to focus mostly on the action potential as a mere automatic reaction to another similar event happening upstream. From ...
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1answer
92 views

Oscillatory electrical system using a chain of neurons

Many daily activities that we perform are result of inbuilt oscillatory circuits in our body. For example walking, breathing, heart beat, blinking, etc. The coding and decoding of stored memory also ...
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2answers
52 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
85 views

What processes are responsible for focusing on an image only seen by one of the eyes?

When a person is spying from around a corner with only one eye, it's rather easy to ignore the other eye's image, since it's probably much darker, because one usually spies around a corner standing ...
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1answer
234 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
45 views

Can the Hebbian theory apply to Inhibitory Neurons

If I understand the basic Hebbian theory, when a neuron fires a pulse to another neuron and this pulse causes the target neuron to fire then the delta energy sent from the initial neuron to the target ...
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1answer
105 views

Neuronal coordinates of C.elegans

Is there a list of neural coordinates for C.elegans? I need it to build a 3D model. Update: What is available at the moment is: full connectome for example, at openconnectome; neuron description ...
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2answers
181 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
294 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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1answer
187 views

Oxygenated hemoglobin in MRI

I have read the following sentence: Because this oxygenated hemoglobin is unaffected by magnetic fields, the response RF signal returned to the fMRI scanner is stronger when there is more ...
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0answers
28 views

Hypoglossal nerve location

I kind of know where the hypoglossal nerve is located when I look at the diagram but I'd like to know how far is the nerve from the skin and where is the closest area to the skin before and right ...
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0answers
77 views

Neural coupling between Pinsky-Rinzel (reduced Traub) neuron with a Wang-Buzsaki neuron?

I have read two papers related to modeling neurons. The first one is the paper by Pinsky and Rinzel and the second one by Wang and Buzsaki. The first mentioned neuron model is a excitatory neuron ...
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3answers
771 views

Can human brain memory be removed by EMP?

The human brain is the most complicated human organ so it is hard to examine it completely but based on what we know do you think (or do you know from some source) if a human memory can be removed by ...
5
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1answer
198 views

Neuroscience of mathematicians

I've tried to google this but everything that comes up are things like "mathematical neuroscience" rather than the other way around. Specifically, I'm interested in the workings of a mathematician's ...
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0answers
173 views

Why can we control our breath rate but not our heart rate? [closed]

Even though we cannot survive for more than few minutes if we stop breathing or if our heart stops, why is it so that our heart beat is controlled involuntarily while breathing can be voluntarily ...
2
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1answer
70 views

Does breathing air containing 3% carbon dioxide gives you a headache?

As far as I know, breathing air containing relatively high levels of CO2 may get you a headache. I also know that CO2 level in the fruit bodies of peppers can reach levels as high as 3% at certain ...
3
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2answers
247 views

Could an action potential produce few or more neurotransmitters based on the stimulus received?

I reckon that if you would be able to widen the AP width, it would produce more neurotransmitters in that larger time interval. Is that correct? Or does the neuron have a standard amount of ...
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0answers
33 views

Regarding cryonics, why can't you freeze a living body and then thaw it later, fully functional?

Cryonics is very popular in science fiction today, as a method of preserving animals, including humans, for long time storage and thawing the tissue later in the future. What is the difficulties with ...
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1answer
332 views

Is the motor cortex identical to the sensorimotor cortex?

As far as I understand, the primary motor cortex (M1) and primary sensorimotor (SM1) are notations for the same cortical area in the brain. Am I right that there is no dedicated motor cortex, and that ...