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

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Why are things conscious?

I've been referred to here from http://philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/8052/why-are-things-conscious. Could you guys help out? Here's the question: What is the reason for animals or more ...
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103 views

Unexplained pain in the legs at night, possibly due to peripheral nerves - diagnosis and cure? [closed]

I have seen a few instances where people suffer from tremendous pain the legs, often around the region of ankle, going a bit down and stretching up to knee. This happens most prominently at the night ...
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1answer
9k views

How reversible is decerebrate posturing caused by brain stem damage?

This is a follow-up question to How likely would Abraham Lincoln be to survive his wounds today? You don't have to see a CT scan or autopsy to know if the brainstem is injured (directly or ...
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24 views

How is saltatory conduction faster than conduction of unmyelinated fibers? [duplicate]

It's always the same explanation that currents are able to "hop" along Ranvier nodes instead of passing continuously along the axon making saltatory conduction more efficient than continuous ...
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1answer
52 views

Number of MHCs in neurons

I have read that neurons have proportionately less MHC molecules than other cells of the body. What is the advantage of this?
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1answer
252 views

What happens in your brain when you receive information which causes you to bristle?

I'm talking about moments when you watch a film and you bristle, or when you listen to music, etc. What kind of neurotransmitter flow changes?
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1answer
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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1answer
147 views

What happens in the synapse when cocaine administration occurs in the human brain

As far as i know when you accept cocaine in your blood some cocaine molecules reach some synapses in your brain and fill some Reuptake tunnels preventing the cell to simply "do not know that fired ...
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2k views

Why do neurons die so fast without oxygen and nutrients?

Some human tissue can survive without oxygen a couple of minutes, even hours. Why are the neurons are so "weak" and depends so much on oxygen and other nutrients and cannot live without them for ...
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Why is saltatory conduction faster than continuous conduction?

How does spacing apart sodium and potassium channels allow the action potential to travel faster down the axon? This is the reason always cited for saltatory conduction and myelination, but my mental ...
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1answer
346 views

What is 'calcium conductance'?

What is the meaning of calcium conductance in ion channels. I encountered this in the following text: It was established that the µ and δ opioid receptors open potassium channels, which results ...
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1answer
208 views

L1 - L5 layers of the brain

I have read in some papers about the layers L1-L5 of the brain (e.g. in this paper). I could not find a definition of these layers. I have found information about the layers V1-V5 in the visual ...
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1answer
51 views

Does sympathetic nervous system acts bilaterally for pupil dilation or other two sided organs?

The question might seem weird. Does sympathetic nervous system acts 'bilaterally' meaning if you shout to a person's left ear a loud noise (e.g. by headphones), will it activate sympathetic system ...
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63 views

What is the limit of time resolution in fMRI?

I was reading about a few studies on estimating functional connectivity between brain areas using fMRI signals. However, as far as I know that fMRI has a very poor time resolution, roughly in the ...
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2answers
173 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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2answers
98 views

Inverse of dopamine reuptake inhibitor?

The wikipedia article on the dopamine transporter gives examples of some drugs whose effects are mediated by the inhibition of the dopamine transporter, such as cocaine and amphetamines. Are there ...
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3answers
212 views

What exactly is the neural receptive field?

Neural receptive fields map the spatial or temporal distribution of the data to individual neuron excitation, if I understand correctly, but I do not understand if receptive fields (especially in the ...
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2answers
32 views

What Role Antagonists Play in the Study of Drugs?

I am pretty unfamiliar to pharmacology. I'm doing a research on drug abuse, particularly opioids' mechanism of action. I encountered several times evidences that come from studies using antagonists ...
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1answer
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 ...
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1answer
107 views

What areas of the brain are involved in doing arithmetic operations?

Do neuroscientists already know what areas of the brain are involved in mental calculations? Has any fruitful research been done on that or not yet? Do you think that if we understand what areas of ...
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1answer
90 views

What triggers creative thought in humans?

Creativity, innovation and ideation. Is there something in the brain that makes the brain think that way, as opposed to "normal baseline". What triggers creative thought in humans?
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2answers
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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0answers
47 views

Does pain scale with mammal mass?

Some biological features scale with the animal mass (see previous Q&A). Assuming the same concentration of nociceptors on the skin surface, I'm wondering how painful a 1 cm wound will be ...
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0answers
54 views

Do voltage-gated calcium channels in earthworms relate to speed of neuron conduction?

We have a hypothesis that a drug may block the voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC) in annelid worms. We are wondering whether there are any correlations between VGCCs and neuron conduction ...
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1answer
967 views

Neuromediator, Neuromodulator, Neurotransmitter?

Of these three words, perhaps Neurotransmitter is the most obvious. I took a look at Wikipedia page for Neuromodulation and found that this is pretty similar to Neurotransmitter too. I guess ...
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1answer
62 views

What decides the position of the node of Ranvier?

The oligodendrocytes makes the myelin sheath in CNS and schwann cells make it in PNS. What decides where the oligodendrocyte or Schwann cell will attach and start forming myelin sheath? Is it ...
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1answer
107 views

Molecules and human memory

Has it been demonstrated that the memory of human brain is just connections between neurons, not "long" molecules such as RNA or proteins?
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152 views

If people with colorblindness lack one type of cone cells, shouldn't they be unable to recognize one particular color?

The 3 types of cone cells in normal humans allow them to view 3 types of colors and any color made from mixing and matching those 3. So, 2 types of cone cells should only allow to view just 2 types ...
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2answers
655 views

What is a cortical circuit?

I have read about cortical circuits in the context of connectomics (e.g. any example here) and computational neuroscience (e.g. any example here), but a simple Google/Wikipedia does search not show an ...
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1answer
88 views

Is Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) commercially available?

I'm curious if NGF, or Neurotrophins in general is available commercially. Can I order it online? If not, what are the medical/biological reasons. Does it breakdown quickly after synthesis/capture? Is ...
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1answer
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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1answer
1k views

Is it possible for any animals today to have more than one brain?

Is it possible for any organisms in the animal kingdom to have more than one brain?
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753 views

Physiological indicators of happiness and well being

If I understand it correctly, levels of serotonin in the brain can indicate if a person is happy. What other physiological measures indicate happiness or well being for a humans? I am looking for ...
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1answer
77 views

Eye Brain Mapping

If our eyes are separated by some kind of full proof barrier/isolation, is it possible that our brain can picture/visualize two different pictures at a time? How the brain will function in this ...
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1answer
128 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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3answers
74 views

Are there “multi-frequency” signals within a human brain?

I know that neurons can exhibit tonic and phasic firing, and also that a neuron is sometimes called an integrator. This makes me interested to know if there are activities in the brain that depend on ...
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1answer
126 views

Hearing and neurons- do ears have a sampling period?

From what I have read, outer hair cells in the human ear amplify incoming signals and inner hair cells "pick-up" the signals and generate action potential. However, neurons have refractory periods ...
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1answer
321 views

How different is an introverts brain different from an extroverts?

How is an introverts brain wired differently than an extroverts? Just to give you an example. On an average, the processing that goes on in an introverts brain is greater than in an extroverts ...
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1answer
1k 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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1answer
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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3answers
532 views

Why do neurones use chemical signalling at synaptic junctions?

Problem. When a neurone fires, it sends an electrical signal that jumps down the axon via the nodes of Ranvier very rapidly. At a synaptic junction, chemical brownian diffusion signalling with ...
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1answer
121 views

Do nerve cells cause action potential in cardiac muscle?

I think the answer is no, but I am not 100% sure. If it was yes, then the dendrite of the nerve cell should each time receive a stimulus causing Na+ channels to open, when the contraction happen. ...
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1answer
1k views

How does this illusion work?

I found this image on Google+ If you shake your head you can see a portrait of a person. Can anyone explain how the image is constructed in the brain?
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1answer
536 views

Optogenetics - How do microbial opsins work?

I'm just introduced to the optogenetics method and am having some trouble grasping the genetics (of the optogenteics) part of things. So we have Retinal and Opsin that form Rhodopsin molecule that ...
6
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1answer
122 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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2answers
811 views

What is in the space between neurons in a brain?

When neuron animations are displayed, there are frequently seen neurons, axons arranged in a lattice with a lot of empty space between. I'm interested if there is indeed empty space in the brain, or ...
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0answers
157 views

Does brain activity generate heat gradients in the brain?

I'm reading this article on guiding axon growth using temperature gradient, and it mentions that the trajectory of growth of neuron connections can be influenced by temperature gradients as little as ...
6
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1answer
538 views

Cat purring: What are some possible underlying mechanisms behind purring and bone remodeling and formation?

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-do-cats-purr The article above says that cats purr mostly when they're wounded or under duress. They hypothesis that cats purring leads to ...
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0answers
36 views

Hippocampal regulation of hypothalamus

What is the difference between CA1-CA4 hippocampal subfields and dentate gyrus (DG) in negative regulation of hypothalamus? I`ve found only evidence that GR expression is more in CA1-2 and DG, while ...
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2answers
168 views

How does a pinched nerve cause pain (at the molecular level)?

Is this due to pressure differentials in the surrounding tissue? (Is it possible to have a pinched nerve without compression of the surrounding tissues, and does this cause pain?) What are the ...