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

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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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3k 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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144 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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261 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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180 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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74 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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134 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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72 views

How does the brain know what to remember and what not?

People remember some information for example when learning for an exam, or remember to go to a shop after work etc., but we don't remember usually much other stuff like people passing us, what was the ...
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114 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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90 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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60 views

What is the reason for fear induced defecation?

I started to handle mice for my job and noticed that they tend to defecate and/or urinate when they are scared. The fear is induced by me, because I need a long time (due to inexperience) to grab the ...
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151 views

What are dreams, biologically?

Falling asleep or states of subconsciousness does not stop the mind from making its own fictional images. These seem like sensations just like those received from human eyes. But, how do we define ...
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243 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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1k 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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84 views

Relationship between toxicity of drugs and negative effects on brain

Are psychoactive drugs with lower lethal doses more neurotoxic (more damaging to the brain)? For example, tetrahydrocannabinol (one of the active components of cannabis) has a much higher lethal dose ...
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2k 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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584 views

Why can humans feel electricity?

What evolutionary process has provided humans with the ability of feeling electric current? Besides lightning and electric eel, what natural hazards include electricity that poses a threat to humans?
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2k views

Are all action potentials the same shape and amplitude when graphed with respect to time?

The most common visualization of an action potential is a graph of the difference in membrane potential (y axis) at a particular time (x axis). According to my textbook Cognitive Psychology by E. ...
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116 views

Does caffeine actually enhance cognition?

I have heard, respectively: Caffeine measurably enhances cognitive function. Caffeine does not measurably enhance cognitive function in any significant way. Caffeine enhances cognitive function, but ...
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788 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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96 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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70 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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59 views

How can neurons divide without centrioles?

I have read in my studies that neurons lack centrioles. If that is so, then how is it possible that new neurons are added to our brain? Does this have anything to do with memory loss?
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87 views

How does valerian make you calmer?

Why do Valerian pills make us calmer? What is the mechanism behind it? I understand how artificial tranquilizers work. Do valerian pill have similar chemical components?
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77 views

What determines the shape of the center-surround receptive fields of retinal ganglion cells?

The wikipedia article about receptive fields of visual system tells us the following: The receptive field is often identified as the region of the retina where the action of light alters the ...
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129 views

How small does a nanobot have to be to “swim through the brain” and access any neuron it wants to?

I read on this question What is in the space between neurons in a brain? that there is actually not much empty space in a brain. But my question is slightly different. Is there a visual demonstration ...
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180 views

What will happen if we expose the brain to intermittent light?

If a brain is exposed to an intermittent light source, are specific areas going to fire? If yes, which of them? Is there a experimental data about this effect?
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463 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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595 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 neurotransmitters....
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167 views

what is meta-sympathetic nervous system?

I always knew about the sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous systems, and today I was told about the meta-sympathetic nervous system, but I didn't understand well the man who told me about it and ...
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95 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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231 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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103 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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897 views

Do skull bones have pain nerves (nociceptors)?

I recently attended an awake brain surgery for deep brain stimulation and it seemed to me that only the skin surrounding the drilled hole got local anaesthesia. I know that the brain itself does not ...
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22k 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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218 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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72 views

Do repetitive movements on EEGs show up as discernible patterns?

Here is a typical EEG reading: If I am connected to an EEG, and am sitting perfectly still, and then begin doing some repetitive motion, say, 10,000 times, will we see discernible patterns emerge ...
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52 views

Is HSV-vector-mediated miRNA expression in dorsal root ganglia stable?

My question is on the following article: "Reduction of voltage gated sodium channel protein in DRG by vector mediated miRNA reduces pain in rats with painful diabetic neuropathy" My question is, do ...
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741 views

Why is the neuronal plasma membrane more permeable to potassium ions than sodium ions?

From what I understand, the greater permeability of the neuronal plasma membrane to K+ ions (which diffuse out) than Na+ ions (which diffuse in) helps to maintain the -60 mV resting membrane potential....
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143 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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139 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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245 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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247 views

How pain can stimulate the vagus nerve

I'm trying to find out why a prompt, severe, short pain is causing a stimulation of the vagus nerve. What could the physiological explanation be? Is that because the pain is triggering the ...
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83 views

What (open) software there are for simulating behaviour of human (cortical) neurons?

Is there any reliable open-source software for simulating the behaviour of human cortical neurons? I am looking for serious software, so let's assume I have access to a computer with more than 10,000 ...
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846 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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3k views

Do neurons secrete multiple neurotransmitters, or just one type?

I know that neurons communicate between each other by filling the junction between dendrites with neurotransmitters. What interests me is if a single neuron only works with one type of ...
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142 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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172 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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1answer
147 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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86 views

Is there a biological explanation for perceived deeper cognition whilst on cannabis?

Cannabis has been associated with literature, arts, and culture for centuries. There are a few features of the drugs affect on the human mind that account for this, however it remains illegal in most ...