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

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Why can action potentials not be initiated at dendrites?

Why are action potentials not initiated at dendrites, although dendrites are the first to receive input from the presynaptic cell? In fact, excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) at the dendrites ...
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125 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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516 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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99 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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30 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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177 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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220 views

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 ...
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92 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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541 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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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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189 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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47 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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221 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 ...
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87 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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97 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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121 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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170 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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79 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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704 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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139 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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169 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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145 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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70 views

All-or-nothing-law: law or general principle?

The all-or-nothing principle indicates that a nerve cell fires at maximum potential or not at all, based on a threshold on the stimulus. Is this a statement which is always true, or only ...
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293 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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329 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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63 views

Do local field potentials (LFP) create waves on the surfaces of nerve cells?

Are waves created by the LFP on the surfaces of neurons cell bodies? Since the cells have a resting potential, do these waves create harmonic oscillation of the membranes at particular frequencies? ...
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98 views

The mechanism of mechanoreception?

I am interested in knowing the molecular mechanism behind mechanoreception/mechanotransduction (i.e. mechanism behind receptor potential generation on mechanical stimulation). I know that most ...
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47 views

What are the molecular mechanisms that make the turtle brain more resistant to hypoxia?

I know that turtle brains, particularly those of individual species that hibernate and burrow are particularly resilient to hypoxia and any tissue damage secondary to a hypoxic event. What are the ...
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48 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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Why Do Nerve Signals Get Crossed?

First off, I don't know if this is a normal healthy thing to occur. There have been many times where I have an itch on say my arm and I scratch it, only to feel the scratching elsewhere on my body. I ...
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265 views

Is it technically possible to make someone see something when their eyes are closed?

I'm writing a little article and need any information about how human vision works and latest technologies and discoveries around. Actually its not a professional article. Its for a group of my ...
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57 views

How does Serotonergic (5-HT2A mediated) Psychedelia work?

How does serotonergic (5-HT2A specific) psychedelia work? I've read that there are some theories that it might involve the induction of a glutamate release in certain regions of the brain involved in ...
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539 views

How does the brain know where a signal came from? What is the addressing system

I am an electronic engineer so I am thinking about this from an electronics outlook. How does the addressing system work, As I see it, the nervous system is small parallel branches attached to larger ...
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215 views

Does playing music during sleep actually suppress rather than rouse the brain?

I've long been interested in the effect of music/sound on dreaming, and even built 2 apps that play music during REM period. Now I'm looking at this article about FMRI studies of a sleeping brain, and ...
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356 views

Saltatory conduction of nerve impulses

I am aware about some basics of saltatory conduction of nerve impulses. I know that the nerve impulses (ion flow and the depolarization) are transferred from node to node in myelinated nerve fibers. ...
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82 views

Missing cells from immunopanning

Why do I not have any cells left in my positive panning plate after transferring from the negative panning plate during immunopanning? I am trying to purify retinal ganglion cells from postnatal rats ...
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498 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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353 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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121 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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993 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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292 views

Why apes started to contemplate and become altruistic? [closed]

I was asking this first on philosophy forums, but it is suggested, that answer could be found from evolutionary view of point, so here we go: Again my question raised when thinking of myths, their ...
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42 views

What stimulates a nociceptor?

For instance, when pressure is applied to the skin, what determines how much pressure results in nociceptor stimulation. And when a sharp object pierces the skin, why is pain, rather than simply ...
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Nocioception (pain perception) in subcutaneous tissue

There seem to be no nocioceptors (pain and temperature sensitive nerve endings) in subcutaneous fat. there are nocioceptors and other receptors in veins running through fat, but these can be avoided. ...
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If D1 receptors stimulate adenylate cyclase (through GPCRs) and D2 receptors inhibit it, then why do mutations in both have similar effects?

D1 and D2 both refer to specific types of dopamine receptors. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that the D1 receptors are in regions different from D2 receptors. I know that adenylate ...
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67 views

How can neuronal signals faithfully be reproduced by scalp electrodes?

There is a skull barrier (and possibly other layers too) between the brain and the scalp. I have seen people trying to extract EEG signals from the scalp by connecting electrodes and interface it to ...
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112 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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171 views

Thoughts precede neuron firing or vise-verse?

I am at the verge of submitting a paper on 'scientific explanation of reality' to an international philosophy body. First submitted draft was returned by the evaluation expert, asking me to re-submit ...
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Action potential and sodium channels

In this video on electro tonic potential, the tutor says that when the potassium channels open the potential drops from +40mV to -80mV, where the sodium channels have already closed at +40mV. Now in ...
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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 ...