Questions tagged [brain]

The primary component of the central nervous system, which, along with the spinal cord, controls the body of bilaterally symmetrical beings.

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105
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3answers
24k views

Are male and female brains physically different from birth?

Male and female brains are wired differently according to this article: Maps of neural circuitry showed that on average women's brains were highly connected across the left and right hemispheres, ...
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Do animals exhibit handedness (paw-ness?) preference?

I have been observing my cat and found that when confronted with an unknown item, she will always use her front left paw to touch it. This has me wondering if animals exhibit handedness like humans ...
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Are there organisms with fewer than 1000 neurons?

I'm developing neural networks comprised of just 3 to 10 layers of virtual neurons and I'm curious to know if there are any insect brains out there with fewer than a thousand neurons? Are there any ...
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Can brain cells move?

I was discussing this with my brother. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that they can move. Thanks EDIT: By movement I mean long distance migration (preferably within the brain only).
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If the brain has no pain receptors, how come you can get a headache?

I've read many years ago in books, that the brain has no nerves on it, and if someone was touching your brain, you couldn't feel a thing. Just two days before now, I had a very bad migraine, due to a ...
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1answer
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Why is the brain white?

I have read many articles about how the brain is the most power-hungry organ in any living complex organism, requiring about 70% of it's oxygen supplies in the resting state. Since the usual medium ...
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Why do the two hemispheres of the brain control the opposite sides of the body?

Why does the left hemisphere control the right and the right hemisphere control the left? I googled it but didn't find a good answer regarding this. Could someone explain? Does this adaptation help ...
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How long does it take for memory to disperse after death?

1: There seem to be cases where coma patients with a non-active brain (i.e. flat EEG) have regained full consciousness. => Apparently memory and knowledge are stored independent of brain activity. 2: ...
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What's the mechanism for being mentally tired?

I notice that after long tests, or long periods of critical thinking, my body and mind feel noticeably tired. Why does this happen? Are the neurons in my head not firing as quickly, or is there just a ...
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Supercomputer Vs Human Brain

With supercomputers doing calculation in petaflops ($10^{15}$ Calculations per Second), have we crossed the speed of Human Brain?
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1answer
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Does human brain store duplicate data?

There are several answers and articles about how the brain stores data, but none specifically cover whether a human's brain stores duplicate data. I was reading in this article that a human brain can ...
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2answers
803 views

Can parts of a human brain be asleep independently of each other, or vary in the times required for them to fall asleep?

I know that some birds and marine animals can continue complicated activity (swimming, flying?) while one hemisphere of their brain is asleep. I'm interested if human brain has some parts of it that ...
18
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1answer
470 views

The human brain in numbers I: neurons

Even though knowing the number of neurons in a functional unit or with the same function is not of main importance, it may be interesting to know their orders of magnitude, especially in the human ...
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Why does strenous exercise cause vision of “lights”?

I had a hard climb a week ago. I got so tired then any time I closed my eyes I saw these lights inside my head. I see these lights almost every time that I run fast or some thing like that. What are ...
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How does an axon “know” it's not connecting to its own neuron?

I recently read about an experiment where they removed the dendrites and axons from rat neurons and placed them on a grid. After a while they started reconnecting and were able to learn things. Since ...
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1answer
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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
822 views

Is it a limitation of the eyes, or the brain, that we can't see a moving bullet?

Are the photoreceptors in our eyes not fast enough to register the fast moving bullet, or is the brain not powerful enough to make sense of something happening that fast?
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What “emotions” can a snake feel?

Short: Thinking in particular of a Royal Python (US: Ball Python) such as some people keep as exotic companion animals, what sorts of "emotions" or "feelings" are they capable of? Long: http://...
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Is there a correlation between total neurons and intelligence?

Thanks for looking. First off, I am not a biologist, just a curious layman, so I apologize in advance if this isn't a "good" question. Please don't downvote me into oblivion. I read today that the ...
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How do neurons find each other?

Neurons form complicated networks in brains, but their connections can't be random (at least not entirely). Brains function similarly among all members of individual species, and that functionality is ...
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Can the human brain be reduced to a binary system?

Does the brain really function like a computer as in, ultimately every response is related to a binary sequence based on whether particular neurons fire or not?
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1answer
927 views

Why does this illusion work?

This is another image I found on Google+ All lines are absolutely straight, parallel and perpendicular but why does it appear to have a curvature? Related: How does this illusion work?
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Is mammalian vision processed as a sequence of frames?

I often read that people believe that human vision has an inherent frames-per-second rate (FPS) that causes stroboscopic effects - such as seeing the spokes of a rotating wheel apparently rotating at ...
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1answer
293 views

What really is color and how do we perceive it?

How do our brains actually transform the information that the cones in our eyes receive into the different colors that we can see and imagine?
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Which part of the brain needs to be shut down to lose conciousness?

Whether it is mechanical (trauma), chemical (anaesthesia) or electrical - which part of the brain is shut down to cause loss of consciousness?
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1answer
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Does breath-holding cause permanent brain damage?

My question is: Does voluntarily holding your breath at atmospheric pressure for a few minutes can cause brain damage? I'm talking about periods of time around 3 minutes. I've read there are some ...
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What happens once a brain is full?

I just read the answer to this question, and it got me thinking... If the human brain (or any other brain) has a finite amount of storage, what would happen once the brain has taken in its maximum ...
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1answer
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Is there a significant difference in sedentary calorie-burn between a thinker and non-thinker?

I've read that, on average, a sedentary female burns between 1,600 - 2,000 calories and a sedentary male burns between 2,000 and 2,500 calories. I've also read that the brain itself burns quite a few ...
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How are babies born without a brain?

In the United States, anencephaly occurs in about 1 out of every 10,000 births. There are several forms of this condition, wherein the forebrain is absent. The forebrain is host to most of the higher ...
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Understanding the brain: how are neurotransmitters released in the brain?

I have a basic knowledge of how neural networks work. A potential difference is created that forces sodium, potassium, chloride, and calcium ions to flow which carries an electrical signal to the end ...
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2answers
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Does Lucid Dreaming decrease the regenerative effect of sleep?

After watching this SciShow video on sleep, I wonder about lucid dreaming. Specifically: Does lucid dreaming and associated directed agency within Lucid Dreaming decrease the regenerative effect of ...
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3answers
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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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1answer
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What is the mechanism behind tinnitus?

I seem to have come across two contrasting explanations for tinnitus induced by loud noises- i.e. damage to the hair cells in the cochlea. On the one hand, I have read that damage to the hair cells ...
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2answers
440 views

Is it possible for a human to wake up in a wrong way?

There's an old folk saying that goes like "He got out of bed on a wrong foot" - to indicate that the person's day is going poorly because of the way that person woke up. Is it is possible for a human ...
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1answer
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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
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Are we naturally born right or left handed or ambidextrous?

Most of you here will be right or left handed. A few might be ambidextrous. But were we born that way? I'm wondering if everyone was born ambidextrous, but as they grew up became more dependent on ...
9
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4answers
628 views

Why has evolution made neurons use spiking?

I'm going to be forward and say that I'm not a biologist. I don't claim to fully understand the functionality of a neuron from an electrical/chemical perspective... I'm curiously gazing from the ...
9
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1answer
855 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 ...
9
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1answer
178 views

What happens when we know that there is something that we forgot but we can't remember what it was?

I think it happens for everyone that sometimes we go to a room and forget why we went there. Is there any research or article on this?
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1answer
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Is it possible to lose synapses over time?

I mean, what if a person is for a long time submitted to conditions in which his mental capacities are not explored, are the synapses undone? I've heard that drugs may cause such an effect, but what ...
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1answer
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of being ambidextrous?

Most of us have one dominant hand. We find it nigh on impossible to do very delicate or dextrous activities with our other-hand. This seems like an apparent weakness, and a rather odd one when you ...
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1answer
242 views

What is this structure in human brain?

Scientists made a new image of brain. I wonder, what is this arc (denoted by blue)? Is it the caudate nucleus?
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1answer
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Are there any types of cancer that cause neurons to divide?

After birth neurons generally do not divide. But is there any specific type of rare cancer or tumour where neurons divide? And if there is such a cancer, then how is it possible for a neuron to regain ...
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1answer
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Can a human acquire a memory of an animal? [closed]

I would like to know if it's possible for a human to acquire an animal memory. I mean, animals store their memories in their brain, right? And so do we, humans, store our memory. So, is it possible ...
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2answers
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Do we use 100% of our cerebral capacity?

I saw a movie yesterday called Lucy. In this movie, a girl called Lucy absorbs a large amount of CPH4, and her brain capacity slowly increases. So that brings me to my question which is : Do we ...
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Is hunting animals, crafting and attacking/defending from enemies intellectually equivalent to learning quantum physics? [closed]

Our brains were shaped after natural selection. Which means that, as long as we were being affected by it, our brains were changing, evolving. Once we stepped out of nature and stopped being targets ...
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4answers
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Why are males more likely than females to have autism spectrum disorder?

The male to female ratio in autism spectrum disorder is around 4:1. However it seems ASD is not a simple X-linked disorder. Then how is it possible males are more susceptible than females, if the ...
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2answers
311 views

Neuronal Architecture of the Brain

To what extent do brains (e.g. of humans) contain recurrent connections? I am studying artificial neuronal networks and frequently encountered the statement, that recurrent neural networks are ...
8
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1answer
263 views

Can brain damage caused by physical injury affect the social behaviour of a person?

Can a physical injury to the brain, resulting from an accident, and not the result of a diagnosed mental illness, affect a person's social behavior?
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When glucose production is low, the brain begins using ketoacids as energy… how does that work?

Can someone very generally describe how the brain consumes ketoacids/ketone bodies when blood glucose has been completely depleted?