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Questions tagged [neuroscience]

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

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2answers
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What is the perisomatic region of a neuron?

In the scholarpedia page on interneurons I encountered the following passage: The perisomatic domain is responsible for the summation of postsynaptic potentials arriving from all dendritic branches ...
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How do we know there aren't vital chemoreceptors in the hair cells of our ears, and that the brainstem is responsible for 80% of the breathing drive? [duplicate]

How is the response from chemoreceptors tested, such as how do we know the brainstem is responsible for 80% of the breathing drive, and that the inner ear is not responsible for 60% of it, instead?
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Correlation between height and nervous system response

The basis of this observation is purely anecdotal, although I do believe it holds significant weight. I am rather tall(197cm) and am quite the slow typist. However, everyone of my friends or ...
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29 views

Turning off the cerebral cortex [on hold]

This is a bit of a short question. If we were to turn of the cerebral cortex, like zero activity for a little bit and then turn it back on to normal activity later, what would happen. Would the person ...
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1answer
82 views

Is sexual desire stronger in men than women?

Usually in popular culture it's considered men sexual desire is stronger than women. This seems to be congruent with the availability of sexual related items for men and women, such as magazines, ...
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Why is there no solid evidence (histological, fMRI) that the vestibular hair cells of the inner ear contribute to 53% of the respiratory drive?

There are these papers which strongly imply that the inner ear hair cells, and not the medulla, is primarily the driving factor in the CO2 drive reflex https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21130842 ...
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1answer
65 views

What is the basis of the endocochlear potential?

I am learning about the endocochlear potential. According to different sources, the ionic composition of perilymph is about as follows (in mM): 150 Na+, 4-5 K+, 1.2 Ca2+, 1 Mg2+, 120 Cl−, and 20 HCO3−;...
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9 views

What determines the influx of calcium ions in the voltage-gated ion channels?

Calcium channels play a crucial role in neuronal signaling by helping the synaptic vesicles to fuse through the synaptic active zone and release their neurotransmitters. My question is, at a given ...
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4answers
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Are neural connections one-way?

I'm trying to think about how two neurons communicate, typically shown in pictures as an electric pulse traveling along a long, thin connective tissue. Is this depiction somewhat accurate, and if so, ...
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0answers
14 views

What happens when the conductance of a sodium channel increases?

My intuition is that, since the concentration of sodium within a cell is higher than the extracellular concentration, when conductance increases, this corresponds to the channel being open and means ...
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17 views

Why do people have eureka moments of revelation while taking a shower? [migrated]

What kind of mechanisms are at work to cause creative thinking or revelations during auto-pilot tasks like taking a shower or teeth brushing? This describes it: Incubation period - we are working on ...
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1answer
56 views

What makes synapses stay “fixed”?

What makes synapses not move or pre- and postsynaptic cells neither touch nor move away from each other? I mean the synaptic cleft is a gap between the pre- and postsynaptic cells that is about 20 nm ...
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Would you classify confusion as an emotion? [migrated]

I'm writing a short essay on emotions and I stumbled upon a few references of confusion being an emotion but no solid exclusive research results focusing on confusion as an emotion. If it isn't, what ...
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2answers
49 views

Are neurotransmitters part of the endocrine system?

I was speaking with a substitute teacher of mine, and we were discussing whether neurotransmitters are part of the endocrine system or not. My class just spent an entire semester on the topic of the ...
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1answer
46 views

What causes sodium channels to open?

What triggers the opening of sodium channels in a neuronal membrane? Is it acetylcholine that activates sodium channels in the postsynaptic membrane? Are sodium channels like receptors that have to ...
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2answers
4k views

What makes learning more difficult as we age?

Why is it harder to adapt yourself to different cultures, places, and languages as you age? What makes breaking up with emotional patterns or ideas after years of habit more difficult? Is there a ...
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1answer
14 views

Do astrocytes connect and chemically communicate with other astrocytes?

I am building a novel model of neural tissue for the purposes of Machine Learning and am currently trying to unpick the functions of the astroglia. The literature suggests that astrocytes ensheath ...
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1answer
46 views

How important is getting enough glucose for maximal brain performance / cognition?

I know from many studies that have been done, that resting versus active use of the brain has relatively similar overall energy expenditure levels. On the other hand, however, we know that the brain ...
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1answer
794 views

What is the location of the Hypoglossal nerve?

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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3answers
305 views

What is Modulation Power Spectrum?

I'm reading this paper https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4562283/ , but I cannot make sense of what MPS nor how should I read the pictures that make use of this method. The authors say ...
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17 views

A question about how the brain determines the source of a sound

If a person's eardrum vibrates, let's say, 440 times per second for 1 second, how does the brain know its because 1 sound source vibrated 440 times, as opposed to 440 sources vibrating once, one after ...
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9 views

Looking for books on How the limbic system works and it role in non-verbal behavior

This is my first post. I just read and I'm currently studying a book called "How everybody works" as a guide to understanding nonverbal behaviors. After I'm done studying it and while I experiment ...
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28 views

Is there a minimum amount a muscle can move? And thus, gaps in our movement?

Lately I've been thinking about something, based on my knowledge my chain of reasoning works like this... When you want to move a muscle your brain sends an electrical nervous impulse along the chain ...
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1answer
30 views

can auditory/ocular reflexes exist?

In the same way the knee-jerk reflex is a thing (I think the nerve signal doesn't go through the brain?), can stimuli received by the eyes or ears trigger "instantaneous" (faster than the brain can ...
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0answers
31 views

Can we “learn” reflexes?

Can we force our bodies to react to situations faster than our brain can think about them? Some reflexes I can think of off the top of my head: knee jerk reflex retracting hand when touching a hot ...
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1answer
38 views

How do we know if a neuron is inhibitory or excitatory?

The textbook examples for an excitatory neurotransmitter is Glutamate, and for an inhibitory neurotransmitter it is GABA. In my naive understanding, a neuron was inhibitory or excitatory depending on ...
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1answer
77 views

Understanding presynaptic and postsynaptic inhibition

One way to classify neural inhibition is based on the inhibition being "presynaptic" or "postsynaptic". As far as I understand, the two different types of inhibition refer to the following: ...
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7answers
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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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3answers
92 views

Could we have endless pleasure?

Are there any studies that point out that we could have a device in the future or drug that could give us endless amount of pleasure by stimulating or blocking processes in the brain or nerve system? ...
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0answers
27 views

What makes synaptic vesicle release probabilistic?

The fusion of synaptic vesicles (SVs) with the plasma membrane of the active zone (AZ) upon arrival of an action potential (AP) at the presynaptic compartment is a tightly regulated probabilistic ...
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2answers
1k views

Special visceral efferent

Why are special visceral efferent nerves are named as such? They are supplying motor impulses to muscles of pharyngeal arch, which are both skeletal(facial) and visceral(laryngeal) 1, so why only ...
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1answer
515 views

Does a generator potential pass along a nerve the same way an action potential does?

I have read that a generator potential is a localized depolarization of a membrane. Does that mean that it does not pass along a neuron the same way an action potential does ? If not, then how do ...
3
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1answer
156 views

Reward pathway sequence of events

So I've been reading a lot of papers on the reward pathway. But since I'm not schooled in any relevant knowledge I'm having trouble grasping the chain of events. Most papers detail just bits and ...
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1answer
130 views

Why do simulations of dichromatic color vision portray medium wavelengths as yellow rather than green?

Please take the time to read & answer this at your own convenient pace. Is this even the right way to put this? Do you think this post better belongs in the Physics or Philosophy forums? This ...
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2answers
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How many sensory neurons are in the human body?

While I understand that there is a wide disparity of precision when it comes to specifying what constitutes "sensory neurons/receptors", I'm trying to find an authoritative source to provide at least ...
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0answers
17 views

Does the prefrontal cortex fold over the diencephalon (limbic lobe) during embryogenesis?

The frontal lobe as the top of the vertebrate brain, does it fold over the diencephalon during embryogenesis and development of the brain?
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1answer
54 views

How is the electrical potential difference distributed between two stimulating electrodes?

Suppose I set the voltage value of an isolated stimulator with a floating ground. I place one electrode above the spinal cord (positive) and the other placed subcutaneously far away from the spinal ...
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1answer
137 views

Where can I find a diagram of cortex connections?

Has anyone come across a diagram (2D, 3D, maybe even interactive) of the connectiontions between cortex regions? Especially, the diagram should display the strength and direction of those connections (...
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1answer
5k 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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2answers
40 views

Does loss of dopaminergic neurons totally eliminate voluntary muscular control?

Breathing is a function that is not only autonomic, but can also be temporarily overridden and placed under voluntary control. In fact, you are now breathing manually. Now, suppose that someone has ...
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2answers
98 views

Understanding the “Waterfall Illusion”

Motion after-effect illusions, such as the waterfall illusion, refer to illusions where fixating a screen which shows stimuli moving in a particular direction elicits the perception of motion in the ...
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2answers
83 views

What material fills the synaptic cleft? Is it water?

The synaptic cleft is the gap between the pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neurons, and neurotransmitters are transferred between the neurons within this region. What substance exits in this space, is ...
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1answer
62 views

What are these two nerves running parallel to the spine called?

I was looking for a human body nervous system, and often times i found a picture like the one below, where there are two nerves running parallel to the spinal column. I searched for it, but nothing ...
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1answer
31 views

Relationship between membrane current and voltage in neurons

Depolarization of neurons leads currents of different magnitudes flow in or out of the cell, and the Sodium and Potassium currents can be separately plotted (Purves): Caption: Relationship between ...
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1answer
24 views

Changes of permeability and driving force during voltage clamp

An action potential can be understood in terms of voltage changes, and these are fundamentally a function of relative permeability changes, mostly for Sodium and Potassium ions. If for instance the ...
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2answers
176 views

Why do fishes have both a gustatory and an olfactory system?

I would like to know if there is a reason why fishes (and many aquatic species) have both an olfactory and a gustatory system. As far as I know, in all fish species the chemoreceptors, organs and ...
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2answers
13k 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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1answer
9k 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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3answers
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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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Is it possible to have action potentials in cells lacking both dendrites and axons?

I'm reading Kandel. Chapter 3 states the following: Because the initial segment of the axon has the highest density of voltage-sensitive Na+ channels and therefore the lowest threshold for ...