Questions tagged [neuroscience]

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

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877 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 ...
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2answers
3k views

How does an inhibitory synapse communicate to the cell body of a neuron?

I picture a neuron as having multiple trees of dendrites attached to the cell body with a single axon leaving the cell body. I believe the cell body near the axon root makes the decision to fire or ...
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838 views

How are neurons / synapses “biased”?

I'm trying to see if I understand this correctly. I've read the question Can the human brain be reduced to a binary system? and one of the answers explains: While action potentials are usually ...
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934 views

Is lumosity.com based on science?

I always see these Lumosity ads on TV, and I personally feel they are just trying to "sell me something". I did some layman's research (wikipedia) and read that "Studies of Lumosity's effectiveness ...
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1k views

Are unilaterally deaf people able to determine where sound comes from?

My question is on people deafened in one ear, but normal hearing in the other. Time and level differences between the two ears are only part of how the human body can localize the source of the sound....
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4answers
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Is there any way a human could whistle and be unable to speak?

Is there any situation anatomically, where a human could understand the speech of others perfectly, without any capabilities of speech themselves, but would retain the ability to whistle with a tune? ...
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1answer
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Single long axon vs serial neurons

Based on the comments in this post and also this chat. For discussions and speculations please comment in the chat. The basic question is what is the advantage of having a single long axon such as ...
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3answers
13k 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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1answer
926 views

How harmful is aluminium?

I have been taught in school that aluminium is harmful for brain. Thus sour meals should not be cooked in aluminium pots and it is unhealthy to add lemon juice to tea while there is teabag in the cup, ...
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2k views

What is the latency between paired neuronal responses in the brain?

Is there any data on how long it takes for signals to propagate from one neuron to its neighbors in complex networks, such as the brain (particularly the neo-cortex)? If not, is there any reasonable ...
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11k views

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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584 views

What's the worst that can happen from too much sleep deprivation? Can you die?

It is well known that sleep deprivation causes considerable discomfort in humans (and has even used as a form of torture), but nevertheless there have been people who went through protracted sleep ...
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What is the function of nodes of Ranvier in axons?

In a neuroscience class I'm taking, it was explained that myelin covers axons in sections, the uncovered sections are called nodes of Ranvier, and signals propagate much faster in the covered sections....
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Is there a biological basis to physical attraction?

Is there something encoded within us that makes us attracted to, e.g., someone taller or shorter with blonde or brunette hair with green or blue eyes? Or, is this phenomenon completely based on ...
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161 views

Are Schwann cells the sole source of myelination in PNS?

Are Schwann cells the only source of myelin for axons in the peripheral nervous system, or are there other neuroglia or other processes that result in myelination of PNS axons?
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Can people with paralyzed eye muscles see?

As far as I am aware, the saccades of the eye are central to visual perception. If the eye is held still, the human stops seeing, even if light is reaching the retina and the visual pathway is intact. ...
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26k views

How long does a signal from the brain take to reach the limbs?

If the brain sends a signal to move what's the time it takes the signal to travel via neurons to motor neurons in hands, arms and legs? How fast do those signals travel?
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1answer
19k views

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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23k views

How is membrane capacitance related to the increased speed of saltatory conduction?

Here is the original question which inspired my question. As explained by the answers there, the reason saltatory conduction in myelinated neurons is faster than non-myelinated conduction is because ...
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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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324 views

Is the squid giant axon the fastest conducting unmyelinated axon known?

The conduction velocity of the squid giant axon can reach 30 m/s. Is there any known example of an even faster conducting unmyelinated axons?
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994 views

Refractory period in action potential

I know that the part E in this graph is definitely the part of refractory period. My question : Will there be any effect on B,C or D if a stimulus is given at time B,CorD respectively ?
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1answer
516 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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105 views

Can we disambiguate competing molecular mechanisms of learning and plasticity by measuring electrical activity of neurons?

I have been reading with fascination about the several molecular- and cellular-scale mechanisms and structural changes that underlie what we refer to as long-term plasticity. For instance, [1], [2], [...
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How do our eyes detect light at different frequencies?

Here is my confusion: we can see colored light of different wavelengths: form red to violet. To my understanding, these stimuli cause a confirmational change in the photoreceptors in our eyes and ...
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1answer
155 views

What were the first neural systems like?

I'm curious about the origin of the neural network. I'm thinking perhaps once life evolved beyond the single cell organism, it needed a simple neural network to coordinate those cells, and cell ...
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2k views

What keeps the resting potential of neurons constant at -70 mV?

I know the sodium-potassium pump pumps out 3 Na+ ions and pumps in 2 K+ ions per reaction so the negative charge in the axon increases. However, once the voltage (difference of charge inside and ...
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What causes Paresthesia (Pins and Needles) at a cellular level?

I've looked it up in plenty of places like the Wikipedia page and such, and it is clear that the most common cause of Paresthesia is either a fair amount of pressure on a specific patch of skin ...
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7k 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
2k views

Why do neurones use chemical signalling at synaptic junctions?

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 receptor surface ...
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700 views

Is brain transplantation possible?

Many organs can be transplanted nowadays, including the liver, lungs and kidneys. Can the brain be transplanted?
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288 views

Is the ratio 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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Are sensory receptors neurons?

Background There are many receptor types in the body, with various functions and various mechanisms of transduction. Receptor cells are considered to be part of the peripheral nervous system, as they ...
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7k views

Do ants feel pain?

I have watched video on youtube where guy pours molten aluminium into fire ant colony to make casing. In the comments below there's huge discussion on is that a right thing to do. I am on the side ...
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Why doesn't local anesthesia affect muscles?

While having a dental surgery, I've got this question that why I can still talk, open/close my mouth, move my lips and so on while I can't feel anything at all in my mouth? If the local anesthesia ...
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318 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 ...
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674 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 ...
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10k views

How precisely can we sense temperature differences?

We have thermoreceptors, thus we can sense temperature (both warm and cold). I'm interested in the sensitivity of our thermoreceptors - What is the smallest temperature difference that we can sense? ...
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3answers
211 views

If my brain lost all of its activity for a moment, would my memory be gone too?

I can't remember which question it was, but in the past here, it was explained to me that memory is actively stored in the brain, rather than "physically". Meaning, memories are made up of the brain's ...
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243 views

Why are melodies/harmonies perceived as pleasurable by humans?

Is there any evolutionary advantage to finding melodies or harmonies pleasurable? Does the ear pick up these particular oscillating waves differently from other sounds, and if so, how does that affect ...
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1answer
124 views

Can one dendrite pass through another?

While tracing dendrites on EyeWire I encountered the following situation. They belong to an Orientation Selective Ganglion Cell. It's the first dendrite I've noticed with such a clear 'hole' in it, ...
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196 views

Soma-soma paired neurons

I'm reading this paper about how neurons can connect. Wikipedia says, typically neurons connect via axon (transmitter) and dendrites (receiver) but there are also special cases where dendrites connect ...
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11k views

At what point during an action potential are the sodium potassium pumps working?

I'm trying to understand how all of the potentials during an action potential are created. My question specifically is about the sodium potassium pumps, however I would also be grateful if someone ...
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1answer
681 views

First discovery of long-term depression?

LTP was first described by Tim Bliss and Terje Lømo in their paper Long-lasting potentiation of synaptic transmission in the dentate area of the anaesthetized rabbit following stimulation of the ...
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1answer
277 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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1answer
190 views

What processes are responsible for focusing on an image only seen by one of the eyes?

When a person is spying from around a corner with only one eye, it's rather easy to ignore the other eye's image, since it's probably much darker, because one usually spies around a corner standing ...
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Can a single axon propagate multiple simultaneous action potentials?

I have not been able to locate any research that indicates whether a single axon of a neuron or nerve cell can conduct multiple simultaneous (i.e. spatially separate) action potentials. I am aware ...
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1k views

Why some cells don't produce purines?

It is said that erythrocytes, polymorphonuclear leukocytes and brain cannot produce purines. And the reason given as per this site is: Human brain tissue has a low level of PRPP glutamyl ...
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213 views

Original paper about the all or none law for neurons

I am looking for the original paper about the all or none law for neural activity. I know that there is a very old article about the all or none law for mammalian heart muscle fibers, but I'm ...
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3k views

Are there nerves in the umbilical cord?

I have always imagined that cutting the umbilical cord after birth might be painful. But I have always been confused about who would feel the pain and why. It occurred to me that the mother or the ...