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120

Short answer Yes, men and women's brains are different before birth. Background First off, learning effects versus genetic differences is the familiar nature versus nurture issue. Several genes on the Y-chromosome, unique to males, are expressed in the pre-natal brain. In fact, about a third of the genes on the Y-chromosome are expressed in the male ...


88

Short Answer Yes. handedness (or Behavioral Lateralization) has been documented in numerous vertebrates (mammals, reptiles and birds) as well as invertebrates. This includes domestic cats (see Wells & Millsopp 2009). Long Answer There have been numerous studies that have documented behavioral lateralization in many groups of animals including lower ...


81

Short answer As far as I know, a complete neural map (a connectome) is only available for the roundworm C. elegens, a nematode with only 302 neurons (fig. 1). Fig. 1. C. elegans (left, size: ~1 mm) and connectome of C. elegans (right). sources: Utrecht University & Farber (2012) Background Looking at the least complex of animals will be your best bet ...


60

The question is relatively broad and one should take into account that the brain not only consists of neurons, but also glial cells (supportive cells) and pre-mitotic neuronal stem cells. Furthermore, as critical fellow-scientists have indicated, developmental stage is very important, as the developing embryonic brain is very different from the adult brain. ...


53

The brain is indeed stacked with blood vessels, as shown in a 3D model in Fig. 1. Fig. 1. 3D-printed model of blood vaculature. Source: Biobots. The blood supply on the surface of a live brain is readily seen during a craniotomy (Fig. 2.) Fig. 2. Surface of the brain. Source: The Sterile Eye. When freshly prepared, the interior of the brain appears ...


25

The organism you are looking for is the nematode C. elegans, which always has the same number of neurons, 302, and has been fully mapped, see WormWeb or you can chase original publications from there. C. elegans is particularly suited for this kind of work because it has a constant number of cells which divide in an entirely predictable order and its neurons ...


22

There are multiple levels of memory, some of which would die immediately, some of which would take some time. So the answer is: it depends; some immediately, some only very slowly. At the highest level, the current neuronal firing state of the brain encodes memory on a very short scale - working memory. The memory held on this level does not have a clear ...


22

I will just show the statistics of last attempt to mimic the brain process. In 2011 fastest computer in Japan was launched: K computer OR SPARC64 VIIIfx 2.0GHz Features: Manufacturer: Fujitsu Cores: 705,024 Linpack Performance (Rmax) 10,510 TFlop/s Theoretical Peak (Rpeak) 11,280.4 TFlop/s Power: 12,659.89 kW Memory: 1,410,048 GB (16GB RAM per ...


21

No, it can't be done for a lot of reasons. Here are just a few. 1) Memories are stored in electrical pathways, not the the cells themselves. You don't have 1000 memories in a chunk of brain that contains 1000 neurons. If you don't get the entire pathway, you won't get the memory. 2) Once a nerve is cut, it won't fuse with another cut nerve. All you'll have ...


20

First of all, I would like to point out that making analogy between digital computers and the brain is often very misleading. That being said, my answer is, some scientists believe so, some don't. Several things to consider: Some neural systems are not spiking. C. elegans for example has a nervous system that is entirely analogue. Human nervous system ...


18

The way neuroscientists currently think about storage in the brain, it doesn't make any sense to think about "duplicate" data but rather about the "robustness" of a given memory to interference or confusion, which increases with consolidation and reconsolidation of memories or can degrade over time. Repeated exposure can contribute to the robustness of a ...


16

You are correct in that the neurons themselves do not sense pain. However, the brain contains layers of coverings, blood vessels, the scalp and some muscles. All of these other structures have pain receptors. The coverings of the brain are called meninges and consist of the dura, arachnoid and pia. The dura in particular has a lot of pain receptors and may ...


16

The idea that we only use 10% of our brain capacity is a myth. There is a great article at wired.com that discusses the myth and it's history. There is really no reason to evolve an entire brain of which only 10% is used. One great point that they make is that minor brain damage can cause devastating effects, not what you would expect if you had 90% ...


16

I believe there are types of water snail with 8 distinct neurons in a ganglia, there's a bit of information here: molluscs.at. The cell bodies of the neurons are massive, visible under a standard dissecting microscope, so they were popular among early electrophysiologists. I guess there are probably more neurons around the snail, but it's certainly one of ...


15

There's a very big difference between doing the calculations needed to simulate the human brain (or any animal brain - we can do a fairly decent job on C. elegans), and doing computations. While a basic leaky integrate & fire model is fairly simple, to accurately simulate a single neuron in real time takes a pretty fast computer. See e.g. these links ...


14

If you split a human early enough (in the first weeks after fertilization), you can get monozygotic twins. Other than that, you are in the field of science fiction and we cannot safely answer such question on a science website. I am not sure your question will be accepted in its current format but you may try WorldBuilding.SE. And if you like fantasy ...


13

It's less a problem of speed and more of raw photon count. Assuming a brightly lit day, the bullet will move so fast that it doesn't reflect enough photons to register against the background. High speed images of bullets usually involve a very bright flash (and other controlled settings) for the camera to pick it up. (Also, a very short flash helps the ...


13

The temporal lobe is in the temporal region of the head, near the temples of the skull, hence the name. It's name does not relate to it's biological function, it is mainly involved in processing language, visual memories, and emotions. The medulla oblongata is one region of the brain that deals with a lot of the "tempo" type functions (tempo as in keeping ...


13

Is there a significant difference in calorie burn? No. The brain, while only making up 2% of our body weight, accounts for ~20% of our energy use at rest. That's because the brain, being critical for survival, is a very high-maintenance organ. At rest, the membrane potentials of all neurons - firing or at "rest" - need to be controlled/maintained. Of all ...


12

Short answer: no, there is no fixed frame rate or frame-based processing in mammalian vision. Photons arriving at the photoreceptors at the back of the human retina interact with photo-sensitive pigments called opsins, and modulate their release of the neurotransmitter glutamate . The level of glutamate released from a photoreceptor then changes the ...


12

Short answer The exact mechanism behind tinnitus (ringing in the ear) is unknown. Background Of the two theories you pose here, to the best of my knowledge the second one is the most widely accepted. It is a generally accepted phenomenon that whenever neural systems are being deprived of input, they start seeking new input, or even generate it ...


12

The "wiring" of the brain is more important than the actual size. If only size would matter that basically humans would be rather unintelligent beings ( many many animals have larger head and brain than us). Intelligence is more related to the complexity of the brain (number and size of different brain components) and the number of connections between ...


12

There is ongoing research on this topic, but there is a theory known as inhibition theory. It has been defined as: Inhibition theory is based on the basic assumption that during the performance of any mental task requiring a minimum of mental effort, the subject actually goes through a series of alternating latent states of distraction (non-work 0) and ...


12

First of all, let me clear out that these numbers are calculated, not observed (obviously, nobody has counted the number of neurons in any part of brain). So, take these with a grain of salt. I was unable to find any report that collects and displays all numbers together (Bio Numbers too didn't yield significant information). So I will compile here all the ...


12

Short Answer Yes, autapses exist, though the role of excitatory autapses in particular is unclear. Long Answer A lot of your assumptions are wrong for biological neurons (I'm suspecting you have a background in artificial neural networks but that might be inaccurate). These don't directly impact your question of whether these connections exist, but I ...


11

This is a common phenomena which most of us come across. Seeing flashes of light, stars and other shapes in the eyes occur when the body goes through stressful activities. For example while you are climbing the blood flow will be more to other prominent parts like hands and lower waist so brain and eyes will get less supply of blood as well as nutrients. ...


11

To add to Christiaan's answer, I'll mention one striking example of long-distance neuronal migration in the adult mammalian brain: the so-called Rostral Migratory Stream found in rodents, in rabbits and both the squirrel and rhesus monkey. Neuronal precursors originating in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the brain migrate to reach the main olfactory bulb ...


10

To quote the University of Sidney site: People often think that other people are staring at them even when they aren't research led by the University of Sydney has found. When in doubt, the human brain is more likely to tell its owner that they're under the gaze of another person, researchers from the University of Sydney and The Vision Centre ...


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