23 votes

Do spiders learn how to build webs?

Spiders’ ability to weave webs is a classic example of an innate or instinctual behavior. They do not learn to make webs. The earliest English-language scientific publication that I can find to back ...
  • 7,779
13 votes
Accepted

Is lumosity.com based on science?

Zickefoose et al. did a study, and showed that while you might improve while playing the game, it called into question if you actually improved outside of just getting better at the game. Redick et ...
  • 3,044
13 votes

Do spiders learn how to build webs?

For many species the mother abandons the eggs after laying them and there is no maternal care (sometimes the mother dies after laying eggs, so really no possibility of maternal care). Paternal care is ...
9 votes
Accepted

How do beavers learn how to build dams?

Question summary: is dam building learned or instinctive in beavers? A blog post from 2011 references an article in the Juneau Empire titled Running water is sound of spring for beavers. This article ...
  • 7,779
8 votes
Accepted

How does a neuron change as you learn?

With respect to your first question, that model isn't intended to take time into account, but is based on Hebbian learning with the goal of computability. It's generally used in simple pattern ...
  • 1,753
5 votes

Does learning increase the number of neurons in the brain?

Short answer Training increases white and gray matter densities in the brain. This may reflect increases in neuronal cell counts especially in the hippocampus. In the cortex, however, such observed ...
  • 51.5k
5 votes

The simplest organism that can learn?

I don't know if it is definitively the simplest, but the simplest organism with a nervous system that has been studied extensively is probably C. elegans, which is definitely able to learn. Some ...
  • 37.3k
4 votes
Accepted

Is neurogenesis essencial for learning?

No, neurogenesis is not necessary for learning (assuming you are talking about adult neurogenesis: of course you need to generate neurons sometime in development to even have a nervous system). ...
  • 37.3k
4 votes
Accepted

Do blind people learn Braille equally fast as the sighted?

I have had a very difficult time finding information that was well-written and what you were looking for. So, I did my best! From what I have read it takes about four months - everyone is a little ...
  • 1,120
4 votes

Short dated spontaneous ringing in ear

Spontaneous ringing is caused by When the outer hair cells put energy back into the vibration, which is known as positive feedback. The process is meant to amplify very quiet sounds more so than loud ...
  • 2,603
3 votes

How does a neuron change as you learn?

This model was a reasonable approximation when it was formulated. However, as we learn more about synaptic integration, it appears that neurons are best approximated by two-layer neural networks (1). ...
  • 1,189
3 votes
Accepted

Spatial learning in microorganisms

To build on busukxuan's answer, there are a lot of single-celled organism responses that kind of resemble memory: Slime mold uses an externalized spatial 'memory' to navigate in complex environments -...
  • 279
3 votes
Accepted

What is the most basic organism to respond to Classical conditioning (capable of learning)?

Very simple nervous systems are capable of learning C. elegans, with only 302 neurons, is reportedly capable of both learning and memory. There is a fairly large literature on the subject, as C. ...
  • 3,613
2 votes

Molecular/cellular biology textbook to consolidate what I know about molecular/cell biology

Campbell's Biology is, I quote my biology teacher, "the Bible of AP Biology". I know you're a medical student and therefore far past that introductory college level, but Campbell's does quite a good ...
2 votes

Neuroscience of confusion

Here's an article I found that seems to attempt to address this question, using a kind of machine-learning approach involving "Long Short-Term Memory" (LSTM)-Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN), to ...
2 votes
Accepted

A question concerning the strength of synapses

What you are describing is exactly how long-term potentiation/LTP (or depression/LTD, for that matter) is measured electrophysiologically. Here's an example from a 1988 review by Nicoll et al: ...
  • 37.3k
2 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't evolution converge on perfection?

The key point you're missing is that perfection is a variable, or perhaps more accurately, a function of many variables that depend on environmental factors and the actions of other species. Even ...
  • 3,613
2 votes

Why doesn't evolution converge on perfection?

My question is that if the aim of life in general is to ensure the continuity of the species That is not the aim of either life or evolution. Rather individuals have the goal of surviving and genes ...
2 votes

Why do we develop addiction?

So how could it [addiction] develop? Children need to play in order to understand the structure and behaviour of the world around them. Bumping into things is a byproduct of this. This behaviour is ...
  • 11.3k
2 votes

Neuroscience and learning of a single neuron

No, you cannot teach a single neuron an alphabet. In general, the way the brain learns and stores information is by adjusting the strength of connections between neurons. Therefore, there is not ...
  • 37.3k
2 votes

Why don't intelligent animals like primates use plastic bags?

Bags are not that useful if your are not human. Most primates are too small to get any benefit from it, the bags are too large and would drag on the ground or get snagged on branches, even chimps and ...
  • 13.4k
1 vote

Where, online (preferably free) can learn medical topics in depth, specifically gastroenterology?

Although I voted to close this question, my advice is too long for a comment. The short answer is, you can't. You can't read enough to learn "gastroenterology". You can go to med school (my ...
1 vote

More general term than "adaptation"

Adjustment = a small alteration or movement made to achieve a desired fit, appearance, or result; the process of adapting or becoming used to a new situation (Google Dictionary). Adjustment is a very ...
  • 7,999
1 vote
Accepted

How is "firing together" detected in Hebbian learning?

The dynamics of Hebbian or associative synaptic plasticity are thought to be governed primarily through the function of the NMDA glutamate receptor. The short answer is that you are basically right on ...
  • 1,189
1 vote

How do I score differential activity of cellular pathways in microarray data (not enrichment)?

How do I score differential activity of cellular pathways in microarray data (not enrichment)? You would look at downstream genes, which are selective for individual pathways - or genes which have ...
  • 1,587
1 vote
Accepted

Can ants learn things?

Ants can usually learn patterns, colors and sequences. Species that do not use pheromone trails rely heavily on landmarks for navigation, that is they perform learning walks during which they look ...
  • 377
1 vote

Are single-celled organisms capable of learning?

The authors of The omnistat: A flexible continuous‐culture system for prolonged experimental evolution report on an experiment where they evolved Lactococcus lactis to have an anticipatory response to ...

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