Comparative Neurophysiology

Comparative Neurophysiology

  • How can findings from studies conducted on model animal organisms be used in developing human medical technology?

    It is my understanding that neurological studies are usually conducted first on specimens such as mice, rats, or flies. I am aware that these animals are model organisms, and that findings collected from studies conducted on their genes and physiology would shed hints on the workings of human genes and physiology.

    That being said, I am sure that there are still several differences, and that just because finding A was shown to be the case for Mus musculus, it would not always be as similar in the case of a human subject. What information should one ascertain, now, in order to justify that studies on a model organism would be applicable to human biology, particularly in the field of neuroscience?

    Juan Anton Dayco de los Reyes · Ateneo de Manila University

    Thank you for the answers! :)

  • Gary Mckeown added an answer:
    Does anyone know where I could get a set of dynamic video stimuli of people making emotional facial expressions?

    I am planning some facial EMG studies measuring facial mimicry, and it has been found that dynamic stimuli (videos of faces going from neutral to the full emotion) elicit a larger mimicry effect than still images. However, attempts to record my own from a student population have not been very sucessful, and I feel that videos created from morphing a still neutral face gradually into an emotional face don't give realistic results.

    Gary Mckeown · Queen's University Belfast

    I'll second Jeff's answer above and mention our database the Belfast Induced Natural Emotion Database (BINED). Questions you may want to ask involve whether you are looking for posed/acted (not advising this) against spontaneous/natural; whether you want induced or naturally captured emotion; whether you want expressions during human social interaction or in isolated settings. 

  • Nikolaos C Aggelopoulos added an answer:
    When do firing rate distributions approximate a Gaussian distribution?

    There is a theoretical upper limit of how fast a neuron can fire, based on the duration of its spike and refractory period. Therefore, under certain conditions, its firing rate might fit a Gaussian distribution. One possible situation would be the distribution of firing rate responses to a preferred stimulus. Has there been a treatment of that question in the literature in relation to stimulus selectivity?

    Nikolaos C Aggelopoulos · Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Boston, USA

    I was referring to firing rates, not interspike intervals. Thank you both for your answers and for that useful reference. An upper limit in firing rates would stop a distribution from being Poisson, since rates cannot increase beyond a certain value. That upper limit by itself would not produce a Gaussian distribution but it would tend to favour a Gaussian-like distribution over a Poisson like distribution, once the distribution moved away from 0,

    Presumably the distribution of responses to non effective stimuli would be gamma or Poisson like, the distribution of responses to highly effective stimuli would be affected by the upper limit and would look like their mirror images, while responses to intermediately effective stimuli with a rate a bit over 10 spikes/sec would tend to be approximated by a Gaussian distribution. Hopefully someone will come up with more formal concepts at some point.

  • Lee O Vaasjo asked a question:
    What is the most behaviorally active and ethologically diverse nudibranch or sea slug?
    Sea slugs are an amazing model to study the neural circuits of behavior. How does a larger behavioral repetuar reflect in the brain of these "simple" creatures. Any names ?
  • Sidharta Chatterjee asked a question:
    Comparative methodology to study evolutionary shortfalls in brain functions of animals other than human
    Out-group analysis, etc.
  • Sidharta Chatterjee asked a question:
    Do animals behave suboptimally. A 'Matter of Grey Matter' variation among terrestrial vertebrates.
    Answers may focus on cortical variations in mammals, vertebrates compared to humans

About Comparative Neurophysiology

Comparative Neurophysiology is a subdiscipline of Physiology that studies the diversity in functional neurophysiological characteristics among animals, primate groups and human beings.

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