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A neural substrate is a term used in neuroscience to indicate the part of the central nervous system (i.e., brain and spinal cord) that underlies a specific behavior, cognitive process, or psychological state.[1][2] Neural is an adjective relating to "a nerve or the nervous system",[3] while a substrate is an "underlying substance or layer".[4]

Some examples are the neural substrates of language acquisition,[5] memory,[6] prediction and reward,[7] pleasure, facial recognition,[8] envisioning the future,[9] intentional empathy,[10] religious experience,[11] spontaneous musical performance,[12] and anxiety.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Neural substrates". Medical Dictionary. Farlex. Retrieved 27 January 2019. neural substrates
    functional units of the central nervous system, often composed of a series of structural units which may be widely separated anatomically but which interact to support or drive complex nervous system functions, such as hunger and sleepiness. They are the counterparts of simple centers, e.g. the respiratory center, which control simple physiological mechanisms.
  2. ^ Koffler S, Morgan J, Baron IS, Greiffenstein MF, eds. (2013). Neuropsychology: Science and Practice, I. Oxford University Press. p. 150. ISBN 9780199794317. Retrieved 27 January 2019. Further, clear definition of how language and its underlying neural substrates are affected as we become older will assist clinicians and others in communicating clearly with older persons.
  3. ^ Neural Oxford Dictionary. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  4. ^ Substrate Oxford Dictionary. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Neural substrates of language acquisition"
  6. ^ "Neural substrates of memory: from synapse to system"
  7. ^ "A neural substrate of prediction and reward"
  8. ^ "Neural substrates of facial recognition"
  9. ^ "Neural substrates of envisioning the future"
  10. ^ "The neural substrate of human empathy: effects of perspective-taking and cognitive appraisal"
  11. ^ "The neural substrates of religious experience"
  12. ^ "Neural substrates of spontaneous musical performance"
  13. ^ S. Hossein Fatemi; Paula J. Clayton (2008). The Medical Basis of Psychiatry. Springer. pp. 134–. ISBN 978-1-59745-252-6. Retrieved 28 December 2012.