After providing all the funding for The Brain from Top to Bottom for over 10 years, the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction informed us that because of budget cuts, they were going to be forced to stop sponsoring us as of March 31st, 2013.

We have approached a number of organizations, all of which have recognized the value of our work. But we have not managed to find the funding we need. We must therefore ask our readers for donations so that we can continue updating and adding new content to The Brain from Top to Bottom web site and blog.

Please, rest assured that we are doing our utmost to continue our mission of providing the general public with the best possible information about the brain and neuroscience in the original spirit of the Internet: the desire to share information free of charge and with no adverstising.

Whether your support is moral, financial, or both, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Bruno Dubuc, Patrick Robert, Denis Paquet, and Al Daigen




Monday, 13 August 2012
Genes to Cognition Online

There are not too many web sites about the human brain that are structured according to the human organism’s levels of organization, so that readers always keep this fundamental concept in mind. That is understandable, given the all the extra work involved in writing the content for such a site. But a handful of writers have been energetic enough, or foolish enough, to attempt this approach, including yours truly, with The Brain from Top to Bottom.

Because web sites like mine are so scarce, I would feel remiss if I did not let my readers know about another one that has been around for a few years now. It is called Genes to Cognition Online (first link below). The home page presents a concept map that serves as the primary interface to the rest of the site. It represents all of the topics discussed on the site as a dynamic, interrelated network, thus establishing the site’s non-linear architecture. To explore the topics, you navigate through this network with your mouse. It feels something like travelling around inside a large protein molecule.

The organism’s levels of organization are represented as a horizontal line running above the map for whichever concept you select. While The Brain from Top to Bottom uses five levels of organization, Genes to Cognition Online uses six, dividing what we call the molecular level into two levels: Genes and Biochemicals. The other levels map very closely to ours: Cells (Cellular), Brain Anatomy (Neurological), Cognition (Psychological), and Environment (Social).

In contrast to The Brain from Top to Bottom, which uses a colour code to identify the level of complexity of the explanation, Genes to Cognition Online uses its colour code to identify the levels of organization of the organism, so that readers exploring a given topic can quickly which tell which of these levels it is associated with. As regards the level of explanation, the introductory video clip (second link below) suggests that Genes to Cognition Online is intended for students rather than for professors or researchers.

Genes to Cognition Online also offers a wealth of multimedia content: in addition to text articles, it includes animations, and video interviews with researchers who work in the fields being discussed. In short, this site is well worth a visit, especially to see how it uses its own structure to communicate the complexity of the human organism, just as we try to do in The Brain from Top to Bottom, albeit it with a much smaller team (just compare our Credits page with theirs).

i_lien Genes to Cognition Online
i_lien Using G2C Online

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