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




Tuesday, 7 January 2014
Human Frontal Cortex Differs Even Genetically

The basic goal of many neuroscientific studies is to determine what makes human brains so different from those of other animal species, and in particular those of our cousins, the great apes. One such study was conducted recently by geneticist Genevieve Konopka and her team, and it yielded some very interesting findings about the frontal lobe of the brain.

One difference that scientists already knew about was that the frontal lobe accounts for a greater proportion of the total surface area of the cortex in humans than in other species (29%, compared with 17% in rhesus monkeys, 7% in dogs, and 3.5% in cats). But Konopka and her team studied differences in the expression of the genes for the various neurons that compose the frontal cortex. Specifically, the team compared the genes that are expressed (and therefore, active) in the frontal cortex of humans with those expressed in the frontal cortex of chimpanzees and macaques. The geneticists found that many of these genes are expressed differently in humans compared with these two other primate species. (more…)

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