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, 27 May 2014
The Variety and Structural Complexity of Neurons

The purpose of most of the posts in this blog is to summarize recent studies in the cognitive sciences and attempt to make them more accessible—in particular by providing links to selected pages on this website. But the purpose of some of the other posts is simply to draw attention to existing resources on various aspects of neuroscience. Today’s post falls in the latter category. It deals with the neuron and the work by Kristen Harris and her colleagues to reveal it in all its complexity (see the first two links below). (more…)

From the Simple to the Complex | No comments


Monday, 12 May 2014
We May Be Able To Have Feelings Without an Insula

The insula is a brain structure that lies deep inside the cerebral cortex and so is less accessible for examination. That is why so little was known about the insula for so long, until neurobiologists such as Antonio Damasio demonstrated its role in many human feelings. Because the insula receives so many signals from the strong internal bodily reactions associated with even our slightest emotions, it was seen as perfectly positioned to make us aware of these reactions.

That is what Damasio says in a February 2013 article in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, in which he goes on to say that the role of the insula in generating our feelings may be more limited than some might believe. He points out several observations that are not highly consistent with the strong thesis that the insula is the essential platform for human emotions, and, by extension, for human consciousness, which develops from them. (more…)

Emotions and the Brain | No comments