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, 1 July 2014
Summer school in cognitive sciences 2014 : Web Science and the mind

Every two years, the Cognitive Sciences Institute of the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) holds a summer school on a selected topic in the cognitive sciences. In 2010, the topic was the origin of language, in 2012 it was the evolution and function of consciousness. This summer, from July 7 to 18, 2014, the school will be holding its 5th edition, and the topic will be web science and the mind. The school will be taught and attended by international specialists on the subject of distributed cognition in the brain, between brains, and between brains and computers.

The speakers at this event will be discussing the many homologies and analogies that can be found among the various kinds of cerebral, social, and computer networks. Their lectures will underscore just how much everything that we do involves networks, from the interconnections among our neurons to the structure of the universe, not to mention all of our activities on Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia.

Even when we are doing nothing, we are activating a network. This default-mode network is also recognized as being more active when we are walking. According to science blogger Sébastien Bohler, strolling around with no specific goal in mind is especially important for giving ourselves the feeling that we exist, for organizing our past experiences, and for contemplating the future as a meaningful experience (see second link below).

It is somewhat ironic that the guy who inspired Bohler’s ideas about the existential function of walking is a market speculator who committed fraud on the “financial networks”, and that the Cognitive Sciences Institute summer school is being held in a city where spontaneously deciding to take a walk through the streets with a few other people, especially for the purpose of demonstrating against the “established socio-political network”, can get you a $600 fine under a highly controversial municipal by-law (see third link below).

i_lien Web Science and the mind
i_lien Marcher pour exister : l’axiome de Kerviel
i_lien Pour un bilan de l’application du règlement P-6

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