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, 6 August 2012
Our Mirror Neurons Prefer the Movements We’ve Already Learned

Often I use this blog to talk about the latest studies in neuroscience. But this week I want to talk about a study that was conducted a few years back, because it provides a good introduction to the brain cells known as mirror neurons, which are often described as strange entities indeed.

Mirror neurons were first identified in the motor area of the frontal cortex of monkeys, by Italian neurophysiologist Giacomo Rizzolatti, in the early 1990s. Rizzolatti discovered that these particular neurons became activated not only when monkeys made a hand gesture or a facial expression (as is normal for motor neurons), but also when monkeys watched other monkeys doing so, without making the gesture or expression themselves (hence the name “mirror neurons”). (more…)

Body Movement and the Brain | No comments


Monday, 30 July 2012
The Shrinking Human Brain: What Does It Mean?

petit_cerveau We all know that a few interesting hyperlinks and a bit of curiosity can add up to a massive waste of time. But sometimes it can be time well wasted. Consider, for example, what I learned on the little trip through cyberspace that I’m going to tell you about now.

Since I live in Montreal and write a web site about the human brain, the on-line article that I’ve listed as the first link below caught my eye. It’s from McGill University, in my home town, and it discusses a book called Big Brain, published in 2008 by two neuroscientists, Gary Lynch and Richard Granger. In this book, the authors describe the discovery of the “Boskops” skull in South Africa in the early 1900s. (more…)

Evolution and the Brain | 1 comment


Monday, 23 July 2012
Alzheimer’s Type Dementia

ficelle-doigtTwo months ago, some new content to The Brain from Top to Bottom has been added: a sub-topic entitled “Alzheimer’s Type Dementia” under the main topic “Mental Disorders”. This form of dementia, more commonly referred to as Alzheimer’s disease, receives a lot of attention in the media, but its causes remain uncertain. (more…)

Mental Disorders | No comments


Monday, 16 July 2012
Links About Brain Function

fonction-liens

This week, as in an earlier post, I’m providing you with links to and brief descriptions of all the interesting articles that I’ve come across recently on one of the subtopics that I discuss on this site. This time the subtopic is “Function by Level of Organization” (under the main topic “From the Simple to the Complex”). (more…)

From the Simple to the Complex | No comments


Monday, 9 July 2012
Embodied Cognition and Emotions

embodied_cognition Expressions such as “receiving a warm welcome” and “giving someone the cold shoulder” seem to be rooted deep in our bodily experience, or at least, that is the conclusion increasingly suggested by studies on embodied cognition, a field first developed in the 1990s by researchers such as Francisco Varela.* (more…)

Emotions and the Brain, From Thought to Language | No comments