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, 14 October 2013
Axons Play Unexpected Role in Processing Information

Recently, someone asked me whether it would be fair to say that the integration of all the information that one neuron receives from other neurons takes place in its dendrites. I replied that according to the classic model of neural communication, that is certainly the case, but that processes in living organisms are highly complex, so I probably shouldn’t make that statement categorically, if only because some integration also occurs directly in the neuron’s cell body. (more…)

From the Simple to the Complex | No comments

Tuesday, 1 October 2013
We Are All Complex Networks

Before the Harper government’s budget cuts, the CIHR Institute for Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA) had been providing this web site with stable funding for over 10 years. As a result of these cuts, the INMHA had to stop funding us. Now, because of the same cuts, we have had to stop publishing new posts on the English version of this blog every week and will instead be doing so only once every two weeks. We are truly sorry, but that is the best that we can can manage on a volunteer basis. So here is this week’s post. The others will follow at two-week intervals from now until further notice.


In some previous posts in this blog, I have talked about the RSA Animate knowledge-visualization videos and the Brain Science Podcast, and I promised that I would mention other videos in these two excellent series on occasion. Well the most recent RSA Animate video and the most episode of Brain Science Podcast complement each other so well that this week I want to tell you about both of them at the same time. (more…)

From the Simple to the Complex | Comments Closed

Monday, 16 September 2013
Brain Rhythms: The Oscillations That Bind

Most of the neurons in the human brain emit nerve impulses (also known as action potentials) at a specific frequency, which may vary from just a few per second to several hundred per second. The chaotic brain activity revealed by an electroencephalogram (EEG) reflects the summing of all these oscillations in the billions of neurons in the brain.

Not so long ago in the history of neuroscience, the chaotic nature of all these oscillations caused them to be regarded as background noise and given little attention, or even dismissed as an epiphenomenon of no importance. But times have changed. The temporal dimension of brain activity, as expressed by these brain rhythms, is now central to neuroscientific research on complex topics such as sleep and consciousness. (more…)

The Emergence of Consciousness | 1 comment

Monday, 9 September 2013
Why You Can Have No More Than About 150 Real Friends

So you’re proud that you have 500, or maybe even 1000, friends on Facebook? Sorry to tell you, but you probably have far fewer, if we are to believe Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. As few as 150, in fact: this is the famous “Dunbar’s number”, a limit of about 150 people above and beyond which it is supposed to be impossible to maintain true friendships. (more…)

Evolution and the Brain | Comments Closed

Wednesday, 4 September 2013
Brodmann Areas

Korbinian Brodmann was a German neurologist. He was born in 1868, died in 1918, and was one of the explorers who attempted to map the continent of the brain. He is famous for having divided the cerebral cortex (the folded sheet of tissue at the surface of the brain) into 52 distinct areas on the basis of their cytoarchitectonic characteristics, which simply means the ways that the various types of neurons that compose the layers of the cortex are organized. (more…)

Uncategorized | Comments Closed