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, 7 May 2012
Insomnia as a Treatment for Depression

insomnie-depressionLack of sleep has a beneficial effect on depression. However counterintuitive this finding may seem, it has been well documented in more than 75 studies published over the past 40 years. One of the reasons that sleep deprivation is not used more extensively in the treatment of depression is that prolonged insomnia can also have significant negative effects on cognitive functioning. Another reason is that insomnia-induced improvements in mood dissipate rapidly when the individuals eventually and inevitably catch up on their sleep. (more…)

Mental Disorders | No comments


Monday, 30 April 2012
Theories on Drug Addiction

processus-opposantsThe abusive consumption of a drug can result in dependency on it. The various phenomena associated with drug dependency—also commonly referred to as “drug addiction”—are fairly well known: initial pleasure, then tolerance, withdrawal, and so on. But these phenomena are so complex that it is hard to construct satisfactory models for them. Hence, many theories have been developed to try to explain drug dependency/addiction, and these theories are still being debated today. (more…)

Pleasure and Pain | No comments


Monday, 23 April 2012
Taking Photos To Remember Your Own Life

mosaiqueWhen people with episodic (autobiographical) memory problems wear a chest-mounted camera that automatically takes 2000 to 3000 photos every day, these photos can help them to remember their past activities. Studies with subjects who had various forms of amnesia showed that photos taken with such a camera let them remember more activities than a diary that they kept for the same purpose.

i_lien SenseCam – a device for restoring and protecting memories
a_lien A Memorable Device

Memory and the Brain | No comments


Monday, 16 April 2012
Fewer Glial Cells Than You Might Think?

astrocyteMost neuroscience textbooks still state that the number of glial cells (non-neuronal cells, such as astrocytes) in the human brain is far higher than the number of neurons. The figure often given is 10 times higher, and some authors even speak of up to 50 times higher. But studies done over the past few years offer a far more conservative estimate: a ratio of around one to one. (more…)

From the Simple to the Complex | 1 comment


Monday, 9 April 2012
Better Optical Illusions

illusion-d'optiqueOptical illusions are fascinating in many ways—they can create objects that cannot exist, movement in a static image, different colours with the same colour, and so on. They can also give us a better understanding of how the human visual system works, as witness this web site dedicated to the best optical illusions that scientists who study this subject have managed to devise in a contest that is held every year. (more…)

The Senses | 2 comments »