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, 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 »


Monday, 2 April 2012
Meditation Can Reduce Stress

meditationIn a study published in 2007, people who practiced a method of meditation known as Integrative Body-Mind Training, or IBMT, for five days showed better attention and better ability to manage stress and its harmful effects than people in a control group who were given only relaxation training. (more…)

The Emergence of Consciousness | No comments


Saturday, 24 March 2012
The Unforgettable Brain of an Amnesiac

henry-molaison

The person who probably contributed more to our understanding of human memory than anyone else was Henry Molaison, who died on December 2, 2008 at the age of 82. No, Molaison wasn’t a neurologist. He was a patient who had both hippocampi surgically removed from his brain in 1953, when he was 27 years old, in an effort to reduce his severe epileptic seizures.

The operation succeeded in controlling his epilepsy, but had an unforeseen side effect: it took away his ability to remember new information about his life and the world (declarative memory). as well, thus revealing the extremely important role that the hippocampus plays in long-term memory. Subsequently, H.M. became the most studied patient in the history of neuroscience (he is known by his initials to protect his privacy), and he will continue to be studied for some time. Almost a year to the day after he died, his brain was sliced into nearly 2600 thin sections, which were than stained and captured in digital images that can now be accessed free of charge on the Internet. (more…)

Memory and the Brain | 1 comment