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, 10 December 2012
Two Systems of Thought in a Single Brain?

The idea that the human mind uses more than one kind of reasoning mechanism is very old. In fact, this notion has always been part of our attempts to understand the architecture of the mind. The dual-process theories that are current today follow this long tradition. Simply put, these theories hold that two major types of cognitive processes coexist in the human brain: one that is fast, automatic, and unconscious, and another that is slower, more flexible, and requires conscious control. (more…)

From Thought to Language, The Emergence of Consciousness | No comments


Monday, 3 December 2012
Your Brain Likes Nature Better Than E-Mail

In the early summer of 2010, five neuroscientists spent a week all on their own, rafting and camping along the San Juan River in a remote area of southern Utah, in the United States. Nothing so special about that—plenty of people make these kinds of wilderness expeditions nowadays.

What made this adventure different was that these scientists gave themselves two additional challenges. Knowing that workaholism tends to come with their profession, they decided to spend the entire week without their cell phones and laptop computers. And being neuroscientists, they decided to observe their own reactions to this deprivation and thereby try to shed light on their own hypotheses about how daily use of these technologies may be changing the ways that people think and behave. (more…)

The Emergence of Consciousness | No comments


Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Links on How Memory Works (continued)

Research on human memory is such an important aspect of cognitive neuroscience today that a tremendous number of articles about memory research can be found on the Internet. So this week, I am continuing last week’s list of new links to articles about various aspects of how memory works—one of the sub-topics covered under the topic Memory and the Brain in The Brain from Top to Bottom. For each link, I provide a brief description of the article in question.

(For more background on how I compile these lists, see my earlier post on Links About Brain Anatomy.) (more…)

Memory and the Brain | No comments


Thursday, 22 November 2012
Links on How Memory Works

This week, as I have before in this blog, I am posting a set of new links to other web sites that discuss a subject covered in The Brain from Top to Bottom. For each link, I also provide a brief description of the content on the site in question.

The subject this week is the sub-topic How Memory Works, under the topic Memory and the Brain. Research on human memory is such an important aspect of cognitive neuroscience today that the number of links on this topic on the Internet is enormous. I have therefore divided my selected links into two groups; I am posting 11 links here this week and will post another 11 next week. (more…)

Memory and the Brain | No comments


Monday, 12 November 2012
Reasons Why We Curse

A few years back, the universality of swearing and curse words in all human languages attracted the attention of Harvard cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker. In his book The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, Pinker theorizes that the purpose of using swear words is to impose negative emotions on the people to whom we are talking, while stimulating primitive parts of their brain unbeknownst to them. Curse words appear to activate the brain’s right hemisphere more than the left, the basal ganglia (for generating them) and the amygdala (for perceiving them). (more…)

From Thought to Language | 1 comment