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

Tuesday, 19 March 2013
The “God” of Apple and His Disciples

When Steve Jobs died, fans paid tribute by laying flowers and apples alongside burning candles at impromptu shrines around the world. One fan crafted the modified Apple logo shown here, with Jobs’s silhouette resembling what some Christians believe to the image of Jesus on the Shroud of Turin, a famous religious relic.

This analogy with religion may seem a bit forced, but not according to a study reported on the BBC documentary series Secrets of the Superbrands, which examines the cult-like devotion that some people display for major brands such as Apple. In this study, British neuroscientists tried to determine whether this analogy might be more than superficial. They were especially curious to see which parts of an Apple fan’s brain altered their activity when he was shown pictures of Apple products.

The researchers found their ideal subject in Alex Brooks, who writes a blog about Apple products and has attended 30 Apple Store openings around the world. Mr. Brooks agreed to have his brain scanned by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while he was shown pictures of products, some of which were from Apple while others were not. An analysis of the captured images showed that the parts of his brain that became more active when he was shown pictures of Apple products were very similar to the parts that had previously been found to be more active in the brain scans of highly religious people, some of whose brains had been scanned while they were actually recalling a mystical experience.

Science and religion do not always go well together, as witness the creationist attacks on the theory of evolution. But according to the bishop of Buckingham, who was interviewed on Secrets of the Superbrands and who reads the Bible on his iPad, the two have more in common than one might think. As he points out, the Covent Garden Apple Store in London, with its austere design,  stone floors, and altar-like pedestals displaying its iconic objects, resembles nothing so much as a church!

i_lien Leffet d’Apple sur le cerveau de ses fans comparable à celui d’une religion
i_lien Apple stimulates brain’s religious responses, claims BBC
i_lien Superbrands’ success fuelled by sex, religion and gossip
d_lien Secrets of the Superbrands

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