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, 25 November 2019
Three On-Line Atlases of the Human Brain

This week I want to tell you about three different on-line atlases of the human brain. All three will let you satisfy your curiosity by exploring the inmost recesses of the most complex object in the known universe, of which each of us has an example right between our ears. So stand warned: this post may well leave you spending even more time on your computer than usual! (more…)

From the Simple to the Complex, Uncategorized | No comments


Tuesday, 22 October 2019
Why forgetting can save your life

When we think about human memory, it tends to be with the implicit assumption that more is always better. But more and more neurobiologists are now asserting the opposite: that forgetting makes us more efficient! This raises two important questions: 1) forgetting what? and 2) more efficient in doing what? Science blogger Tom Siegfried attempts to provide the answers in an article published in January 2019, entitled buy neurontin online “Why forgetting may make your mind more efficient.” (more…)

Memory and the Brain | No comments


Friday, 4 October 2019
Karl Friston: toward a grand unifying theory of life and cognition?

This week I’d like to tell you about a Lido di Ostia fascinating piece of reporting by journalist Shaun Raviv, in the November 13, 2018 issue of Wired magazine. It’s about one of the most important figures in the cognitive sciences today: Montalvo Karl Friston. I call Raviv’s piece reporting rather than an interview because he spent more than a week in London in the summer of 2018 researching it. Its title, “ The Genius Neuroscientist Who Might Hold the Key to True AI”, might seem sensationalistic, since we all know what a buzzword artificial intelligence has become. But in fact, this title understates the case. As Raviv puts it, “Friston believes he has identified nothing less than the organizing principle of all life, and all intelligence as well.”

What Friston offers is the kind of (very) grand unifying theory that doesn’t come along in science every day. But who is this guy with such big ideas? (more…)

From the Simple to the Complex | No comments


Wednesday, 28 August 2019
Shifting Paradigms in the History of Neuroscience

   The development of a scientific discipline over time is often far from a linear sequence of events that build on each other logically. That can happen, of course. But philosophers of science, such as Thomas Kuhn, have clearly shown that “normal science” often operates under a dominant paradigm for an extended period, until enough “abnormal data” (i.e., data that contradict that paradigm) accumulate to lead to a scientific revolution, accompanied by a radical shift in that paradigm.

One of these revolutions, famous in history and entertainingly presented in the Neurohistory Cartoons Project, broke out when the 1906 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine was awarded jointly to Italian scientist Camillo Golgi and Spanish scientist Santiago Ramón y Cajal. (more…)

From the Simple to the Complex | No comments


Wednesday, 7 August 2019
Study on Brain’s Reaction to Social Isolation Argues Against Its Use in Prisons


Why do people who have been intentionally isolated from their peers (for example, prison inmates who have been placed in “disciplinary isolation”) find this experience so completely dehumanizing? We all know that human beings have great needs for social contact. But are these needs so great that simply being deprived of such contact upsets our entire mental equilibrium? If a study published in the February 2016 issue of the journal Cell is to be believed, it would appear that social isolation does in fact lead to genuine impairments in brain function. (more…)

Mental Disorders | No comments