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

Wednesday, 11 October 2017
The Brain and Body Are Really One, Especially When It Comes to Emotions

In April 2017, while preparing a lecture for a course on embodied cognition that I teach in French at UPop Montréal, I had to refresh my memory about the major communication pathways between the brain and the rest of the body, and one thing that struck me was just how many of these pathways there are!

I won’t talk here about the communication pathways that are part of the hormonal and immune systems. Instead, I’ll focus on the pathways in the nervous system alone. (more…)

Emotions and the Brain | No comments

Monday, 12 May 2014
We May Be Able To Have Feelings Without an Insula

The insula is a brain structure that lies deep inside the cerebral cortex and so is less accessible for examination. That is why so little was known about the insula for so long, until neurobiologists such as Antonio Damasio demonstrated its role in many human feelings. Because the insula receives so many signals from the strong internal bodily reactions associated with even our slightest emotions, it was seen as perfectly positioned to make us aware of these reactions.

That is what Damasio says in a February 2013 article in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, in which he goes on to say that the role of the insula in generating our feelings may be more limited than some might believe. He points out several observations that are not highly consistent with the strong thesis that the insula is the essential platform for human emotions, and, by extension, for human consciousness, which develops from them. (more…)

Emotions and the Brain | Comments Closed

Monday, 9 July 2012
Embodied Cognition and Emotions

embodied_cognition Expressions such as “receiving a warm welcome” and “giving someone the cold shoulder” seem to be rooted deep in our bodily experience, or at least, that is the conclusion increasingly suggested by studies on embodied cognition, a field first developed in the 1990s by researchers such as Francisco Varela.* (more…)

Emotions and the Brain, From Thought to Language | 3 comments »