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

Thursday, 12 November 2015
From membrane excitability to subjective consciousness

When people tell me that they’d like to understand more about how their brain works, I often respond teasingly that first they should probably ask what they use it for. Because you don’t use your brain only for its obvious, “proximal” functions, such as thinking, talking, understanding, laughing, crying, riding a bicycle, philosophizing, and simultaneously being aware of doing all those things. In that sense, unhelpful as this answer may seem, you actually use your brain for everything: everything you do, including sleeping or daydreaming, involves co-ordinated activity on the part of your brain.

No, what I’m talking about is the brain’s ”distal” (ultimate) function. In other words, how and for what reason did the first nervous systems evolve? (more…)

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Monday, 14 October 2013
Axons Play Unexpected Role in Processing Information

Recently, someone asked me whether it would be fair to say that the integration of all the information that one neuron receives from other neurons takes place in its dendrites. I replied that according to the classic model of neural communication, that is certainly the case, but that processes in living organisms are highly complex, so I probably shouldn’t make that statement categorically, if only because some integration also occurs directly in the neuron’s cell body. (more…)

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