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

Friday, 15 November 2013
Language as a Window into Human Nature

In previous posts in this blog, we have drawn your attention to various lectures in the RSA Animate series, in which experts is a variety of fields give online talks while cartoon illustrations are drawn in sped-up fashion to accompany their voice-over. This week we’d like to tell you about another RSA Animate lecture. This one is about language, and it is given by Harvard cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker. (more…)

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Monday, 24 June 2013
The Complementarity of the Brain’s Two Hemispheres

Einstein said that intuition is a gift, and rationality is its servant. But in another RSA Animate lecture to which we provide a link this week, about the specialization of the two hemispheres of the human brain, psychiatrist and author Iain McGilchrist says that we have created a society that honours the servant but has forgotten the gift. (more…)

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Monday, 31 December 2012
Speaking Without Broca’s Area

From Dr. Paul Broca’s observations in the 1860s, we know that the left inferior frontal cortex of the brain, now also known as Broca’s area, is heavily involved in human language abilities. At first, this area was thought to be associated only with the production of language, but gradually its role has come to be regarded as more complex, and recent brain-imaging data have actually made the old dichotomy between language-production areas and language-understanding areas somewhat obsolete. (more…)

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Monday, 2 July 2012
Rethinking the Role of Broca’s Area in Language

BrocaIn 1861, Paul Broca observed a sizable lesion in the left inferior frontal cortex of a patient who had just died. This individual had been able to understand what was said to him, but had been unable to pronounce anything but the syllable “tan”. Subsequently, this same observation was confirmed in many other individuals, and Broca’s area, whose destruction results in this form of aphasia (now known as Broca’s aphasia), thus became associated with the production of language.

But the role attributed to Broca’s area has become far more complex since these initial observations were made. In addition to the production of language, this area is now also believed to be involved in certain semantic aspects of language. For example, Dr. Peter Hagoort’s research using brain imaging shows that the dynamic association of Broca’s area with the left posterior temporal cortex is necessary for understanding language. (more…)

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