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, 7 September 2016
Motor cortex is required for learning but not for executing a motor skill

The motor cortex was long thought to be the part of the brain that controlled the body’s voluntary movements. Given the plasticity of the cortex as a whole, it seemed reasonable to believe that decisive changes in the connectivity of the neurons in the motor cortex might well be associated with motor learning. Although this may indeed be the case, a study published by Risa Kawai and colleagues in the journal Neuron in May 2015 forces us to reconsider the primacy of the motor cortex in learned sequences of movements, at least in rats. (more…)

Body Movement and the Brain | No comments

Monday, 7 January 2013
Eight Problems with Mirror Neurons

Mirror neurons are neurons with fascinating characteristics that were discovered in monkeys in the mid-1990s. Located mainly in Area F5 of the cortex, these neurons are activated not only when a monkey performs a specific action but also when that monkey simply sees another monkey perform that same action. This is surprising behaviour, to say the least, for neurons located in a motor area of the cortex.

Since just about the same area (the premotor area) exists in the human brain, it is highly likely that humans also have mirror neurons. But the data that have been gathered on this subject remain controversial, because of constraints on experiments with human beings. (more…)

Body Movement and the Brain | 2 comments »