Suzana Herculano-Houzel

I’m good, thanks.

Just heard this proposed Best Answer to the Genie question (make a wish, and it can’t be for infinite wishes): “I want to know the future”. I didn’t have to think twice to protest. I think that would be the SUCKIEST, most disheartening thing EVER. I don’t want to know that my efforts to do…...

This content is for Crash Course in Neuroscience + The Neurocientist on Call and The Neurocientist on Call members only.

The secrets of positive thinking

Visualizing yourself doing well, imagining everything working out, attracting only good things… The wave of positive thinking that has been spreading for some time in self-help literature has recently reached a new peak: the proposal that all you have to do is think about your goal with great conviction and you’ll walk on water, get […]

Sun for the jet-lagged brain

Ah, the problems of modern life. When we were only bipeds and had no artificial light, going to sleep and waking up were simple matters, dictated by the time of the sun (and disturbed at most by an evening fire, or later a lamp); it was impossible to change time zones in the space of […]

Why Aspies look at mouths

One of the common core traits of autism is atypical gaze direction during social interactions. In some, it is the looking away from the other person’s eyes during conversation. In others, it is quite the opposite: a fixed, sustained stare at the person’s eyes. Personally, I identify as the latter. I am fascinated by people,…...

This content is for Crash Course in Neuroscience + The Neurocientist on Call and The Neurocientist on Call members only.

Happiness out of time

Happiness is one of the divine sensations that the brain gives us. But happiness in excess, who knew, can be just as serious a problem, if not more so, than the evil sadness of depression. Sadness in itself is not bad. It’s very important to be sad when that’s what the circumstances call for: the […]

Pleasure to learn

My daughter asked to change her ballet classes for tap dancing – so I decided to pay the price and take a class with her and her age mates. From the very first lessons, we learned how to transform the disorganized clop-clop of the metal plates under the shoes into the rhythmic sounds of the […]

Travel Diaries – I’m the tourist attraction!

It wasn’t even seven o’clock when Bruno and I arrived in the village of Mahabalipuram (Bruno, being Bruno, had to be dragged out of bed by phone at 5:25, after confirming to our hostess ten times, at 11 the night before, that yes, he was sure we wanted to be picked up at 5:30 to…...

This content is for Crash Course in Neuroscience + The Neurocientist on Call and The Neurocientist on Call members only.

Why is it difficult to end a relationship?

They say that love blinds us. For neuroscience, this is true: some regions of the brain responsible for social judgments – whether a person is trustworthy or not, for example – are less active when we contemplate the object of our passion, be it a child or a boyfriend. Maybe that’s why they tend to […]

Calm down your hippocampus

Write the column, correct exams, deliver the report, call the contractor who didn’t show up, answer the accumulated emails, use the microscope, pay bills, go to the meeting, pick up the kids on time. The single-day agenda of modern life is hectic and the list would need to be under the eyes at all times […]

Why brain soup?

I’ve been for 20 years now in the business of collecting brains from different species and turning them into soup to find out what they are made of – how many neurons, how many non-neuronal cells, and soon now how many of the latter are vasculature. Why? The short practical question is “because we didn’t…...

This content is for Crash Course in Neuroscience + The Neurocientist on Call and The Neurocientist on Call members only.
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