Suzana Herculano-Houzel

Why did it take me so long to realize I was autistic? Because I am autistic, duh

…and it’s all the more telling that it took me FOUR YEARS after my diagnosis to realize that the reason why I didn’t realize sooner that I was autistic was exactly because I was autistic. Let me explain. Autism is characterized by sensory hyper- OR hyposensitivities. Most commonly, the hypersensitivities are visual/auditory/haptic (fancy for “touch-related”)…...

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Acting as another requires self-suppresion

I wrote here recently that the brain in a creative state stops self-policing and lets itself be carried away by its own baggage accumulated throughout life, freely forming and discovering new associations between the elements, including memories and emotions, in its repertoire. The products of our creativity are therefore highly personal – this is guaranteed […]

Yes, I have special needs!

What a wonderful thing to recognize that I like to joke that autistic adults like me need adult supervision, but it’s great when we remember to take the joke seriously. A particular problem with autism is that part of the constellation of characteristics is a lack of self-awareness about one’s own emotional state: others notice […]

On how I found myself on the spectrum

Frankly, what made me discover that I was autistic – or “Aspie”, as I like to put it – was my seemingly ever-growing talent to piss off my then-husband. Unwittingly – without even trying. Actually, it seemed I could piss him off exactly by trying to not piss him off. My son had been reading…...

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No, everybody is NOT a little bit autistic

Are you “normal”? Probably yes, and for a very simple reason: mathematically, about 90% of the population is “normal” for every characteristic that can be quantified. Being “normal” doesn’t imply anything good or bad; the term simply denotes that the distribution of that characteristic in the population is bell-shaped, with 90% concentrated near the mean, […]

Not a little dark: REALLY dark

We always hear that it’s important to sleep in the dark: “It’s so your eyes can really rest”, “it’s so your brain knows it’s night”, “it’s so your body can relax”. Silence is also important, for similar reasons: “to quiet the brain”. Hence the bedroom separated from the rest of the house, the electric lights…...

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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 Complete Neuroscience Writings and Crash Course in Neuroscience + Complete Neurocientist Writings members only.
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