Suzana Herculano-Houzel

I have dysfunctional days

Closed for inventory Somedays, I might as well wear a sign that says that. I’m inside my own head – and happily so, mind you. It’s just that pulling me outside of my own mind to engage with the external world seems to require an extra effort that.I may not have that day. I’m not […]

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”) […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Some have more neurons, others have fewer: Where to draw the line?

I just received an email from somebody who was concerned about how my research on numbers of neurons in cats and dogs (and so many other species…) has been portrayed in the media. Her points: so many reports of “sorry, cats, you’re dumb” might encourage people who mistreat and abuse their pets; along the same […]

I’ve seen my own brain!

seen my own brain

…and it is gorgeous, with all the gyri and sulci it’s supposed to have! It has a callosum, a caudate, ventricles (a bit on the biggish side, but I won’t complain) and a lovely, text-book like brainstem. There’s my hippocampus, next to the inferior horn of the lateral ventricules, right where I tell my students […]

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