Suzana Herculano-Houzel

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 […]

Dress rehearsal

It had been 20 years since I’d been on stage – and there was no dress rehearsal: we went straight from the classroom to the public performance of our tap dance number which, in addition to the coordination of our feet, involved bouncing basketballs, throwing them up in the air, into the aisles and back […]

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 […]

Adolescence is a brain thing

Pick a book about the brain at random and you’ll probably read that most of the brain’s transformations take place during the first three years of life – or, with good grace, the first ten. After that… chaos: with the brain supposedly ready, adolescence would be that phase of life where everything would be fine […]

Neuroscientist on the dance floor!

This business of being a columnist is great for many reasons, but I like one in particular: having to write articles every two weeks is the perfect excuse to embark on research that runs parallel to the usual neuroscience subjects in the lab. And so I found myself taking lessons in… ballroom dancing. Neuroscientifically, of […]

Do you only use 10% of your brain?

I already knew the phrase, but I decided to ask. In a survey called “Do You Know Your Brain?”, I consulted just over two thousand lay people on various subjects. Among other things, did they agree that “we normally only use 10% of our brain”? Half of them did. I then repeated the question to […]

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