Suzana Herculano-Houzel

The reality of psychosomatic stress

How annoying it is to hear from others that a problem you feel on your skin is “just in your head”. It’s good that science has freed us from other people’s beliefs, including this one: health problems that are “just psychosomatic”. Well, they’re so real that even rats suffer the effects of stress. What kind […]

Observations from an autistic neuroscientist on twitter

When a disability is a superpower Bombastic news to start the new year: it’s been four years since I found out I’m autistic. Please spare me the “nice” or “flattering” comments like “gee, you don’t look it”, or “but you look so normal”. Functioning in the world of normals, or “neurotypicals”, takes a lot of […]

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 […]

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 […]

Does the Brain Work While Watching TV?

If you’re one of those people who turn on the television wanting to turn off your brain, I have some bad news for you: your brain continues to function even in the face of the most imbecilic of programs. Of course, there are different ways of watching TV. There’s TV-wallpaper, TV-radio, TV-cinema, TV-newspaper, TV-babysitter, TV-company-for-sleep, […]

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