Author archives: José Viosca

Image of José Viosca

José Viosca is a science communicator. After completing a PhD in Neuroscience, he investigated as a postdoctoral fellow in the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. He was later an editor in a science education journal, and now, a freelance science writer.

Mapping placebo: learning to self-care

Mapping placebo: learning to self-care

HealthPsychology

By José Viosca

Another busy day unfolds through dozens of medical visits, prescriptions, and auscultations. The next patient, a medication-resistant chronic back pain case, enters the office and asks the doctor whether acupuncture has something to do with placebos. The physician feels like the artful and evidence-based bedrocks of his medical praxis are called into a tug-of-war. A […]

A Renaissance brain

A Renaissance brain

HistoryNeurobiology

By José Viosca

He was a man of insatiable curiosity and a hallmark of modern multidisciplinarity. Yet he was born on an April day six centuries ago. He never attended university, and still he authored masterpieces in the history of art and cultivated a broad range of interests and skills. Distant domains such as painting, sculpture, technology and […]

A pulse in the Mediterranean diet

A pulse in the Mediterranean diet

Health

By José Viosca

Intense flavors imprint our palate at every spoonful of Asturian fabada, an unquestionable cultural hallmark of Northern Spanish cuisine. Because of the present United Nations´ international year of pulses, we are visiting here some bits of the science about a food regime particularly rich in them. Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are feeding building blocks for […]

The brain on prejudice

The brain on prejudice

NeurosciencePsychology

By José Viosca

It is a crystalline description of how stubborn mental biases can be. Perhaps Albert Einstein, the alleged author, would have agreed with the proverb: “it is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom”. But ironically and paradoxically, it hides itself a bias behind. Einstein likely never said the sentence. Why so many people seemingly […]

Why did curiosity kill the cat? Brain reward systems engaged in learning curious information

Why did curiosity kill the cat? Brain reward systems engaged in learning curious information

Neuroscience

By José Viosca

People, like cats, are curiosity-driven creatures that manifest unique inclinations towards certain stimuli. Curiosity´s unavoidability has been immortalized in the proverb of the cat. Could we be so extremely pulled by this impulse to the level of endangering ourselves for the mere sake of its satisfaction? The flip side of the coin is an intriguing […]