Author archives: José Ramón Alonso

Image of José Ramón Alonso

José R. Alonso has a PhD in Neurobiology and is professor of Cell Biology at the University of Salamanca. He has been researcher and visiting professor at the University of Frankfurt/Main and the University of Kiel, in Germany, and the University of California, Davis and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in the United States. He has authored more than 145 articles in peer-reviewed journals and written 20 books including university textbooks and popular science for both adults and children.

Corpus callosum and autism

Corpus callosum and autism

Neurobiology

By José Ramón Alonso

The complexity of the brain stems from its connectivity. This is evidenced by the disproportionate increase in the volume of white substance throughout primate evolution even though the “grey matter” is the one that takes the fame; that is, there are more and more “wires” connecting the different cortical regions over long distances according to […]

Myelin and autism

Myelin and autism

Neurobiology

By José Ramón Alonso

Myelin is a lipid-rich substance that surrounds the axons of the neurons, which would be like the “wires” of the nervous system. This fatty structure serves to insulate the axons and to increase the speed with which electrical impulses, the so-called action potentials, pass along the axon. The myelinated axon can be compared to an […]

Sex and the brain

Sex and the brain

Neurobiology

By José Ramón Alonso

An interesting question is whether the brains of gay and straight people are the same or different. One study found that they are slightly different and that the brains of gay men, in the aspects analyzed, are more similar to those of heterosexual women. This would support the idea that sexual orientation is a biological […]

Living with half a brain

Living with half a brain

Neurobiology

By José Ramón Alonso

Many people think of their brain as a computer full of microchips and wires, as a storehouse full of memories and learned things, as a clock with millions of mechanisms intimately intertwined with each other, so it is incredible to think that someone can live with much less than that, with only one brain hemisphere […]

Habituation and autism

Habituation and autism

Neurobiology

By José Ramón Alonso

Some people with autism do not get used to certain stimuli as normotypical people seem to do without problem. This would fit in with what in neuroscience, particularly in learning and memory issues, is called habituation. Habituation is a process by which, when faced with a repeated stimulus, the response is less and less intense […]

Siblings and discapacity

Siblings and discapacity

NeurobiologyPsychology

By José Ramón Alonso

The relationship between siblings is, for most people, the longest they will ever enjoy. It is fundamental for many of us, but especially for children, who live together regularly with their brother or sister, and where the fraternal relationship is part of daily life, of play and leisure, of learning basic skills, of emotional development […]

Glutein-free and casein-free diet in autism

Glutein-free and casein-free diet in autism

HealthNeurobiologyNeuroscience

By José Ramón Alonso

Families with members with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are easy prey for scam artists who offer them magical solutions and therapies not backed by science. Many of these pseudotherapies are included in the so-called alternative medicine, a misnomer because they are not medical treatments and do not meet the same criteria required of a medicine: […]

Recognition of emotions by people with autism

Recognition of emotions by people with autism

Neurobiology

By José Ramón Alonso

Emotion recognition is the process of identifying human emotions. This is something that humans do automatically but computational methodologies have also been developed. Humans show universal consistency in recognizing emotions but also show a great deal of variability between individuals in their abilities. Whether persons with autism are able to recognize human emotions as well […]