Author archives: José Ramón Alonso

The bodyguard

The bodyguard

EthologyNeurobiology

By José Ramón Alonso

Ladybugs are beautiful beetles and many present what is called an aposematic coloration, bright and striking colors that warn: do not eat me, I am dangerous. When they are disturbed, they defend themselves with legs and jaws, expel a poison and their brightly colored elytra with black dots are a warning to anyone who tries […]

Bad companies

Bad companies

BiologyEthologyNeurobiology

By José Ramón Alonso

Forming large groups (flocks, banks, swarms, herds, schools, …) is characteristic of many species. The generally accepted idea is that it is an adaptive process, in which the individual improves its chances of survival by being part of a numerous group. A shark does not know which fish to attack in a sardine bank and […]

Altered responses to social chemosignals in autism

Altered responses to social chemosignals in autism

NeurobiologyNeuroscience

By José Ramón Alonso

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have among their diagnostic characteristics problems for communication and social interaction. The typical example is the difficulty to understand the facial expressions or the body language of other people, but in addition to these aspects mediated by the visual system there may be other senses affected and, in fact, it has […]

Music and preterm babies

Music and preterm babies

Neurobiology

By José Ramón Alonso

A preterm baby is one that is born prematurely, a minimum of three weeks before the expected date of delivery or, in other words, before the 37th week of pregnancy. Premature babies, especially extreme premature babies, have a high risk of suffering from nervous system problems, especially cerebral palsy, neurodevelopmental delays, and hearing and vision […]

Olfactory adaptation and autism

Olfactory adaptation and autism

NeurobiologyNeuroscience

By José Ramón Alonso

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) includes sensory alterations as one of the four characteristics of restricted / repetitive behavior of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It defines this symptom characteristic as a «hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory inputs or an unusual interest for sensory aspects of the environment» […]

Weaving for a killer

Weaving for a killer

Biology

By José Ramón Alonso

Spiders build their webs using the silk they synthesize and secrete from their spinning glands, structures located in the back of the abdomen. The most primitive species have few glands and build their nets with fairly uniform silks. The most evolved spiders, on the other hand, have up to seven different spinning glands with which […]

Exiting dyscalculia

Exiting dyscalculia

Neuroscience

By José Ramón Alonso

The term dyscalculia of the development was proposed for the first time in 1968 by Cohn to describe a learning problem centered in the mathematical operations and in the handling of the numbers. Affected people have serious and chronic difficulties when adding or subtracting and also in the management of the calendar and clock. Dyscalculia […]

Microbiota and depression

Microbiota and depression

HealthMicrobiologyNeurobiologyNeurosciencePhysiology

By José Ramón Alonso

Gut microbiota has a surprising importance in processes related to the development of the nervous system, its functioning and to psychology and behavior, both in people and in animals. The microorganisms produce substances that after crossing the intestinal epithelium reach the blood and through it and after crossing the blood-brain barrier they reach the brain […]