Manuel Casanova

autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, minicolumn, cerebral cortex, dyslexia


I have had over twenty years of experience in the neurosciences. Although trained in the classical methods of neurology and neuropathology, my interest has gradually shifted toward the study of abnormalities of cortical circuitry. My research has focused on the cell minicolumn, a vertical conglomerate of 80 to 100 neurons having a common latency of response to stimulation. Using computerized imaging analysis, I have established the anatomical validity of the cell minicolumn. My earlier work has reported interhemispheric differences in the morphometry of minicolumns that could provide the speciation of hominids. Localized in Broadmann area 22—part of Wernicke's language region- the morphometric difference may play a role both in the development of language and in its disorders. My most recent studies have looked for the presence of abnormalities of minicolumnar organization and lateralization in the brains of patients who exhibit language disturbances, including autism, Asperger's, and dyslexia.