José Manuel Giménez Amaya

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José Manuel Giménez Amaya
Born(1958-06-18)June 18, 1958
Madrid, Spain
  • M.D.
  • Ph.D.
Alma mater
  • Autonomous University of Madrid
  • University of Navarra
Scientific career
  • Neuroscience
  • Philosophy
Academic advisors
  • José Luis Velayos (Neuroscience)
  • Sergio Sánchez-Migallón (Philosophy)

José Manuel Giménez Amaya (Madrid, June 18, 1958) is a neuroscientist and philosopher from Spain. He has been Professor of Anatomy and Embryology at the Autonomous University of Madrid (2002-2010)[1] and Professor of Science, Reason and Faith at the University of Navarra since 2012.[2][3] On May 14, 2011, he was ordained as catholic priest by the bishop Javier Echevarría Rodríguez at the Basilica Sant’Eugenio a Valle Giulia in Rome (Italy).[4][5]

Academic career

He studied medicine (M.D.) at the Autonomous University of Madrid (1975-1981) where he also obtained his Ph.D. in 1983. He did his postdoctoral training with Professor Fernando Reinoso Suárez at the Autonomous University of Madrid (1984-1987) and with Professor Ann M. Graybiel at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1987-1989).[1][6][7]

He also studied Philosophy at the University of Navarra (2007-2010) where he also obtained his Ph.D. in 2011.[8]



His areas of interest in neurobiology have been the brain structures involved in movement and psychiatric disorders.[9][10][11] He has also studied the cellular a chemical organization of the basal ganglia[12][13][14] and other subcortical structures[15][16] in the normal human brain and in the brain from patients with schizophrenia.[11]

He has collaborated with other laboratories of Neuroscience both in the United States Professor Suzane N. Haber at the University of Rochester[17] and James H. Meador-Woodroff at the University of Alabama[11] and in Canada Professor André Parent at Laval University.[18][19]


His work is based on three main topics: the mind-brain problem[20], neuroethics[21] and the study of the works of the well-known moral philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre.[22]

His research in this field has been quite remarkable in trying to develop an interdisciplinary approach between Neuroscience and Philosophy alike. He is also one of the most outstanding scholars in the Spanish-speaking world on Alasdair MacIntyre.


  • Correspondent Member of the Spanish Royal National Academy of Pharmacy (2006).[23]
  • Correspondent Member of the Spanish Royal National Academy of Medicine (2008).[24]
  • Director of the Group Science, Reason and Faith (CRYF) at the University of Navarra (2010-2016).[3]
  • Vice Dean of the Ecclesiastical Philosophy School at the University of Navarra (2016-2017).[25]
  • Chairman of the Department of Anatomy at the University of Navarra (1997-2001).[1]
  • Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome (Italy).[26]

Selected works


  • Giménez-Amaya, J. M., Graybiel, A. M., Modular organization of projection neurons in the matrix compartment of the primate striatum, The Journal of Neuroscience, 11 (1991), pp. 779–791. DOI
  • Giménez Amaya, J. M., The association cortex and the basal ganglia: a neuroanatomical view upon their relationship based on hodological studies, Journal für Hirnforschung, 32 (1991), pp. 501–510. Dedicated to Professor Walle J. H. Nauta.
  • Hontanilla, B., de las Heras, S., Giménez-Amaya, J. M., A topographic re-evaluation of the nigrostriatal projections to the caudate nucleus in the cat with multiple retrograde tracers, Neuroscience, 72 (1996), pp. 485–503.DOI
  • Prensa, L., Giménez-Amaya, J. M. Parent A., Morphological features of neurons containing calcium-binding proteins in the human striatum, The Journal of Comparative Neurology, 390 (1998), pp. 552–563. DOI
  • Alelú-Paz, R., Giménez-Amaya, J. M., The mediodorsal thalamic nucleus revisited and schizophrenia, Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 33 (2008), pp. 489–498. DOI


Mind-brain problem

  • Giménez Amaya, J. M., “A better understanding of freedom. An interdisciplinary approach to neuroscience and philosophy”, in Moral Behavior and Free Will: A Neurobiological and Philosophical Approach, J.J. Sanguineti, A. Acerbi, J.A. Lombo (eds.), 2011, Morolo: IF Press, pp. 47–60.
  • Sánchez-Migallón, S., Giménez-Amaya, J. M., Phenomenological analysis of the emotional life and a note on its neurobiological correlation, Scientia et Fides, 2 (2014), pp. 47–66. DOI
  • Lombo, J. A., Giménez-Amaya, J. M., The unity and the stability of human behavior: An interdisciplinary approach to habits between philosophy and neuroscience, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8 (2014), p. 607 DOI


Moral philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre

  • Bello, H. J., Giménez Amaya, J. M., Valoración ética de la modernidad según Alasdair MacIntyre, Pamplona: EUNSA, 2018. ISBN: 978-84-313-3284-6. With an analytical index, both in Spanish and in English, of all the published works of Alasdair MacIntyre until 2018

In the media



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "José Manuel Giménez-Amaya". Frontiers (Open Access Publisher and Open Science Platform).
  2. González, S. (August 23, 2012). "La fe y la ciencia no se oponen, sino que se complementan". El Comercio (in Spanish).{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Giménez Amaya, J.M. (2016). "Mariano Artigas (1938–2006): Testimony of some meetings and brief reflections on the Research Group Science, Reason and Faith (CRYF) of the University of Navarra [Mariano Artigas (1938—2006): Testimonio de unos encuentros y breves reflexiones sobre el Grupo de Investigación Ciencia, Razón y Fe (CRYF) de la Universidad de Navarra]". Scientia et Fides. IV (2): 41–55. doi:10.12775/SetF.2016.018.
  4. "Priestly Ordinations (May 14, 2011)". Romana: Bulletin of the Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei (Roma) (52): 50–51. 2011.
  5. "Opus Dei Prelate Ordains 35 New Priests". Zenit, News agency. May 25, 2011.
  6. "José Manuel Giménez Amaya". Social Trends Institute.
  7. Giménez-Amaya, J.M.; Graybiel, A.M. (1990). "Compartmental origins of the striatopallidal projection in the primate". Neuroscience. XXXIV (1): 111–126. doi:10.1016/0306-4522(90)90306-O. PMID 1691462.
  8. "La verdadera interdisciplinariedad es la que se da en uno mismo, intentando llegar a la unidad del saber" (in Spanish). School of Law. University of Navarra.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  9. Mengual, E.; de las Heras, S.; Erro, E.; Lanciego, J.L.; Giménez-Amaya, J.M. (1999). "Thalamic interaction between the input and the output systems of the basal ganglia". Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy. 16 (3): 187–200. doi:10.1016/S0891-0618(99)00010-1. PMID 10422738. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  10. Obeso, J.A.; Rodríguez-Oroz, M.C.; Rodríguez, M.; Arbizu, J.; Giménez-Amaya, J.M. (2002). "The basal ganglia and disorders of movement: pathophysiological mechanisms". News in Physiological Sciences. 17 (2): 51–55. doi:10.1152/nips.01363.2001. PMID 11909992.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Huerta, I.; McCullumsmith, R.E.; Haroutunian, V.; Davis, K.L.; Giménez-Amaya, J.M.; Meador-Woodruff, J.H. (2006). "Expression of excitatory amino acid transporter interacting protein transcripts in the thalamus in schizophrenia". Synapse. 59 (7): 394–402. doi:10.1002/syn.20250. hdl:2027.42/55214. PMID 16485262.
  12. Bernácer, J.; Prensa, L.; Giménez-Amaya, J.M. (2005). "Morphological features, distribution and compartmental organization of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate reduced-diaphorase interneurons in the human striatum". The Journal of Comparative Neurology. 489 (3): 311–327. doi:10.1002/cne.20616. PMID 16025450. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  13. Bernácer, J.; Prensa, L.; Giménez-Amaya, J.M. (2007). "Cholinergic Interneurons Are Differentially Distributed in the Human Striatum". PLOS ONE. 2 (11): 311–327. Bibcode:2007PLoSO...2.1174B. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001174. PMC 2137841. PMID 18080007. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  14. Bernácer, J.; Prensa, L.; Giménez-Amaya, J.M. (2012). "Distribution of GABAergic Interneurons and Dopaminergic Cells in the Functional Territories of the Human Striatum". PLOS ONE. VII (1): 311–327. Bibcode:2012PLoSO...730504B. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030504. PMC 3260284. PMID 22272358.
  15. Uroz, V.; Prensa, L.; Giménez-Amaya, J.M. (2004). "Chemical Anatomy of the Human Paraventricular Thalamic Nucleus". Synapse. 51 (3): 173–185. doi:10.1002/syn.10298. PMID 14666515. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  16. Alelú-Paz, R.; Giménez-Amaya, J.M. (2006). "Chemical parcellation of the anterior thalamic nuclei in the human brain". Journal of Neural Transmission. 114 (8): 969–981. doi:10.1007/s00702-007-0633-8. PMID 17308982. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  17. Giménez-Amaya, J.M.; McFarland, N.R.; de las Heras, S.; Haber, S.N. (1995). "Organization of thalamic projections to the ventral striatum in the primate". The Journal of Comparative Neurology. 354 (354): 127–149. doi:10.1002/cne.903540109. PMID 7542290.
  18. Hontanilla, H.; Parent, A.; de las Heras, S.; Giménez-Amaya, J.M. (1998). "Distribution of calbindin D-28k and parvalbumin neurons and fibers in the rat basal ganglia". Brain Research Bulletin. 47 (2): 107–116. doi:10.1016/s0361-9230(98)00035-5. PMID 9820727.
  19. Prensa, L.; Giménez-Amaya, J.M.; Parent, A. (1999). "Chemical heterogeneity of the striosomal compartment in the human striatum". The Journal of Comparative Neurology. 413 (4): 603–618. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1096-9861(19991101)413:4<603::AID-CNE9>3.0.CO;2-K. PMID 10495446.
  20. Bernácer, J.; Giménez-Amaya, J.M. (2013). "On Habit Learning in Neuroscience and Free Will". In A. Suarez; P. Adams (eds.). Is Science Compatible with Free Will?: Exploring Free Will and Consciousness in the Light of Quantum Physics and Neuroscience. Springer. pp. 177–193. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  21. Giménez-Amaya, J.M.; Sánchez-Migallón, S. (2010). "Anthropological and ethical dilemmas in the recent development of neuroscience". Imago Hominis. XVII (3): 177–193. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  22. Giménez-Amaya, J.M.; Sánchez-Migallón, S. (2020). "The problems of the liberal university according to Alasdair MacIntyre [Los problemas de la universidad liberal según Alasdair MacIntyre]". Scientia et Fides (8): 99–121. doi:10.12775/SetF.2020.008.
  23. Real Academia Nacional de Farmacia, ed. (2020). "Académicos Correspondientes" (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved April 29, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  24. Real Academia Nacional de Medicina, ed. (April 15, 2008). "Académicos Correspondientes Nacionales: Ilmo. Sr. D. José Manuel Giménez Amaya" (in Spanish). Madrid. Retrieved April 29, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  25. Diócesis de Sigüenza-Guadalajara (ed.). "¨Lo que no explica el cerebro¨, lección del profesor Giménez Amaya en el Centro de Cultura Teológica" (in Spanish). Guadalajara. Retrieved April 29, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  26. Pontificial University of the Holy Cross, ed. (October 3, 2019). "Faculty Visiting". Roma. Retrieved May 19, 2020.

External links

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