Articles

I am a contributing editor at Scientific American and write the Brain Waves blog for Psychology Today (you can find those posts here). My work has also appeared in The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, Vogue and many other publications. Earlier in my career, I was on staff at Newsweek, and People, among other places and I’ve included a few of my old favorites from those days.

How Pandemic Life Mimicked Pioneer Times

In the spring of 2020, faced with a deadly pandemic and instructions to stay at home, a remarkable number of Americans began baking bread. They planted vegetable gardens. They took up DIY home repair. They sat down for dinner with the same few family members—every single night. For anyone who…

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Making Eye Contact Signals a New Turn in a Conversation

What is found in a good conversation? It is certainly correct to say words—the more engagingly put, the better. But conversation also includes “eyes, smiles, the silences between the words,” as the Swedish author Annika Thor wrote. It is when those elements hum along together that we feel most deeply…

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The Stuttering Mind

Once blamed on personalities or parents, this speech disorder originates from neurological wiring and genes. New findings are pointing to new treatments.

Lee Reeves always wanted to be a veterinarian. When he was in high school in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, he went to an animal hospital near his house on a busy Saturday morning to apply for a job. The receptionist said the doctor was too busy to talk. But Reeves…

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The pandemic tested our friendships. Which ones will survive?

Back at the very beginning of the pandemic, when no one had cancelled anything yet but we were eyeing the headlines with a growing dread, I noticed a detail buried in the news here in New York. Our second case had just been reported. Unlike the first (a health care…

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Adolescence is an Age of Opportunity

Advances in neuroscience and psychology could lead to real-world benefits in education and mental health

Here is a parable for our time: There once was an adult who wanted to encourage eighth graders to eat healthier food. The adult designed a lesson plan full of nutritional information—why fruit and vegetables are good for you, why junk food is bad for you, and so on. A…

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How to end a friendship: Should you address it directly, or simply unsubscribe?

I’ve spent years reporting on the emerging science of friendship. Here’s what I’ve learned about ending one Rachel Jones has unsubscribed. I stared at the computer screen—looking at the list of people who had opted out from my author newsletter. I get it. People are busy and their inboxes overflow….

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