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.

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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Conservative and Liberal Brains Might Have Some Real Differences

Scanners try to watch the red-blue divide play out underneath the skull  Credit: Getty Images In 1968 a debate was held between conservative thinker William F. Buckley, Jr., and liberal writer Gore Vidal. It was hoped that these two members of opposing intellectual elites would show Americans living through tumultuous times…

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A Quest for Quincy: Gene Therapies Come of Age for Some Forms of Autism

A gene therapy for Angelman syndrome stands at the forefront of efforts to treat autism-linked conditions that stem from single genes. Photograph by William Mebane   Allyson Berent is a specialty veterinarian in New York City. She treats animals that other doctors cannot help. When no good therapies are available,…

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