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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 Social Power of Touch

A long-overlooked system of nerves that respond to gentle strokes may be crucial to our ability to form connections with one another

  My three sons are nearly all teenagers, and some of the details of their earliest years have begun to blur. Which boy was it who said that funny thing about the dog? Who lost a tooth while crossing the street? But I remember the minutes immediately after each child’s…

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Behind the Scenes of our Senses: Vision

Color, shape, location. Seeing is an exercise in specialization.

Source: iStock   We did a little science experiment at dinner the other night. My son Matthew looked at a glass in front of him then reached out to touch it with his forefinger. Gently and precisely, he made contact with the side closest to him. Then I had him…

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Adolescence and the College Search: A Perfect Match?

Embracing the teenage brain’s natural tendencies may help the process.

My oldest son is sixteen and a junior in high school. The other day we sat down with his college guidance counselor for the first time. Between that meeting and next December stretch months of thinking about college: visiting campuses, deciding where to apply, taking standardized tests, and assembling applications….

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The Power of Talk

A new book explains the #1 thing you can do for kids’ brains.

Source: iStock Having regular conversations is the most significant thing you can do for your children’s development. This is the message of Dr. Dana Suskind’s important and clear-eyed new book, Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain. “No matter the language, the culture, the nuances of vocabulary, or the socioeconomic status,…

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Magnetic promise: Can brain stimulation treat autism?

There are hints that transcranial magnetic stimulation, which uses electricity to change how brain cells function, might improve the symptoms of autism. But hopes are running way ahead of the facts.

Read the original Spectrum News story here. And the syndicated Newsweek version here.   PHOTO BY WILLIAM DESHAZER   Will Robeson bounces into the neuroscience lab at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, familiarly calling out to each staff member. He makes his way to a black leather recliner positioned next…

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Rolling in Green

Rain boots were simply fashion accessories until my husband’s long-cherished fantasy of owning a farm took root.

I barreled up the uneven hillside, through the high grass and stinging nettles. A young Holstein crashed along ahead of me. The cow had ducked under the electrified fence as though it were a piece of string and headed down hill to a patch of untouched green. I had to…

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