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.

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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Behind the Scenes of our Senses: Part Two, Hearing

From a beep to Beethoven, hearing is a complex and remarkable process

I saw my neighbor on the street yesterday. She said “hello” and I said “hello.” No big deal? Wrong. Hello is a simple word and most of us say it and hear it many times each day. Yet each and every time, those two syllables—or even a simple “beep”—set off…

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Behind the Scenes of Our Senses: Part One, Perception

Perceiving the world looks, sounds, and feels easy. It isn’t.

One of the best parts of reporting and writing about science is the gee whiz factor. As a regular part of my day, I stumble across facts and stories that make me say, “wow, I didn’t know that.” Sometimes I am surprised by how much of what I learn has…

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4 Rules for Hanging on to What You Learn

One researcher’s search for the perfect amount of practice

My children were given math homework this summer in hopes of avoiding the infamous “brain drain.” That’s the tendency, between June and September, to lose a surprising amount of what they learned the previous school year. The other day, I finally sat down with the boys and made them start…

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The Gift of Time

I am my family’s orchestrator-in-chief for the holidays and I am not ready. There’s always a last minute rush for me, but this year business trips and other obligations mean there’s no card yet, the tree got decorated yesterday and only a handful of gifts have been purchased. As I…

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