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.

Reconsidering Resolutions

Why I will be keeping it real and saying thank you.

I resolve to change it up this resolution season. Usually, at this time of year, I’m as game as anyone for creating a to-do list of self-improvement. I have always thought of it as an annual refocusing of attention and regularly vowed to exercise more, eat better, work smarter and…

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The Surprising, Undeniable Power of Touch

A newly recognized nerve system connects us in ways we never realized.

My three sons are nearly all teenagers, but I remember the minutes immediately after each child’s birth as sharply as if the boys had entered the world this morning. Receiving my new babies into my arms, I hugged each one to my chest, caressed his back, and kissed the top of…

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Brain Stimulation Holds Promise In Autism Treatment

This article originally appeared on Spectrum on September 23, 2015. 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 to a suitcase-sized piece of equipment, with controls and a…

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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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