Psychology Today

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.

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.

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, language is…

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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 Neurobiology of Dr. Seuss

Babies’ brains crave repetition, rhythm, and rhyme

Did you like green eggs and ham? Did you wish the cat in the hat would come to play at your house? Whether or not you loved hearing the spritely sentences of those stories as a child, your brain lapped them up-and children’s brains continue to do so half a…

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