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Scientific American Mind

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.

With a Little Help From Our Friends

Researchers delving into genetics, social networks and animal behavior are discovering how friendship affects our health and wellbeing–and played a part in our evolutionary story.

Picture two female chimpanzees hanging out under a tree. One grooms the other, systematically working long fingers through fur, picking out bugs and bits of leaves. The recipient sprawls sleepily on the ground, looking as relaxed as someone enjoying a spa day. A subsequent surreptitious measurement of her levels of…

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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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The Regenerating Brain

Stem Cell Therapy Is Emerging As a Promising Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

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Brain Changing Games

Playing violent video games can sharpen our focus, reasoning and decision-making skills. But do we really need the weapons?

I am in an overgrown lot leaning against an eight-foot tall shipping container. I look both ways, weighing my options. A man with an assault rifle is looking for me, just as I am looking for him. Hoping for a better vantage point, I run toward the abandoned car to…

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