Scientific American

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.

U.S. Kids Are Falling behind Global Competition, but Brain Science Shows How to Catch Up

By Lydia Denworth & Dana Suskind On vital measures that predict later success in school and life, small children in the U.S. do worse than kids in comparable countries. This distressing information comes from an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) study of five-year-olds. For years the OECD has been examining…

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How To Treat COVID At Home

Some over-the-counter medications can help symptoms, and there are ways to ease isolation Suzanne Myers was sick, concerned and a little confused. Myers, a 55-year-old who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and her husband are both vaccinated and boosted against COVID, and in early spring they went to a weekend party…

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How Pandemic Life Mimicked Pioneer Times

In the spring of 2020, faced with a deadly pandemic and instructions to stay at home, a remarkable number of Americans began baking bread. They planted vegetable gardens. They took up DIY home repair. They sat down for dinner with the same few family members—every single night. For anyone who…

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Making Eye Contact Signals a New Turn in a Conversation

What is found in a good conversation? It is certainly correct to say words—the more engagingly put, the better. But conversation also includes “eyes, smiles, the silences between the words,” as the Swedish author Annika Thor wrote. It is when those elements hum along together that we feel most deeply…

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The Stuttering Mind

Once blamed on personalities or parents, this speech disorder originates from neurological wiring and genes. New findings are pointing to new treatments.

Lee Reeves always wanted to be a veterinarian. When he was in high school in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, he went to an animal hospital near his house on a busy Saturday morning to apply for a job. The receptionist said the doctor was too busy to talk. But Reeves…

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Adolescence is an Age of Opportunity

Advances in neuroscience and psychology could lead to real-world benefits in education and mental health

Here is a parable for our time: There once was an adult who wanted to encourage eighth graders to eat healthier food. The adult designed a lesson plan full of nutritional information—why fruit and vegetables are good for you, why junk food is bad for you, and so on. A…

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