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Stories by R. Douglas Fields

Learning When No One Is Watching

Learning When No One Is Watching

We gain most of our knowledge without any instruction. Now science is unraveling how our brain pulls off this everyday miracle

September 15, 2016 — R. Douglas Fields
Does TV Rot Your Brain?

Does TV Rot Your Brain?

Scientists have linked TV viewing to antisocial behavior, lowered verbal IQ and altered brain structure—but a new study raises questions

January 1, 2016 — R. Douglas Fields
How to Erase Bad Memories

How to Erase Bad Memories

I’ll never forget it. They strapped electrodes to my wrist, cranked up a black dial on a frightening electronic device encrusted with switches and knobs, and shocked me repeatedly with jolts of electricity.

November 25, 2013 — R. Douglas Fields

Creativity, Madness and Drugs

San Diego—Would we have Poe’s Raven today if the tormented author had taken lithium to suppress his bipolar illness? Not likely, considering the high frequency of psychiatric illnesses among writers and artists, concluded psychiatrist Kay Jamison of Johns Hopkins Medical School speaking last week at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.

November 22, 2013 — R. Douglas Fields
Brain Stimulation Can Control Compliance with Social Norms

Brain Stimulation Can Control Compliance with Social Norms

Human beings are utterly dependent on a complex social structure for their survival.  Since all behavior is controlled by the brain, human beings may have evolved specialized neural circuits that are responsible for compliance with society’s rules.  A new study has identified such a region in the human brain, and researchers can increase or decrease [...]

October 3, 2013 — R. Douglas Fields

School Work Prevents Senile Dementia

Cognitive decline is among the most dreaded consequences of old age and disease. Few things undermine a person's ability, opportunities, and independence more than loss of mental function.

July 3, 2013 — R. Douglas Fields

Human Brain Cells Make Mice Smart

Study shows that intelligence derives from brain cells other than neurons White cell is human astrocyte with the unique long tendrils that penetrate multiple layers of grey matter (yellow arrowheads).

March 7, 2013 — R. Douglas Fields

Why Does a Southern Drawl Sound Uneducated to Some?

Studies have shown that whether you are from the North or South, a Southern twang pegs the speaker as comparatively dimwitted, but also likely to be a nicer person than folks who speak like a Yankee.

December 7, 2012 — R. Douglas Fields

The Power of Music: Mind Control by Rhythmic Sound

New Orleans, October 16, 2012 - You walk into a bar and music is thumping. All heads are bobbing and feet tapping in synchrony. Somehow the rhythmic sound grabs control of the brains of everyone in the room forcing them to operate simultaneously and perform the same behaviors in synchrony.

October 19, 2012 — R. Douglas Fields
Stories by R. Douglas Fields

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