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Stories by 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 A team of neuroscientists has grafted human brain cells into the brains of mice and found that the rodents’ rate of learning and memory far surpassed that of ordinary mice...

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

Can Politicians be Trusted with Science?

I recently had the privilege of being asked to participate in a project called "Story Collider." The goal is to revive the art and joy of storytelling, but in this case the story tellers are scientists and the audience is the general public...

August 31, 2011 — R. Douglas Fields
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