Latest Writings

From January 2021 till March 2022 (when the program ended), I wrote a twice-weekly mental health blog for COVID Support VT, a federally funded and Vermont Department of Health-administered crisis-counseling program. The writings cover a range of mental-health topics from self-care to suicide prevention, emphasizing practical guidance and  resources. Read the blog here.

Originally appeared in Cerebrum (October 15, 2020)

Americans are depressed, distracted, anxious, and uncertain at staggering rates. Does all this angst portend a crisis in mental illness, or is it a perfectly normal reaction to the anxiety-inducing Era of Covid. Pandemic Brain, my latest writing for Cerebrum magazine, parses the mental health toll of Covid-19.

Neuroscience Adapts to the Covid World

Neuroscience Adapts to the Covid World

Originally appeared as the cover story in Cerebrum (Summer 2020)

A first look at how the world of neuroscience has reacted and adapted to the age of Covid.

Social Media & Teen Brains

Social Media & Teen Brains

Originally appeared in Cerebrum (January 15, 2020)

Is social media rotting our kids’ brains?


Alcohol & the Brain

Alcohol & the Brain

Originally appeared on Dana.org (August 19, 2019)

Is moderate drinking really good for you, like you always hear? Not so fast…

Consciousness A Brain Perspective

Consciousness: A Brain Perspective

Originally appeared in Cerebrum (April 15, 2020)

Can the keys to consciousness be found in the folds of the cerebrum? A hard look at the neuroscience of consciousness. And I mean really hard! This was one of the toughest articles I’ve written. See if it makes any sense to you.

the abused brain

The Abused Brain

Originally appeared on Dana.org (October 9, 2018)

This paper has elicited more personal reader responses than anything else I’ve written so far. It explores how childhood abuse and maltreatment change the trajectory of brain development, and how these adaptive changes are related to mental health and resilience.

the mindful brain

The Mindful Brain

Originally appeared on Dana.org (May 30, 2019)

Like many booming trends based on emerging science, the claimed benefits of mindfulness practices sometimes run ahead of the science.

Redefining Death

Redefining Death

Originally appeared on Dana.org (September 12, 2019)

Original reporting on a study that rocked the science world and rewrote the narrative on how we define death.

Oxytocin Fact & Fiction

Oxytocin Fact & Fiction

Originally appeared on Dana.org (August 15, 2019)

Oxytocin might be called the molecule of hyperbole, for all that’s been claimed about this much-loved neurochemical. This briefing paper for the Dana Foundation takes a critical look at the thin science behind some of the more common claims.

Music & the Brain

Music & the Brain

Originally appeared on Dana.org (November 18, 2019)

So much fascinating research out there on music and the brain; so little of it truly rigorous! This batch of NIH grants funding music and singing research aim to change that equation.

Gratitude and the Heart-Brain Connection

Gratitude and the Heart-Brain Connection

Originally appeared in Common Ground Magazine, 2017

An open-minded look at the science of gratitude. (Flip to page 14)


Grief vs Depression

Grief & Depression

Originally appeared on the Dana Foundation (August 8, 2018)

A briefing paper examining the blurry lines between normal grief and depression.

Paralysis Resource Guide

Paralysis Resource Guide

Originally appeared in the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (2018)

I compiled a key chapter on Assistive Devices for this comprehensive resource guide for people living with paralysis.

Sexuality & Reproductive Health After Paralysis

Sexuality & Reproductive Health After Paralysis

Originally appeared in the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (2019)

A straightforward, informational guide to having a sex life and/or starting a family when you are living with paralysis. One of a series of patient-information pamphlets I’ve written for the Reeve Foundation’s Paralysis Resource Center.

Others in the series include:

Vermont’s Underage Drinking Problem

Vermont’s Underage Drinking Problem

Originally appeared in Seven Days (January 16, 2013)

Vermont has a lousy record in underage drinking. What’s the state doing about it? This is a news article I reported for Vermont’s alternative weekly newspaper, Seven Days.

Translating Stem Cells to the Clinic

Translating Stem Cells to the Clinic: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Originally appeared in Annals of Neurology (March 26, 2008)

This was an investigative reporting piece I did for the Annals of Neurology, a leading clinical neuroscience journal, in the late 2000’s, during a long-term gig writing the journal’s front-of-the-book news section, NerveCenter. Written for a professional neurologist-scientist audience, it explored the range of extremes in stem cell research, from the promising to the questionable to the downright fraudulent.

Arts & the Brain

Arts & the Brain

Originally appeared in Cerebrum (September 14, 2009)

For anyone interested in how artistic creativity affects the brain, this think-piece for Cerebrum magazine co-authored with cognitive neuroscientist Mike Posner posits a fundamental theory of how training in music, theater, dance, or visual arts benefits cognition more generally by strengthening attention networks in the brain.

emotional memories

Emotional Memories

Q&A with Joseph LeDoux (April 2007)

I interview a prominent researcher of the amygdala and the fear system about why highly charged emotional memories are often the most persistent memories.