The Connection Between Writing and Sleep

Do you have trouble falling asleep? A new study reveals that writing for a few minutes is an easy and effective solution. But what you write about makes all the difference.

Five Holiday Lessons From the Science of Friendship

Who will you celebrate with in the festive weeks to come? A year of researching friendship reveals the importance of prioritizing, laughing, and giving thoughtfully.

The Two Channels of Empathy

Is empathy an instinctive sharing of emotion? Or is it understanding how other people feel? According to the latest scientific thinking, it's both.

Sleep Strengthens Recent Learning and Negative Memories

What happens in the brain during sleep? Quite a lot. Machine learning and EEG are revealing how memories, especially negative ones, and learning are boosted while we're asleep.

Why Be Tolerant? Lessons From Bonobos

Humans aren't the only species willing to help strangers for no benefit. Bonobos, one of our closest relatives, do it, too.

Your Brain Cells Up Close and In Color

A just-released database of human brain cells might change the way we develop drugs and study cognition.

Stress Makes It Harder to Recognize Danger

Sometimes stress heightens our awareness, but more often, it dulls our ability to respond to new threats. Recognizing the risk and reducing sources of stress can help.

The Paradox of Confiding in (Near) Strangers

Think you only discuss important matters with your closest confidants? A new book suggests your inner circle is bigger than you imagine.

What’s Your Friendship Style?

No one way of making friends works for everyone, but some form of connection is essential.

This Is Your Brain on First Grade

When kids start grade school, they have to learn to sit still and pay attention. That experience helps them develop better executive functioning.

How Children’s Brains Learn to Reason

Reasoning is a profoundly important cognitive skill that affects achievement in school and in challenging careers. Now we know more about how it develops in children's brains.

The Secret to a Good Night’s Sleep? Purpose.

Having trouble sleeping? A new study reveals that having purpose in daily life leads to better quality of sleep at night, and even prevents sleep disorders.

Do Brain-Changing Games Really Work?

Want to improve your thinking and memory? Think brain-changing games might help? A new study looked at their effect on the brain, on cognitive performance, and on decision-making.

Must We Delay Gratification? Maybe Not

Intuition tells us to work first so we'll enjoy playing more later. But new research says we don't have to wait to savor some fun and give ourselves a break.

This Is Your Brain Falling in Love

A new study let scientists get a glimpse of what happens when one individual is becoming attracted to another.

When Do Friends Matter Most?

Having friends is strongly associated with health and longevity, but scientists are only starting to ask when the effects of social relationships emerge and how long they last.

The Magic of Reading Aloud to Babies

Think babies just chew books? Even if they can't talk, they get a lot out of reading.

Even Fish Need Friends

Friends calm us down when we're stressed. But how? There's still a lot scientists don't know, but recent studies in animals and humans provide some answers.

The Inside Story of How Slow Breathing Calms You Down

A new study of laid-back mice reveals the connection between slow breathing and tranquility.

It's Not Me, It's You

New research on "you" reveals the power of pronouns in helping us process and make meaning from hard times.

How to Train Your Brain Like a Memory Champion

Want to improve your memory? A new study shows that a strategy used by memory athletes produces superior memory in regular people and changes their brains, too.

The Three Basics of Friendship

Recognizing your true friends can be surprisingly simple. There are some fundamental elements that every close bond shares.

So You Think You Can Dance?

What makes a woman a good dancer? The hips don't lie.

Pregnancy Changes the Brain for the Better

Feeling forgetful in pregnancy? Your brain is changing, but in ways that will help in motherhood.

Growing Up and Gazing Down at Mom

As my kids overtake me in height, I remind myself that their brains haven't fully grown yet.

The Slippery Slope of Dishonesty

New brain research tells the truth about lying. It gets easier over time.

What Exactly Does Lead Do to a Child's Brain?

The water crisis in Flint has put lead back in the headlines. Here's what it means to be a neurotoxin.

Reconsidering Resolutions

No more same old, same old resolutions this year. They don't work anyway. I'm trying on a new attitude instead.

The Surprising, Undeniable Power of Touch

What's in a mother's caress? A set of specialized nerve fibers may help to explain why holding babies builds attachment.

The Power of Talk

What is the best way to nurture a child's brain? The answer is simpler than you think.

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