Scientific American Mind magazine—Contract Editor

I edit stories written by scientists for Scientific American Mind. *

 

Is Your Brain Lying to You? How the brain leads us to believe false truths

March 2014

On a Monday morning at a home for the elderly in Cologne, Germany, a nurse asked 73-year-old Mr. K. about his weekend. “Oh, my wife and I flew to Hungary, and we had a wonderful time!” he replied. The nurse paused—Mr. K.’s wife had passed away five years ago, and he had not left the home in months. Was he trying to impress her? More likely, Mr. K. was confabulating, a phenomenon in which people describe and even act on false notions they believe to be true. Read more…

Envy: The Feeling Can Help Us Even When It Hurts

Nov/Dec 2013

Envy. Socrates viewed it as “the ulcer of the soul.” Shakespeare’s Iago, in Othello, gave us the term “green-eyed monster,” forever tingeing it an emerald hue. In Dante’s Divine Comedy, once resentful individuals trudge through purgatory with their eyes wired shut, never to see the world through jaundiced lenses again. Read more…

 

Is Ketamine the Next Big Depression Drug?

May 22, 2013

For 20 years Joan* quietly suffered from an unrelenting desire to commit suicide. She held down a job as a special-education teacher and helped care for her family in the northeastern U.S. Yet day after day she struggled through a crushing depression and felt neither joy nor pleasure. Except for the stream of psychiatrists recommending different antidepression treatments—all of which failed to provide relief—Joan kept her condition private. She says it was the fear of hurting her students or abandoning her father that kept her alive. “I really don’t know how I survived,” she says. Read more…

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