Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change your Life

I’m excited to announce that my brand new book Soft-Wired is now out and available in paperback or Kindle format. This book was a labor of love, and it took me many years and many iterations to say exactly what I wanted, how I wanted to say it. The result is a book that covers…

Decision-making is Still a Work in Progress for Teenagers

Recent studies of brain development in teenagers may finally give parents the scientific authority to say “No you’re not!” in answer to the common adolescent complaint, “But I’m old enough to make my own decisions!” That authority comes from brain imaging studies that reveal some surprising features of the adolescent brain. Deborah Yurgelun-Todd and colleagues…

Growing Brains Meet Growing TV Lineups: The Effects of TV on Cognition

Forget baseball, it turns out that watching TV is America’s true national pastime. According to the 2007 findings of the American Time Use Survey, recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American men and women spend about half of their free time watching television. And, although this particular survey only included adults, more and…

Educating America’s Children in the 21st Century

As the Superintendent of Schools in Lawrence, Massachusetts for the past six years, Dr. Wilfredo T. Laboy has set an outstanding example of what one educator dedicated to change and success can do in a short period of time. Upon his arrival, he declared a Year of Literacy, focusing the entire school system on one…

The Tween Brain: Midway Between Infant Dependency And Adult Autonomy: Part 2

Last month’s column focused on important developmental events that transform a child’s dependent brain into an adolescent brain that will inevitably reach for adult autonomy. To simplify a complex process, the interim Tween Brain is sufficiently mature to understand the basic dynamics of many of the challenges it confronts. But while it formerly looked to…