Are “Helicopter Parents” Creating a …

One of the negative consequences of our high tech- and fear-dominated modern culture is the systematic withdrawal of children from independent and exploratory play, in natural social and physical environments. Our fear culture frustrates outside, unfettered exploration for the developing child. Parents can be arrested for leaving their children to play on their own, in…

We’re All to Blame When the Punishment is Worse Than the Crime

I would guess that a lot of citizens were pretty angry when they read the tragic story of Kalief Browder in The New Yorker this month. I certainly was. If you haven’t read it, allow me to summarize: a young man near the end of his sophomore year in high school is accused of robbery and assault under…

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…

Lessons from the Hand and Mind Symposium

I had the great pleasure of attending a symposium held in the College of Education at my alma mater, the University of Portland, focused on this interesting subject, and the implications that it bears for effective learning and teaching. My co-participants were distinguished professors in linguistics and education science (Ellyn Arwood and Richard Christen), and…

The brain plasticity revolution

I delivered a lecture at the University of Konstanz in Germany two weeks ago, as a part of the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Heidelberg Akademie. This is one of 7 scientific academies in Germany. Because Germany was created as an amalgamation of powerful states in the 19th Century, its scientific academies originate…

Autism and early oxygen deprivation 2

I received a wonderful comment about the hypothesis that early umbilical cord clamping might contribute to the risk of origin of autism from a wonderful former colleague, Dr. David Blake, a researcher in the Department of Neurology at the Medical College of Georgia. His observations: Fraternal twins typically have different placentas, whereas identical twins share…

A Danish delight! Progress in treating cerebral palsy and related movement disorders?

I delivered a lecture sponsored by the Danish Neuroscience Society and the Helene Elsass Center (a wonderful new research institution in the suburbs of Copenhagen) that has developed a state-of-the-art research and treatment center focusing on cerebral palsy. I was delighted to sit down with the Center’s Director, Peder Esben Bilde, to review new training…

Autism and early oxygen deprivation

In a July 9th, 2008 post, I added oxygen deprivation incurred at childbirth as another factor potentially contributing to an increased incidence in autism. As I noted in that blog: “We have published compelling evidence that peri-natal anoxia meets all of the other criteria for adding to “noisy” brain processing. It can have strong, selective…