A battle over the link between strep and OCD

Today I introduced a class of students to the notion that a strep infection could give a child obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The idea was first widely publicized in the memoir “Saving Sammy: Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD“, and briefly recapped in this clip from the Today Show: I am already on record as identifying this…

Keeping Past and Future at a Distance

One day a few years ago I asked my students to meditate with their hands on the desk in front of them. They were to designate one hand to represent the past, and the other hand to represent the future. Whenever they noticed their attention had drifted away from their breath, they would note whether…

This Is Your Brain At Rest

One of the hardest myths of the mind to counter is the myth that we only use 10% of our brain. It sounds like an attempt at motivation – think how awesome we could all be, if we just lived up to our potential! – but the brain is in the “use it or lose…

Mind-Controlling Parasites Will Shape the Future

The next revolution in understanding the brain is nigh, and it will pivot on cells first observed under a microscope almost 350 years ago: bacteria. The first clue, for me, was toxoplasmosis. Or backing up even further, the first hint was a scene from BBC’s Planet Earth, which gave my older sister a severe case of…