Bruce Bower

Bruce Bower

Behavioral Sciences Writer

Bruce Bower has written about the behavioral sciences since 1984. He often writes about psychology, anthropology, archaeology and mental health issues. Bruce has a master's degree in psychology from Pepperdine University and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Following an internship at Science News in 1981, he worked as a reporter at Psychiatric News, a publication of the American Psychiatric Association, until joining Science News as a staff writer. In 1996, the American Psychological Association appointed Bruce a Science Writer Fellow, with a grant to visit psychological scientists of his own choosing. Early stints as an aide in a day school for children and teenagers with severe psychological problems and as a counselor in a drug diversion center provided Bruce with a surprisingly good background for a career in science journalism.

All Stories by Bruce Bower

  1. Mass illness tied to contagious fear

    Researchers have linked a recent outbreak of illness at a Tennessee high school to psychological factors rather than toxic gas exposure, as originally suspected.

  2. Wayward Moods: Bipolar kids travel tough road to teenhood

    Children diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a psychiatric ailment characterized by severe mood swings, exhibit a depressingly poor response to standard drug treatments and psychotherapy.

  3. Anthropology

    Ishi’s Long Road Home

    The reappearance of a California Indian's preserved brain, held at the Smithsonian Institution since 1917, triggers debate over the ethics of anthropological research and the repatriation process.

  4. The moon also rises—and assumes new sizes

    The perplexing human tendency to perceive a moon on the horizon as larger than an elevated moon may arise from visual cues indicating that the horizon moon is located much farther away.

  5. Snooze Power: Midday nap may awaken learning potential

    A brief daytime nap may block or even reverse learning declines that occur during extended practice of a perceptual task.

  6. Med use widens in kids with ADHD

    Data from a medical center in Washington state indicate that a substantial minority of children who have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder receive prescriptions not only for stimulants but also for additional psychoactive drugs intended to treat other mental conditions.

  7. Baby talk goes to the dogs, and cats

    Acoustic differences in the "baby talk" that mothers use with their infants and with family pets support the notion that adults use this form of speech to teach language skills to their babies.

  8. Verbal Brains: Neural word paths take a mature turn

    A new brain-scan study indicates that the pattern of brain responses associated with word knowledge in adults has not fully matured by age 10.

  9. Would-be brain boosters need data lift

    Research has yet to confirm that the herb Ginkgo biloba and other nonprescription nutrients enhance memory and intellect.

  10. Archaeology

    Openings to the Underworld

    Archaeological finds indicate that ancient groups in Mexico and Central America, including the Maya, held beliefs about a sacred landscape that focused on natural and human-made caves as sites of important ritual activities and burials.

  11. Baby Facial: Infants monkey with face recognition

    Between ages 6 months and 9 months, babies apparently lose the ability to discriminate between the faces of individuals in different animal species and start to develop an expertise in discerning human faces.

  12. In depression, the placebo also rises

    In a small group of depressed patients, those whose condition improved after taking placebo pills for 6 weeks displayed many of the same brain changes observed in people who benefited from an antidepressant drug.