Laura Sanders

Laura Sanders

Senior Writer, Neuroscience

Laura Sanders reports on neuroscience for Science News. She wrote Growth Curve, a blog about the science of raising kids, from 2013 to 2019 and continues to write about child development and parenting from time to time. She earned her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she studied the nerve cells that compel a fruit fly to perform a dazzling mating dance. Convinced that she was missing some exciting science somewhere, Laura turned her eye toward writing about brains in all shapes and forms. She holds undergraduate degrees in creative writing and biology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where she was a National Merit Scholar. Growth Curve, her 2012 series on consciousness and her 2013 article on the dearth of psychiatric drugs have received awards recognizing editorial excellence.

All Stories by Laura Sanders

  1. Humans

    Where you grew up may shape your navigational skills

    People raised in cities with simple, gridlike layouts were worse at navigating in a video game designed for studying the brain.

  2. Health & Medicine

    What do we mean by ‘COVID-19 changes your brain’?

    The events of our lives are reflected in the size, shape and behavior of our constantly changing brains. The effects of COVID-19 changes aren’t clear.

  3. Neuroscience

    How a scientist-artist transformed our view of the brain

    The book ‘The Brain in Search of Itself’ chronicles the life of Santiago Ramón y Cajal, who discovered that the brain is made up of discrete cells.

  4. Neuroscience

    A hit of dopamine sends mice into dreamland

    New results are some of the first to show a trigger for the mysterious shifts between REM and non-REM sleep in mice.

  5. Health & Medicine

    A faulty immune response may be behind lingering brain trouble after COVID-19

    The immune system’s response to even mild cases of COVID-19 can affect the brain, preliminary studies suggest.

  6. Health & Medicine

    Omicron forces us to rethink COVID-19 testing and treatments

    At-home rapid tests may miss the speedy variant early on, and some treatments, such as some monoclonal antibodies, no longer work.

  7. Health & Medicine

    These are the viruses that mRNA vaccines may take on next

    Now that mRNA vaccines have proved effective against the coronavirus, scientists are taking aim at influenza, HIV and other viruses.

  8. Health & Medicine

    How sleep may boost creativity

    In a lab experiment, people who had fallen into a shallow sleep were more likely than non- or deep sleepers to later discover a sly math trick.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Tiny living machines called xenobots can create copies of themselves

    When clusters of frog cells known as xenobots form a Pac-Man shape, they are especially efficient at replicating in a new way, researchers say.

  10. Can psychedelics meet their potential for treating mental health disorders?

    Psychedelics hold lots of promise as treatments for mental health disorders like PTSD and depression. But the drugs still face hurdles.

  11. Neuroscience

    Brainless sponges contain early echoes of a nervous system

    Simple sponges contain cells that appear to send signals to digestive chambers, a communication system that offer hints about how brains evolved.

  12. Health & Medicine

    A custom brain implant lifted a woman’s severe depression

    An experimental device interrupts brain activity linked to a woman’s low mood. The technology, she said, has changed her lens on life.