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. Health & Medicine

    How Hans Berger’s quest for telepathy spurred modern brain science

    In the 1920s, psychiatrist Hans Berger invented EEG and discovered brain waves — though not long-range signals.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Controlling nerve cells with light opened new ways to study the brain

    A method called optogenetics offers insights into memory, perception and addiction.

  3. Neuroscience

    A deep look at a speck of human brain reveals never-before-seen quirks

    Three-dimensional views of 50,000 cells from a woman’s brain yield one of the most detailed maps yet.

  4. Health & Medicine

    FDA approved a new Alzheimer’s drug despite controversy over whether it works

    A new Alzheimer's treatment slows progression of the disease, the drug’s developers say. But some researchers question its effectiveness.

  5. Health & Medicine

    MDMA, the key ingredient in Ecstasy, eases symptoms of severe PTSD

    By the end of the trial, 67 percent of the participants who took MDMA had improved so much that they no longer qualified as having a PTSD diagnosis.

  6. Science & Society

    A few simple tricks make fake news stories stick in the brain

    Human brains rely on shortcuts to be efficient. But these shortcuts leave us vulnerable to false information.

  7. Health & Medicine

    COVID-19 can affect the brain. New clues hint at how

    Anxiety, depression and strokes can occur after infection, leaving experts to determine how the virus affects the brain.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Frog skin cells turned themselves into living machines

    The “xenobots” can swim, navigate tubes, move particles into piles and even heal themselves after injury, a new study reports.

  9. Animals

    Octopus sleep includes a frenzied, colorful, ‘active’ stage

    Four wild cephalopods snoozing in a lab had long stretches of quiet napping followed by brief bursts of REM-like sleep.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Some COVID-19 survivors face another foe: PTSD

    The rate of post-traumatic stress disorder among survivors of severe COVID-19 is comparable to the rate among survivors of some natural disasters.

  11. Neuroscience

    Three visions of the future, inspired by neuroscience’s past and present

    Three fantastical tales of where neuroscience might take us are based on the progress made by brain researchers in the last 100 years.

  12. Science & Society

    Can privacy coexist with technology that reads and changes brain activity?

    An onslaught of new technology aims to listen to — and maybe even change — your brain activity. Readers, scientists and ethicists grapple with the ethical implications of new ways to get inside the skull.