Why do groups of people inflict violence on unarmed neighbors? (Germany, Rwanda, Darfur, Nanking....). Here's the neuroscience point of view.

In the wake of the Aurora movie theater shooting, many people had the same questions: What kind of derangement is indicated by the horrific acts of James Holmes? What is wrong with his brain? How will his mental state play out in the courts?

The shootings at Sandy Hook sparked debate ranging from gun control to bulletproof windows. But the most fruitful approach may be to prioritize our discussion of mental illness.

Interested in the intersection of the brain and the legal system? Watch a talk I delivered at the Royal Society for the Arts in London, entitled "The Brain and the Law".

To liberalise or prohibit?  I recently joined Eliot Spitzer, Julian Assange, Vicente Fox, Russell Brand, Richard Branson and several others for an online debate.

What could explain Anders Breivik's shooting attack in Oslo, Norway? While this is debated from the angles of politics, religion, and sociology, I want to ask this from the viewpoint of neurobiology.

From the Blog

  • The Mystery of Expertise
    The Mystery of Expertise

    To the extent that consciousness is useful, it is useful in small quantities, and for very particular kinds of tasks. It's easy to understand why you would not want to be consciously aware of the intricacies of your muscle movement, but this can be less intuitive when applied to your perceptions, thoughts, and beliefs, which are also final products of…

  • My favorite New Yorker cartoon. Ever.
    My favorite New Yorker cartoon. Ever.

    I'm a sucker for time jokes.

  • Discussing dreaming with Henry Rollins
    Discussing dreaming with Henry Rollins

    I recently spent an evening speaking at the Rubin Museum in NYC with punk rock legend, writer, and spoken word artist Henry Rollins.  We discussed the origin, meaning, neuroscience, and bizarreness of dreams. 

  • Will Self
    Will Self

    The author Will Self and I appeared on stage together to discuss life, death, and what makes good writing.

Newsflashes

Sum named Book of the Year by New Scientist

Sum was the only book of fiction in New Scientist magazine's selection of Best Books of 2009.

Guggenheim Fellowship

David has been named a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. He will use the fellowship opportunity to pursue the genetics and neuroimaging of synesthesia.

SUM is Book of the Year: Chicago Tribune

SUM was chosen as the best book of 2009 by Chicago Tribune's Pulitzer-winning literary critic Julia Keller.

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