Douglas Fields

  • National Institutes of Health

R. Douglas Fields is Chief of the Nervous System Development and Plasticity Section at the National Institutes of Health, NICHD, in Bethesda, Maryland, and author of the new book about sudden anger and aggression “Why We Snap,” published by Dutton, and a popular book about glia “The Other Brain” published by Simon and Schuster. Dr. Fields is a developmental neurobiologist with a long-standing interest in brain development and plasticity, neuron-glia interactions, and the cellular mechanism of memory. He received degrees from UC Berkeley, San Jose State University, and UC San Diego. After postdoctoral fellowships at Stanford and Yale Universities he joined the NIH in 1987.

Dr. Fields also enjoys writing about neuroscience for the general public. In addition to serving on editorial boards of several neuroscience journals, he serves as scientific advisor for Odyssey and Scientific American Mind magazines. He has written for Outside Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Scientific American and Scientific American Mind, and he publishes regularly for The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and Scientific American on-line. Outside the lab he enjoys building guitars and rock climbing.

Articles by Douglas Fields

Thousands of people are captivated by the live video stream of a pair of bald eagles, named Mr. President and The First Lady, nesting on top of a Tulip Poplar tree at the U.S. National Arboretum.
New research reported in the journal Psychological Medicine, concludes that continued use of cannabis causes violent behavior as a direct result of changes in brain function that are caused by smoking marijuana over many years.
Tennis star Maria Sharapova has admitted to using the performance-enhancing drug meldonium, which boosts brain and body power and endurance. Here’s how it works.
The side effects of acetazolamide can disrupt the sense of taste in a very specific way.
The California Fish and Game Commission has banned crab fishing until further notice after detecting high levels of a neurotoxin in Dungeness and rock crabs. The toxin, domoic acid, is produced by certain types of planktonic algae, and it becomes concentrated in tissue of crabs and other marine organisms during plankton blooms.
Army Capt. Florent Groberg will receive the Medal of Honor for instantly tackling a suicide bomber in a split-second reaction of self-sacrifice to save the lives of his comrades.
Neuroscience, not the supernatural, are what witches, witchcraft, and witch hunts are all about.
This week at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago announced a new finding that provides a fresh answer to this persistent question that plagues people addicted to alcohol.
A new study reveals the most common content of recurring dreams and finds very different hallucinations in the dreaming minds of adults and children.
On Saturday, July 4, 2015, a horrifying bloodbath erupted before the eyes of passengers on the Red Line Metro subway train heading to Fourth of July festivities in Washington, DC.
Your brain’s rapid response defense system has already detected the threat and avoided it before your conscious mind is even engaged.
The debut of Bruce Jenner’s sex change on the cover of Vanity Fair was stunning, but superficial. A deeper question than her newfound beauty is: What about her brain?
  • BrainFacts/SfN