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About Dr. Fields

R. Douglas Fields, PhD, is a neuroscientist and author. Throughout his career his scientific research has explored the cellular mechanisms of nervous system development, plasticity, and memory, working at UC San Diego, Stanford University, Yale University, and the National Institutes of Health.

Praise for R. Douglas Fields

Latest Blog Posts

Viral Infections Millions of Years Ago Promote Inheritance of Mental Illness

People understand that someone can be predisposed to mental illness by inheriting certain genes or gene variants, but new research is revealing that inherited mental illnesses are also promoted by alterations in our DNA that were caused by viral infection of our ancestors over a million years ago. Remarkably, the changes do not modify parts…

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How the Tremendous Boost in Brain Power Arose Suddenly in Evolution–The Mystery of Myelin

 “Why, if species have descended from other species by fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms?” — Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species.     Charles Darwin proposed that evolution is driven by gradual variations in organisms that have survival advantage in a changing environment, but he recognized that new traits often…

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Also by R. Douglas Fields

Electric Brain Audio Excerpt

Electric Brain

Overview and Intro

Google Talk

On Gila and Rage

Featured Audio

Leonard Lopate Show WNYC

"On the Origins of Rage and How it Affects Your Brain"