Neuroscientist & Author


R. Douglas Fields, Ph.D. is a neuroscientist and an international authority on brain development, neuron-glia interactions, and the cellular mechanisms of memory. He is currently Chief of the Nervous System Development and Plasticity Section at the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Maryland, and author of numerous books and magazine article about the brain. He serves on the editorial boards of several neuroscience journals and he is scientific advisor to Scientific American Mind and other science magazines. He holds degrees from UC Berkeley, San Jose State University, UC San Diego, and he was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford and Yale Universities before joining the NIH in 1987.

Dr. Fields has published over 150 studies in scientific journals and books from his experimental research on the brain. His scientific research has been featured in newspapers, magazines, radio, and television, including the National Geographic, ABC News Nightline, NPR Morning Edition, and public television. In addition to his scientific research, Dr. Fields writes about neuroscience in several popular magazines including Outside Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Scientific American and Scientific American Mind, and he is a regular on-line columnist for The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Scientific American, the Society for Neuroscience BrainFacts, and others. He has written two science books for the general audience: The Other Brain, about brain cells (glia), which communicate without using electricity, and Why We Snap, about the neuroscience of sudden anger, aggression, and threat detection.

His outside interests include mountain climbing, beer making, and building acoustic guitars.

View selected publications by R. Douglas Fields