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

Fainting is the sudden and temporary loss of consciousness, and consciousness arises from neural activity in the cerebral cortex. Anything that disrupts neural activity in the cerebral cortex can cause loss of consciousness.
Today the world learned that neuroscientist Roger Y. Tsien passed away on August 24, 2016. His life’s work transformed cellular neuroscience.
Whether or not a competitor stands on the podium wearing an Olympic metal can depend on a thousandth of a second difference in finishing time.
New research shows that the Zika virus can infect neural stem cells in the adult brain.
“He slimed me!” Venkman spits out in disgust, writhing in sticky ectoplasm in a memorable scene from the 1984 movie Ghostbusters.
Long-necked Sauropods, like Brontosaurus, were the largest animals on earth, but their brain, not their leg strength, is what kept them from getting any bigger.
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.
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.
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