Dr. R. Douglas Fields is Chief of the Nervous System Development and Plasticity Section at the National Institutes of Health and Adjunct Professor in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program at the University of Maryland, College Park. In addition, Doug is the author of numerous books and magazine articles about the brain, including the recently released book Electric Brain: How the New Science of Brainwaves Reads Minds, Tells Us How We Learn, and Helps Us Change for the Better. Doug studies how the brain develops and the mechanisms involved in changes to the brain’s structure and function (plasticity). He is particularly interested in how experience regulates development and plasticity in the brain as well as the mechanisms at a cellular level that are involved in learning. When he’s not doing research or writing about science, Doug enjoys rock climbing, mountain climbing, building acoustic guitars, and making his own beer and wine. He received his B.A. in biology from the University of California, Berkeley, his M.A. degree in marine biology from San Jose State University, and his Ph.D. degree in marine biology from the University of California, San Diego, working jointly in the Medical School and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Afterwards, Doug conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University, Yale University, and the NIH before starting his research laboratory at the NIH in 1994. Doug is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and he is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of the scientific journal Neuron Glia Biology. In our interview, Doug tells us more about his life and science.
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