Only Human

A Blog by Virginia Hughes

Latest Posts

Uprooted, Again

For me, the hardest part of writing a story is finding the end. It often feels arbitrary, or artificial, or both. A person’s story isn’t…

The Dog Mom’s Brain

When people ask me if I have kids, my standard answer is, “I have a dog.” My husband and I are the first to admit that we tend to treat o…

The Other Polygraph

A test that measures brain waves may be more useful to criminal investigations than the traditional polygraph.

The Point of Pointing

Five years ago cognitive scientist Rafael Núñez found himself in the Upper Yupno Valley, a remote, mountainous region of Papua New Guinea…

Brain Zaps Boost Memory

Researchers who study memory have had a thrilling couple of years. Some have erased memories in people with electroshock therapy, for examp…

Peak Zone

In June 1958, 17-year-old Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé, arrived in Stockholm with the rest of the Brazilian national fo…

The Chatty Hippocampus

The hippocampus, a skinny log of brain tissue tucked in deep above your ear, is the star of memory research. People with damaged hippocampi …

Napoleon’s Legacy

I’m on vacation this week, so here’s a fun story from my archives about Napoleon’s genes. It was originally published in 20…

The Sexual Politics of Autism

A diagnosis of autism is almost five times more common in boys than girls. But a new study suggest the sex differences in autism have been gr…