Bio

writer
neuroscientist (PhD, Stanford)

Non-fiction Writing

I, Language Robot L.A. Review of Books, 2019
"The worst outcome was clear in my mind: two copies of the exact same short story"

The Reassuring Future of Humans and Machines The New Yorker, 2016
"The concern is of particular relevance to Go, which has long been considered a kind of war in miniature."

Werner Herzog Talks Virtual Reality The New Yorker, 2016
"Our understanding of our brain, of our mind, is in its infancy."

What is Elegance in Science? The New Yorker, 2015
"The edges of some linguistic categories, like the edges of clouds, seem to disappear as you get closer."

The Brighter Side of Rabies The New Yorker, 2015
"The rabies virus belongs, not coincidentally, to a group of viruses named for the Greek goddess of frenzy and rage."

What People Cured of Blindness See The New Yorker, 2014
"The absence of these rules can frustrate the newly sighted, whose visual world can be both blurry and two-dimensional"

The Twice-Forbidden Fruit The New Yorker, 2014
"'I can fit the whole Wikipedia in a small forest, in—let’s call it a very large grove,' he explained."

The Electronic Holy War The New Yorker, 2014
"The first computer Go attempts were based on what can only be described as computational exegesis"

The Misuse of 'Schizophrenic' Slate, 2013
"History shows that language changes how those afflicted with stubborn illnesses view themselves and, importantly, how they are treated by others."

The Scent of a Cat Woman Slate, 2012
"The history of perfume is an intimate history of animal come-hithers."

Landon Donovan Needs a Cat Slate, 2010
"What is going on here? Does Toxo really make people better at soccer?"

How to Win the New Yorker Caption Contest Slate, 2008
"And if your goal is not to win the caption contest, why bother entering?"

Scientific Research

Predator Cat Odors Activate Sexual Arousal Pathways in Brains of Toxoplasma gondii Infected Rats PLoS One
"Rats have separate ‘defensive’ and ‘reproductive’ pathways gating innate behavioral response to, respectively, predator or sexual stimuli"