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Ask the Expert

Look at questions submitted to Scientific American magazine over the years by curious readers and explore the answers that top scientists and science writers have provided.

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Overview

Look at questions submitted to Scientific American magazine over the years by curious readers and explore the answers that top scientists and science writers have provided.

About

Scientific American

Scientific American publishes work by journalists, scientists, scholars, policy makers and people with lived experience of scientific or social issues.

Scientific American covers the advances in research and discovery that are changing our understanding of the world and shaping our lives. Founded in 1845, it is the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States and now reaches more than 10 million people around the world each month through its website, print and digital editions, newsletters, and app. Authoritative and engaging features, news, and opinion pieces; and multimedia stories from journalists and expert authors—including more than 200 Nobel Prize winners—provide need-to-know coverage, insights, and illumination of the most important developments at the intersection of science and society. Scientific American is published by Springer Nature. As a research publisher, Springer Nature is home to other trusted brands including Springer, Nature Research, BMC, and Palgrave Macmillan.

By This Expert

Mind-Blowing Science: Season 2
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Psychological and Mental Health

01: Psychological and Mental Health

Can stress sometimes prove beneficial? Why do top athletes suddenly develop “the yips,” a tendency to choke under pressure? Why is it comforting to discuss problems with others?

9 min
Feelings and Emotions

02: Feelings and Emotions

Is a bad mood contagious? Is oxytocin the “love hormone”? Why do we cry? Can adults improve their emotional intelligence with training?

13 min
Intelligence and Learning

03: Intelligence and Learning

Does napping really help cognitive function? How does background noise affect our concentration? How reliable is spontaneous insight?

10 min
Memory

04: Memory

How are memories saved? Where does the recording take place, and how? What is the memory capacity of the human brain? When do children start making long-term memories? How is it that I can “see” memories?

10 min
Dreams

05: Dreams

How can you control your dreams?

10 min