I’m a neuroscientist and science writer, most recently the author of Why Diets Make Us Fat: The Unintended Consequences of Our Obsession with Weight Loss, published by Penguin Random House. My talk at TEDGlobal 2013 on why I stopped dieting and switched to eating mindfully has received over 4.5 million views.
Before that, I wrote two books in collaboration with Sam Wang from Princeton. Welcome to Your Brain: Why You Lose Your Car Keys But Never Forget How to Drive and Other Puzzles of Everyday Life was published by Bloomsbury US (March 2008) and twenty-three international publishers. The American Association for the Advancement of Science named it their Young Adult Science Book of the Year in 2009.
Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College was also published by Bloomsbury US (September 2011) and sixteen international publishers. My science writing has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, El Mundo and the Times of London, among other places. I am also the sole proprietor of Aamodt Science Communication, which helps academic authors communicate effectively with funding agencies.
Before becoming an author, I was the editor in chief of Nature Neuroscience, a leading scientific journal in the field of brain research. I received my undergraduate degree in biophysics from Johns Hopkins University and my Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Rochester. After four years of postdoctoral research at Yale University, I joined Nature Neuroscience at its founding in 1998 and was editor in chief from 2003 to 2008. During my career at the journal, I read over four thousand neuroscience papers and wrote many editorials on science policy. I’ve also presented talks to parents, schools, non-profits, companies, universities, and scientific conferences.
My husband and I live on eight acres in Northern California with a dog and two cats. A few years ago, we sailed our ketch across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to New Zealand and back, via many South Pacific islands, including Tahiti, Bora Bora, Suwarrow, and Palmyra. I love dancing, backcountry truck camping, travel photography, hiking, cooking, and having written.