Jon Hamilton Jon Hamilton is a correspondent for NPR's Science Desk. Currently he focuses on neuroscience, health risks, and extreme weather.
Jon Hamilton 2010
Stories By

Jon Hamilton

Rats and people may rely on "metamemory" in a variety of different ways, scientists say. For a rat, it's likely about knowing whether you remember that predator in the distance; for people, knowing what we don't know helps us navigate social interactions. fotografixx/Getty Images/iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption
fotografixx/Getty Images/iStockphoto

From Rats To Humans, A Brain Knows When It Can't Remember

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/539761740/540652630" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Professional fighter Gina Mazany practices during a training session at Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts in Las Vegas. She well remembers her first concussion — which came in her first fight. "I was throwing up that night," Mazany says. Bridget Bennett for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Bridget Bennett for NPR

Female Athletes Are Closing The Gender Gap When It Comes To Concussions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/538294331/538970970" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Glioblastomas are the most common malignant brain tumor. About 12,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with the cancer every year. Sherbrooke Connectivity Imaging Lab/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
Sherbrooke Connectivity Imaging Lab/Science Source

John McCain Was Diagnosed With A Glioblastoma, Among The Deadliest Of Cancers

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/538295015/538370727" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

New research finds that African-Americans who grow up in harsh environments and endure stressful experiences are much more likely to develop Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia. Leland Bobbe/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Leland Bobbe/Getty Images

Stress And Poverty May Explain High Rates Of Dementia In African-Americans

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/536935957/537509513" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Jennifer Qian for NPR

Listen to the Invisibilia episode

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/533834764/534098045" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

When the neurons that release the neurotransmitter dopamine die, people develop Parkinson's disease. Roger J. Bick &/Brian J. Poindexter / UT-Houston/Science Source hide caption

toggle caption
Roger J. Bick &/Brian J. Poindexter / UT-Houston/Science Source

Brain Cell Transplants Are Being Tested Once Again For Parkinson's

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/532792500/532816987" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Eight different real faces were shown to a monkey. The images were then reconstructed using analyzing electrical activity from 205 neurons recorded while the monkey was viewing the faces. Courtesy of Doris Tsao/Cell Press hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Doris Tsao/Cell Press

Cracking The Code That Lets The Brain ID Any Face, Fast

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/530925382/531099097" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Sometime between grade school and grad school, the brain's information highways get remapped in a way that dramatically boosts self-control. Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

As Brains Mature, More Robust Information Networks Boost Self-Control

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/529828305/530257570" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Cabinet-card portrait of brain-injury survivor Phineas Gage (1823–1860), shown holding the tamping iron that injured him. Wikimedia hide caption

toggle caption
Wikimedia

Why Brain Scientists Are Still Obsessed With The Curious Case Of Phineas Gage

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/528966102/529364560" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An orangutan mother and her 11-month old infant in Borneo. Orangutans breast-feed offspring off and on for up to eight years. Tim Laman/Science Advances hide caption

toggle caption
Tim Laman/Science Advances

Orangutan Moms Are The Primate Champs Of Breast-Feeding

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/528776636/528900099" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A saliva test allowed scientists to accurately predict how long concussion symptoms would last in children. technotr/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
technotr/Getty Images

Spit Test May Reveal The Severity Of A Child's Concussion

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/526782407/526833521" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Scientists placed two clusters of cultured forebrain cells side by side (each cluster the size of a head of a pin). Within days, the "minibrains" had fused and particular neurons (in green) migrated from the left side to the right side, as subsets of cells do in a real brain. Courtesy of Pasca lab/Stanford University hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Pasca lab/Stanford University

'Minibrains' In A Dish Shed A Little Light On Autism And Epilepsy

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/525705550/525833282" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Small pulses of electricity to the brain have an effect on memory, new research shows. Science Photo Library/SCIEPRO/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Science Photo Library/SCIEPRO/Getty Images

Electrical Stimulation To Boost Memory: Maybe It's All In The Timing

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/524374825/524936105" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Lisa Zador/Getty Images

A 'Hot Zone' In The Brain May Reveal When, And Even What, We Dream

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/523262108/523311532" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Coalition forces fire a Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle during a training exercise in Afghanistan's Helmand province in 2013. Spc. Justin Young/U.S. Department of Defense/DVIDS hide caption

toggle caption
Spc. Justin Young/U.S. Department of Defense/DVIDS

Do U.S. Troops Risk Brain Injury When They Fire Heavy Weapons?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/522613294/522705318" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript