Howard Hardee

Howard Hardee

Reporter, Mind & Behavior and Technology

Howard Hardee, based in Madison, Wisconsin, covers Technology and Mind & Behavior for The Academic Times. Previously, Howard covered mis- and disinformation as an election integrity reporter at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and as a local news fellow for First Draft, a global fact-checking organization. An award-winning reporter with a decade of experience, he holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and in 2017 was honored as an environmental reportage fellow at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta, Canada.

We've got more in common with flies than we might think. (Unsplash/Svetozar Cenisev)
We've got more in common with flies than we might think. (Unsplash/Svetozar Cenisev)Neurological learning learning mechanisms shared by humans and other mammals may also be used in the brains of fruit flies, hinting at an elusive link between insect and mammalian learning.

We're learning more about what sets us apart from our primate cousins. (Pexels/Andre Mouton)
We're learning more about what sets us apart from our primate cousins. (Pexels/Andre Mouton)Scientists have shed new light on why our brains developed differently from those of other primates and given rise to human culture, language and tool use, discovering that the cerebellum may have played a greater role in the evolution of the human brain than previously thought.

Even low levels of air pollution can affect how older mens' brains work. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Even low levels of air pollution can affect how older mens' brains work. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)Air pollution could impact the cognitive function of older men more than previously thought — even from short-term exposure and at concentrations below World Health Organization guidelines for what's considered safe to breathe, a new study suggests.

If this picture makes you itchy, a new sensor can track when you scratch. (Pixabay/WikiImages)
If this picture makes you itchy, a new sensor can track when you scratch. (Pixabay/WikiImages)Scientists have devised a more objective way of measuring itch with a wearable sensing technology that tracks how often people scratch themselves and accurately distinguishes real scratching from similar motions, potentially giving physicians better information to help patients with eczema and other itch-related conditions find relief.

Lighthouses have helped ships navigate for centuries. Now acoustic ones might help birds avoid hazards. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Lighthouses have helped ships navigate for centuries. Now acoustic ones might help birds avoid hazards. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)Projecting targeted sound into the airspace surrounding buildings, communication towers and wind turbines could give birds a heads-up before they fatally strike such obstacles, researchers say.

One of the many effects of Parkinson's disease is that some patients see "ghosts." Now we might know why. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
One of the many effects of Parkinson's disease is that some patients see "ghosts." Now we might know why. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)Using robotics and brain imaging, researchers have discovered an abnormality in the brains of patients with Parkinson's disease that may explain why some experience "presence hallucinations," sensing the shadowy presence of another person when nobody is there.

New technology is bringing better images and greater insight into the lives of a creature of legend. (Edith Widder)
New technology is bringing better images and greater insight into the lives of a creature of legend. (Edith Widder)Only recently have scientists shown us video evidence of the giant squid in its deep sea habitat, and both of the landmark recordings were captured with a stealthy undersea camera that researchers say could be adapted to get a better view of the iconic creature.

It turns out we've got brain-development patterns in common with chimpanzees, too. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
It turns out we've got brain-development patterns in common with chimpanzees, too. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)Neuroscientists have long debated whether our prefrontal cortex takes longer to develop than it does in other primates — and if this extended period gives us exceptional cognitive abilities — but new research suggests that human brain circuitry matures much like that of chimpanzees and macaques.

A new system could help human operators track down incidents of elder abuse. (AP Photo/Cody Jackson)
A new system could help human operators track down incidents of elder abuse. (AP Photo/Cody Jackson)Researchers at the University of Iowa have invented a way to autonomously detect on-camera violence that could someday flag or even prevent the abuse of seniors and other vulnerable people.

Support offered on social media doesn't have near as much benefit as that offered in person.
Support offered on social media doesn't have near as much benefit as that offered in person.Support offered on Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms does not provide the same mental health protections as real-life support from friends and family, according to a new paper that surveyed college students to examine the connections between problematic social media use, mental health challenges and the safety net of relationships.

AI might soon be helping human editors figure out real news from fake. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
AI might soon be helping human editors figure out real news from fake. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)Most people don't have the time or expertise to check whether everything they see online is true. But a new method of detecting fake news could someday help users, news publications and government agencies shut down the falsehoods that flood our social media feeds.

AI might have more influence over the choices we make than we'd like to think. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AI might have more influence over the choices we make than we'd like to think. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)In our increasingly digital world, algorithms attempt to exploit our biases and other mental shortcuts to distort our decision-making — and now, a new series of experiments suggests that we are highly suggestible when it comes to dating and electing leaders.