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Phil Jaekl


I am a science writer with an extensive background in cognitive neuroscience, having completed my PhD while at York University in Toronto, Canada before going on to research positions in Barcelona and Rochester, New York. Aside from my academic publications I've written on topics related to neuroscience for The Atlantic, The Guardian, Knowable and Wired. I've has also written for New York Magazine and have contributed feature-length essays to Aeon. I live in Tromsø, in Norway’s arctic region, where I enjoy the outdoors while wearing many layers of clothing. Right now, I'm probably wishing I was fishing.

Selected Articles


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The Atlantic


Why We Sense Somebody Who Isn’t There

When expectations aren’t met, our brains spook us.


I Didn’t Know My Mind Was So Strange Until I Started Listening to It

I participated for months in an experiment aimed to reveal the nature of inner experience.




A Magnetic Therapy for Depression Gains Precision

Tailoring transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment to individual brains may improve results.


The Scientist



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A Chilling Descent into the Macabre, Controversial, Lifesaving History of Hypothermia


In Out Cold, science writer Phil Jaekl tells the history of therapeutic hypothermia, from Ancient Egypt, where cold was used to treat skin irritations, to mad science involving crude experiments in the hopes of curing schizophrenia and devising a means of frozen suspended animation, to finally, modern medicine where cold is now becoming accepted for its lifesaving therapeutic value.


We understand hypothermia now better than ever before, and we have numerous new cooling techniques at our disposal, yet a macabre stigma still hangs over the field. This book will delve into a dark history from which science is now coming out on top.




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