Michelle Trudeau

Michelle Trudeau began her radio career in 1981, filing stories for NPR from Beijing and Shanghai, China, where she and her husband lived for two years. She began working as a science reporter and producer for NPR's Science Desk since 1982. Trudeau's news reports and feature stories, which cover the areas of human behavior, child development, the brain sciences, and mental health, air on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Trudeau has been the recipient of more than twenty media broadcasting awards for her radio reporting, from such professional organizations as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Casey Journalism Center, the American Psychiatric Association, World Hunger, the Los Angeles Press Club, the American Psychological Association, and the National Mental Health Association.

Trudeau is a graduate of Stanford University. While at Stanford, she studied primate behavior and conducted field research with Dr. Jane Goodall at the Gombe Stream Research Centre in Tanzania. Prior to coming to NPR, Trudeau worked as a Research Associate at the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, in Washington, D.C.

Trudeau now lives in Southern California, the mother of twins.

2:31am

Thu July 17, 2014
Shots - Health News

Skimping On Sleep Can Stress Body And Brain

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 7:58 am

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

"The lion and calf shall lie down together," Woody Allen once wrote, "but the calf won't get much sleep."

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2:26am

Mon June 30, 2014
Shots - Health News

Preschoolers Outsmart College Students In Figuring Out Gadgets

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 12:32 pm

If you've noticed that kids seem to be better at figuring out these things, you're not alone.
iStockphoto

Ever wonder why children can so easily figure out how to work the TV remote? Or why they "totally get" apps on your smartphone faster than you? It turns out that young children may be more open-minded than adults when it comes to solving problems.

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2:39am

Mon May 5, 2014
Shots - Health News

You Had Me At Hello: The Science Behind First Impressions

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 7:08 am

Humans make split-second judgments about others based on the way they talk.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Remember that famous line in the movie Jerry Maguire where Renee Zellweger says to Tom Cruise, "You had me at 'hello' "? Well it turns out there is some scientific evidence to back this up. People use voices to instantly judge people, researchers say.

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2:33am

Mon April 7, 2014
Shots - Health News

Involuntary Shaking Can Be Caused By Essential Tremors

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 2:51 pm

Deep brain stimulation eased Shari Finsilver's tremors, but didn't stop them entirely. Here she uses both hands to stabilize a glass of water.
Marvin Shaouni for NPR

Katharine Hepburn had it. So did playwright Eugene O'Neill and Sen. Robert Byrd. Essential tremor is a condition that causes involuntary shaking.

While it usually develops in middle age, it can start much earlier. Shari Finsilver was aware of her hands shaking as a child.

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2:05am

Mon April 15, 2013
Shots - Health News

Inside The Brains Of People Over 80 With Exceptional Memory

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 7:45 am

Lou Ann Schachner, 84, and Jay Schachner, 81, are volunteers with the Northwestern University SuperAging Project. They keep track of all their plans in a shared calendar. She loves to cook and study French and he is a part-time tax lawyer.
Samantha Murphy for NPR

Most research on memory loss in the elderly focuses on dementia, Alzheimer's disease or other brain diseases.

But neuroscientist Emily Rogalski from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine knew there is great variation in how good memory is in older people. Most have memory loss to varying degrees, but some have strong memories, even well into old age.

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2:23am

Mon August 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Lack Of Sleep, Genes Can Get Sleepwalkers Up And About

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 1:44 pm

Though scientists have identified sleepwalking triggers, the condition is still a bit of a mystery.
Victoria Alexandrova iStockphoto.com

Miranda Kelly, a 14-year-old from Sykesville, Md., says she's been sleepwalking since she was 6 or 7. The first time, she says, "I woke up on the couch on a school day. And I'd gone to bed in my bed."

Since that first episode, Kelly now sleepwalks every couple of months. "I wake up in weird places, randomly. I have once woken up in the kitchen, and on the floor of the bathroom wrapped in my sheet," she says.

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2:23am

Mon August 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Why Can Some People Recall Every Day Of Their Lives? Brain Scans Offer Clues

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 12:50 pm

Researchers are using MRI scans to learn more about the brains of people with extraordinary memory.
iStockphoto.com

Six years ago, we told you about a woman, identified as A.J., who could remember the details of nearly every day of her life. At the time, researchers thought she was unique. But since then, a handful of such individuals have been identified. And now, researchers are trying to understand how their extraordinary memories work.

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