Richard Sima


Brain Matters Columnist

Education: Johns Hopkins University, PhD in Neuroscience; Harvard University, BA in Neurobiology

Richard Sima is a neuroscientist turned science journalist who writes the Brain Matters column for The Washington Post's Well+Being desk. After more than a decade of research, Sima transitioned from academia to journalism. His work covering the life, health and environmental sciences has appeared in outlets such as the New York Times, National Geographic, Scientific American, Discover Magazine, New Scientist and Eos. Prior to joining The Post in 2022, Richard worked as a fact-checker for Vox podcasts, including for the award-winning science podcast “Unexplainable.” He was also a researcher
Latest from Richard Sima

This $10 purchase can improve your sleep and boost your brain health

Research has shown that even relatively dim light when we snooze — about the equivalent of a hallway light — can have surprisingly profound physiological effects.

January 18, 2024

Does your ‘love language’ really matter? Scientists are skeptical.

Love language, a theory about expressing and receiving love, was introduced by Baptist pastor Gary Chapman 30 years ago. Scientists say it’s not backed by research.

January 15, 2024

What’s a urinary tract infection? Why are they so worrisome?

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was hospitalized with a urinary tract infection. Here’s what to know about the condition.

January 9, 2024

Forget FOMO. Embrace JOMO to discover the joy of missing out.

For Day 4 of our New Year’s tuneup, try these simple steps to bring more joyful moments into your day.

January 4, 2024

Feeling nostalgia is good for our present and future well-being

Reminiscing about shared memories with friends, listening to your favorite music or looking through old photos are great ways to stroll down memory lane.

December 28, 2023

Our best brain tips for a healthier, happier life

Listen to the birds, breathe, hug or hold hands, and channel your inner Betty White. These and other tips can have positive effects on our mental health.

December 14, 2023

How a neuroscientist beats winter depression

Each year, millions of people experience seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Today we talk to neuroscientist-turned-journalist Richard Sima about how to get ready for the change in season and beat the winter depression.

December 8, 2023

In the mystery of postpartum depression, the immune system offers clues

Postpartum depression has commonly been linked to the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy, but scientists say the immune system plays a much larger role than previously known.

December 6, 2023

UTIs can lead to cognitive dysfunction, but there are ways to reduce risks

Common infections are linked to delirium and dementia, but with awareness, prevention and treatment, the risks can be lowered.

November 16, 2023

8 things you can do this fall to help ease winter depression

About 5 percent of Americans experience winter seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, each year. Now is the best time to prepare.

November 11, 2023