Benjamin Bell

Neuroscience

Johns Hopkins University

I study sleep in mammals. I tend to ask the "journalism" questions of sleep as a behavior, "who, what, where, when, and why?" Evolutionarily, sleep has always seemed like an odd-ball to me, and while we are no closer to answering the "why" component, my research has started to hone in on the "who" and "when" factors, which can both provide important insight to this activity engaged in which we spend a full third of our lives.

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Opening Our Minds

In the 1940s, the possibility that drugs like LSD, psilocybin and MDMA could unlock and treat complex mental health disorders seemed near, but it took decades before work resumed on the study of the psychology, neuroscience, biochemistry and impact of these drugs. Now, we've assembled a team of neuroscientists, biochemists, clinicians and behavioral scientists to help you understand what we know today about the possibilities and risks of mental health treatment with psychedelic drugs.

4 articles

A neuroscientist reviews Michael Pollan's 'How to Change Your Mind'

The book shines new light on the revitalized field of psychedelic medicine

The psychedelic renaissance is here. Will it last this time?

To avoid the mistakes of the past, scientists and society need to open their minds

Can MDMA help people with autism overcome social anxiety?

An expert lays out a cautiously optimistic case for using the psychedelic in therapy

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Why you shouldn't believe everything your sleep tracker tells you

People who are told they slept poorly will act accordingly, even if it isn't true

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Lab-grown leather and spider silk are the future of your wardrobe

Burgeoning startups are hacking cells to create 'unnatural' and 'smart' clothing

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Does modern neuroscience really help us understand behavior?

Two experts argue that the field needs to move beyond its limited roots

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We're beginning to understand why spinal cord tissue is so hard to heal

A group of recent findings may eventually pave the way for better treatments

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How does the developing brain learn to perceive the world before it can see it?

Our eyes work when we're born, even though they've never been exposed to light

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