The Mission

The Science of Learning Institute seeks to understand and optimize the most essential part of our human capital: the ability to learn. The Institute supports interdisciplinary research, training, and outreach programs that will generate scientific discoveries and build meaningful connections between research, practice, and policy.

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Generating New Ideas

Facilitating dialog and interaction across the divisions and schools of Johns Hopkins University is critical for generating new, interdisciplinary research in the science of learning and instilling a culture of collaboration. SLI's method for doing this is the Belgian Beer Event (BBE):  Several times during each year, faculty, research scientists, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students from across the university are invited to present their research and mingle in a casual, conversational atmosphere.  The locations of these community-building events vary across Johns Hopkins campuses in order to promote greater diversity in participation. 

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News Highlight

Dr. Barbara Landau, is among the 84 newly elected members of the National Academy of Sciences, in recognition of their distinguished and continuing original research.

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News Highlight

Educators and school leaders spend ½ day at Johns Hopkins University to gain first-hand experience in the conduct of science of learning research and explore how research is related to educational practice.

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News Highlight

With a 1.4 million federal grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, SLI researchers will test a novel approach to teaching 3rd-grade science.

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Conducting Cutting-Edge Science of Learning Research.

Our grant programs generate new scientific discoveries about lifelong learning through interdisciplinary collaborations spanning basic and applied sciences.  

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Training Future Leaders in the Science of Learning.

We train scientists how to think broadly about learning, generate innovative perspectives and research on how we learn, and how to build meaningful connections between research, practice, and policy. 

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Connecting Science to Practice.

We collaborate with educators, practitioners, and policymakers to advance the understanding of science of learning research and translate research into meaningful, evidence-based practices, programs, and policies.

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Funded Research

How ‘rational’ is the learning process?

This project combines behavioral experiments with a philosophical analysis of learning models to determine whether we integrate new information in a way that obeys the principles of rational inference.

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Do novice and experienced teen drivers show neurophysiological...

We will use behavioral, psychophysiological, and neuroimaging techniques to explore neurophysiological markers of hazard detection in experienced versus inexperienced teenage drivers.

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Can technology enable effective and efficient learning of...

This work will bring together scientific principles from peer learning in adults, machine learning, and surgical skill assessment to deliver a scalable methodology to augment technology to support humans learning complex skills.

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Upcoming Events

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Recent News

Flamingos, elephants, and sharks: How do blind adults learn about...

Study finds that people born blind develop rich and accurate ideas about appearance based on cultural inference

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SLI-funded scientists ask what animal brains have in common with...

In an effort to improve robotic swarming algorithms, an interdisciplinary team of scientists will study how the brain allows an animal to navigate and change its route while moving.

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Barbara Landau, elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Barbara Landau elected to the National Academy of Sciences

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Our Experts

Dr. Elaine Hansen

Executive Director, Center for Talented Youth

Dr. Hongjun Song

Director, Stem Cell Program at the Institute for Cell Engineering; Professor, Department of...

Dr. Ed Schlesinger

Dean, School of Engineering

Dr. William Anderson

Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery

Dr. Chadia Abras

Program Director, Distance Education, Center for Technology in Education enter for Technology in...

Dr. Gail Geller

Director of Educational Initiatives, Berman Institute of Bioethics 

Dr. Ruth Faden

Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and...

Dr. Patricia Janak

Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Dr. Kristin Gagnier

Director of Dissemination, Translation, and Education

Dr. Jaqueline Nunn

Associate Dean, Technology Columbia Center, School of Education

Dr. David Valle

Henry J. Knott Professor and Director of the Institute of Genetic Medicine; Professor,...

Dr. Marshall Hussain Shuler

Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Gina Adrales

Chief of the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery; Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Bariatric...

Dr. Sunil Kumar (Chair)

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Beverly Wendland

James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Barbara Landau

Former Director, Science of Learning Institute and Dick and Lydia Todd Professor of Cognitive...

Dr. Jonathan Flombaum

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Dr. Sanjeev Khudanpur

Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering