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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Training the next generation of scientists

There is growing recognition that the next generation of scientists must think broadly about how we learn, be able to synthesize knowledge from multiple scientific perspectives, generate innovative, interdisciplinary research, and use these to bridge research, practice, and policy. Our training programs provide young scientists with opportunities to expand their knowledge of the science of learning and its applications to address real world issues.

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Event Highlight

SLI hosted our 3rd Biennial Science of Learning Symposium entitled Minding the Gaps Among Levels of Explanation

Distinguished scientists highlighted complementary and contrasting perspectives on the neural and cognitive bases of learning and motivation, and the implications of these for improvements in both.  

Symposium presentations are now available.

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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

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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Partnering with the community

SLI is partnering with the Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning to disseminate and translate science of learning research to the K-12 education community.

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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

No Upcoming Events currently, check back another time.

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Recent News

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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SLI Fellow Gives Patterson High School Students a Sneak Peek at...

After seeing students' enthusiasm for his line of work during a visit to Patterson High School, Distinguished Science of Learning Fellow Corbin Cunningham designed a daylong program on Hopkins' campus that exposed them to the fun — and accessibility — of college-level science.

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Our Experts

Dr. Barry Gordon

Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery; Director, Cognitive Neurology/Neuropsychology

Emily Coderre

Distinguished Science of Learning Fellow

Dr. Sunil Kumar (Chair)

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Barbara Landau

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

Dr. Roghayeh Barmaki

Postdoctoral Researcher, Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics, Department of Computer...

Dr. David Linden

Professor of Neuroscience

Dr. Nettie Legters

Research Scientist, Center for Social Organization of Schools and Associate Director of the...

Dr. Michael McCloskey

Professor, Department of Cognitive Science; Director of Undergraduate Studies

Dr. Mikhail Pletnikov

Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. J Tilak Ratnanather

Associate Research Professor, Center for Imaging Science and Institute for Computational...

Dr. Shreesh Mysore

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Dr. Sanjeev Khudanpur

Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Justin Halberda

Associate Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Dr. Mengnan Tian

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Rebecca Haberman

Associate Research Scientist, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Dr. Kechen Zhang

Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Sara Johnson

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Department of Population, Family, and...

Dr. Bethany Sacks

Assistant Professor of Surgery; Assistant Program Director, Department of Surgery