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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News Highlight

SLI’s Kelly Fisher and Kristin Gagnier were awarded a Cognition and Student Learning (CASL) grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to develop a novel 3rd-grade science curriculum and teacher professional development supports. This 1.4 million dollar award is in partnership with Prince George’s County Public Schools.

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Research Highlight:

SLI expert Daniel O’Connor was among 102 scientists and engineers named on Jan. 9 by President Obama as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

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News Highlight

Johns Hopkins cognitive scientist Barbara Landau has won a 2018 William James Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science, an honor that recognizes individuals for their "lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology."

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News Highlight

SLI hosts AAAS workshop to explore (1) the importance of communication of scientific findings to broad audiences, (2) the traditional approach to dissemination and its limitations, (3) how to make science understandable and meaningful to general audiences while at the same time preserving scientific integrity, and (4) best practices in communicating scientific findings to target audiences.

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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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Recent News

Junk food is almost twice as distracting as healthy food, study...

SLI-funded research underscores people's implicit bias for fatty, sugary foods

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SLI Fellow Kara Blacker featured on NPR

A comparison of the two most common training methods scientists use to improve memory and attention found that one was twice as effective as the other. The more effective method also changed brain activity in a part of the brain involved in high-level thinking.

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Our Experts

Dr. Randal Burns

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science

Dr. Kristina Nielsen

Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Steven Gross

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy

Dr. Robert Lieberman (Chair)

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Mikhail Pletnikov

Professor of Psychiatry

Dr. Ana Arenivas

Instructor, Department of Neuropsychology

Dr. Anna Korzeniewska

Research Associate, Department of Neurology

Dr. Amy Shelton

Professor and Associate Dean for Research, School of Education

Dr. Dana Boatman

Professor, Departments of Neurology and Otolaryngology

Dr. Kerry Ledoux

Research Associate, Department of Neurology

Dr. Alan Yuille

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Departments of Cognitive Science and Computer Science

Dr. Neale Kinnear

Principal Psychologist, Transport Research Laboratory 

Dr. Marina Bedny

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Dr. Nassir Navab

Professor, Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics, Department of Computer Science

Dr. Roghayeh Barmaki

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

Dr. Hongjun Song

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

Dr. David Andrews

Dean, School of Education

Dr. Chaz Firestone

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences