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

Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) – have joined forces to support leading scientists from Singapore and the United States in their multidisciplinary research into the science of learning. 

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News Highlight

SLI commentary on the importance of spatial thinking in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education featured on the JHU Institute for Education Policy's website.  

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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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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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News Highlight

NSF's Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences announces a Science of Learning Program.

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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

Can we use reinforcement motor learning to improve specific...

This project integrates knowledge from the fields of computational neuroscience, machine learning, and the neurophysiology of non-invasive brain stimulation to approach a long-standing problem in rehabilitation therapy with a novel perspective.

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How does the cerebellum update our movements following an error?

This project combines the field of motor control, which seeks to determine the behavioral consequences of learning to move (e.g., how does the brain adapt the next movement following an error?), and neurophysiology, which attempts to identify the correlates of this motor learning in the firing of neurons in the brain.

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How Do Learned Dietary Associations Influence Attention?

This project integrates biobehavioral, cognitive, and electrophysiological methods to explore the neural mechanisms underlying distraction by high-fat foods and how these are moderated by individual differences in dietary characteristics.

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Upcoming Events

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Recent News

SLI researchers want to use big data to chart the brain

The human brain is the most complex machine in existence. Every brain is loaded with some 100 billion nerve cells, each connecting to thousands of others, giving around 100 trillion connections. Mapping those connections, or synapses, could enable scientists to decipher what causes neurological disease and mental illness. It's an immense, daunting task.

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Science of Learning Institute Experts Visit Nanyang Technological...

Researchers from the Science of Learning Institute visited Nanyang Technological Institute in Singapore to discuss current and future directions in the Science of Learning and participate in NTU's Smart Baby Seminar on the importance of play in developing spatial skills, language, and math.

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NSF Announces Science of Learning Program

NSF's Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences announces a Science of Learning Program

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Our Experts

Dr. Kechen Zhang

Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Karin Sandmel

Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education

Dr. Amy Bastian

Professor, Department of Neuroscience; Director, Motion Analysis Laboratory

Dr. Robert Blum

William H. Gates Sr. Professor & Chair, Dept. of Population, Family & Reproductive Health;...

Dr. Richard Edden

Associate Professor, Department of Radiology

Dr. Alan Yuille

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Departments of Cognitive Science and Computer Science

Corbin Cunningham

Distinguished Science of Learning Fellow

Dr. David Foster

Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Noah Cowan

Associate Professor, Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering,...

Dr. Ralph Semmel

Director, Applied Physics Laboratory

Kara Blacker

Distinguished Science of Learning Fellow

Dr. Raman Arora

Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, Center for Language and Speech Processing

Dr. Kristin Gagnier

Outreach and Evaluation Specialist, Science of Learning Institute and Assistant Research Scientist...

Dr. Pablo Ariel Celnik

Interim Director, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Professor of Physical...

Dr. Richard Huganir

Professor and Director, Department of Neuroscience; Co-Director, Brain Science Institute

Dr. Kerry Ledoux

Research Associate, Department of Neurology

Dr. Robert Lieberman (Chair)

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Dana Boatman

Professor, Departments of Neurology and Otolaryngology