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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Research Highlight:

In a recent paper published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, researchers led by cognitive psychologist Jonathan Flombaum dispute standard assumptions about memory, demonstrating for the first time that people's memories for colors are biased in favor of "best" versions of basic colors over colors they actually saw.

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News Highlight

People searching for something can find it faster if they know what to look for. But new research funded by SLI suggests knowing what not to look for can be just as helpful.

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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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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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Partnering with the community

SLI is partnering with the Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) and Port Discovery Children's Musem to bring the science of early language and literacy development to the museum through a suite of interactive tools to empower parents and caregivers of children 5 and younger to maximize this critical window of language development.

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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

Why does brain stimulation combined with adaptive working memory...

This project examines whether the combination of electrical brain stimulation and cognitive training can improve cerebral efficiency and plasticity, while simultaneously testing a possible neurobiological mechanism for cognitive fatigue. Results will inform the design of interventions aimed at improving cognitive performance and learning capacity.

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How does learning impact neural networks in the primary visual...

How does learning impact neural networks in the primary visual cortex? This project will investigate learning effects at the neural network level by combining two-photon calcium imaging in animals learning an orientation discrimination task with a state-space analysis approach. Our proposal aims to identify a fundamental learning mechanism that leverages the power of large networks. Our results will help to define the scale at which learning effects need to be studied in the cortex.

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How does the brain control the processing of cooperating and...

How does the brain control the processing of different kinds of information that sometimes need to cooperate and sometimes need to compete, such as sensory information from the outside world versus abstract ideas and relationships? Bridging computational engineering methods, brain imaging techniques, and cognitive neuroscience, this study will test whether the strength of different interactions among multiple brain areas is related to how well an individual person is able to learn different kinds of information. Results will inform our understanding of the mechanisms behind how different parts of the brain communicate with each other. The results also may have implications for treating ADHD, autism, and other disorders with altered interactions between brain areas, and for designing educational methods tailored to the learning strengths and weaknesses of a broad range of typically developing individuals.

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Upcoming Events

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Our Experts

Dr. Pablo Ariel Celnik

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

Dr. Tim Moran

Paul R. McHugh Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; Director, Behavioral...

Dr. Sanjeev Khudanpur

Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Brenda Rapp

Professor, Department of Cognitive Science

Dr. Xiaoqin Wang

Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering; Director, Tsinghua-Johns Hopkins Joint Center...

Dr. Kelly Fisher

Associate Director

Dr. Joshua Vogelstein

Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Institute for...

Dr. Argye Hillis

Director, Cerebrovascular Division of Neurology and Professor of Neurology

Emily Coderre

Distinguished Science of Learning Fellow

Dr. Daniel O’Connor

Assistant Professor, Brain Science Institute, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Fred Bronstein

Dean of the Peabody Institute

Eleanor Chodroff

Distinguished Science of Learning Fellow

Dr. Amy Bastian

Professor, Department of Neuroscience; Director, Motion Analysis Laboratory

Dr. Hongjun Song

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

Dr. Raman Arora

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

Dr. Kyrana Tsapkini

Instructor, Department of Neurology

Dr. William Anderson

Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery

Dr. Benjamin Van Durme

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