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:

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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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

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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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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Our Experts

Dr. Joseph Monaco

Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Mind/Brain Institute and Department of Biomedical...

Dr. Mengnan Tian

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Kristina Nielsen

Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Nassir Navab

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

Dr. Raman Arora

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

Dr. Chaz Firestone

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences  

Dr. Michael Wolmetz

Senior Scientist, Intelligent Systems Group, Research & Exploratory Development...

Dr. Swaroop Vedula

Assistant Research Professor

Dr. Tamar Mendelson

Associate Professor, Department of Mental Health

Dr. Jay Baraban

Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Janet DiPietro

Professor; Associate Dean fore Research and Faculty; Department of Population, Family, and...

Dr. Christina Harnett

Associate Professor

Dr. Arun Venkatesan

Associate Director, Neurology Residency Program Associate Professor, Department of Neurology

Dr. Peter Barker

Professor, Departments of Radiology & Oncology; Research Scientist at the Kennedy Krieger...

Dr. Anand Mattay

Investigator and Director of the Neuroimaging Core Facility at the Lieber Institute

Dr. Kerry Ledoux

Research Associate, Department of Neurology

Dr. John Desmond

Professor, Departments of Neurology and Cognitive Science

Dr. Tim Moran

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