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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News Highlight

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

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News Highlight

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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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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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 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 physical measures, dietary measures, and brain recording methods to explore the neural mechanisms underlying distraction by high-fat foods and explore how these are moderated by individual differences in dietary characteristics.

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Recent News

SLI partners with Baltimore City School’s Office of Early...

SLI worked with Baltimore City School's Office of Early Learning to share research on developing skills that are important for math and science learning.

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SLI’s Amy Shelton speaks on WYPR’s On the Record...

The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth has had trouble bringing inner-city kids into its programs. SLI's Amy Shelton discusses efforts to develop new ways to identify Baltimore City youth who will benefit from CTY's enrichment programs.

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SLI Researcher Receives 2017 Presidential Early Career Award

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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Our Experts

Dr. Joshua Vogelstein

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

Dr. Howard Egeth

Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Dr. Hongjun Song

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

Dr. Noah Cowan

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

Dr. Bonnie Nozari

Assistant Professor, Departments of Neurology and Cognitive Science

Dr. Bruno Jedynak

Associate Research Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics; Center for Imaging...

Dr. Robert Lieberman (Chair)

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Greg Osgood

Chief, Orthopaedic Trauma, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Assistant Professor of...

Dr. Ed Schlesinger

Dean, School of Engineering

Dr. Argye Hillis

Director, Cerebrovascular Division of Neurology and Professor of Neurology

Dr. Brenda Rapp

Professor, Department of Cognitive Science

Dr. Jeremiah Cohen

Assistant Professor, Brain Science Institute, Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Patricia Janak

Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Dr. Christopher Myers

Assistant Professor, Carey Business School; Core Faculty, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and...

Dr. Xiaoqin Wang

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

Dr. Steven Holochwost

Research Scientist

Dr. Kellie Tamashiro

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Anna Korzeniewska

Research Associate, Department of Neurology