About Johns Hopkins

Recent news from The Johns Hopkins University

This section contains regularly updated highlights of the news from around The Johns Hopkins University. Links to the complete news reports from the nine schools, the Applied Physics Laboratory and other centers and institutes are to the left, as are links to help news media contact the Johns Hopkins communications offices.

 

Owls Help JHU Scientists Unlock Secret of How the Brain Pays Attention

By studying barn owls, scientists at Johns Hopkins University believe they’ve taken an important step toward solving the longstanding mystery of how the brain chooses what most deserves attention.

Scientists Find Brain Signal That Might Help Us Judge the Holiday Buffet

At holiday buffets and potlucks people make quick calculations about which dishes to try and how much to take of each. Johns Hopkins University neuroscientists have found a brain region that appears to be strongly connected to these food preference decisions.

Gambling Monkeys Help Scientists Find Brain Area Linked to High-Risk Behavior

Monkeys who learned how to gamble have helped researchers pinpoint an area of the brain key to one’s willingness to make risky decisions.

ADVISORY: Johns Hopkins Hurricane Experts Available

Johns Hopkins Hurricane Experts Available.

What Would Your Dog Do to Help If You Were Upset? Quite a Bit, Study Finds

Dogs are thought to be very aware of people’s emotions, but if a pup’s owner was really upset, would it actually go out of its way to offer help and comfort? Some not only will, a new study found, they’ll overcome obstacles to do it.

When There’s an Audience, People’s Performance Improves

Often people think performing in front of others will make them mess up, but a new study led by a Johns Hopkins University neuroscientist found the opposite: being watched makes people do better.

JHU Records Brain Activity of a Free-flying Bat

Johns Hopkins University researchers have developed a way to study the brain of a bat as it flies, recording for the first time what happens as an animal focuses its attention.

JHU Finds Letter We’ve Seen Millions of Times, Yet Can’t Write

Despite seeing it millions of times in pretty much every picture book, every novel, every newspaper and every email, Johns Hopkins University researchers have found people are essentially unaware of the most common version of the lowercase print g.

JHU Finds How Brain Instantly Tells Trash from Treasure

Johns Hopkins University neuroscientists have found how the brain can detect an object’s value almost as soon as we see it.

Mind of a Medalist: Scientists Explain How the Brain Can Lead to Olympic Gold

Any athlete who’s made it to the Olympics has speed or strength or whatever physical skills it takes to lead the world in their sport. But Johns Hopkins University scientists say those who ultimately bring home gold have also honed the mind of a medalist.

JHU Finds Why We Can’t Always Stop What We’ve Started

When we try to stop a body movement at the last second, perhaps to keep ourselves from stepping on what we just realized was ice, we can’t always do it — and Johns Hopkins University neuroscientists have figured out why.

Study: Junk Food Almost Twice as Distracting as Healthy Food

Even when people are hard at work, pictures of cookies, pizza and ice cream can distract them — and these junk food images are almost twice as distracting as health food pictures, concludes a new Johns Hopkins University study, which also found that after a few bites of candy, people found junk food no more interesting than kale.

Johns Hopkins Finds Training Exercise That Boosts Brain Power

One of the two brain-training methods most scientists use in research is significantly better in improving memory and attention, Johns Hopkins University researchers found. It also results in more significant changes in brain activity.

Pilot Program Will Test Novel Approach to Teaching Science

Though scientists know children with strong spatial thinking skills have an edge in science, technology, engineering and math, and that those skills are teachable, no one has formally infused them into a working elementary curriculum. With a $1.4 million federal grant, Johns Hopkins University researchers will co-develop and test such a program for third-grade science classes.

Johns Hopkins Launches Effort to Improve Civic Engagement

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has committed $150 million to Johns Hopkins University to forge new ways to address the deterioration of civic engagement worldwide.

Can You Hear Me Now?

When trying to be heard over noise, humans and animals raise their voices. It’s a split-second feat, from ear to brain to vocalization, and Johns Hopkins University researchers are the first to measure just how fast it happens in bats: 30 milliseconds. That’s 10 times faster than the blink of an eye, a record for audio-vocal response.

When Women’s Health Improves, Domestic Violence Diminishes

Chronically ill, low-income women who thought they were dying, experienced a sharp reduction in domestic violence after getting access to a life-saving treatment, a Johns Hopkins University-led study found.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s – a Key Discovery About Human Memory

As Superman flies over the city, people on the ground famously suppose they see a bird, then a plane, and then finally realize it’s a superhero. But they haven’t just spotted the Man of Steel – they’ve experienced the ideal conditions to create a very strong memory of him.

Johns Hopkins University cognitive psychologists are the first to link human’s long-term visual memory with how things move. The key, they found, lies in whether we can visually track an object. When people see Superman, they don’t think they’re seeing a bird, a plane and a superhero. They know it’s just one thing – even though the distance, lighting and angle change how he looks.

The Surprising Thing Blind People Doing Math Reveals About the Brain

Human babies and even animals have a basic number sense that many believe evolves from seeing the world and trying to quantify all the sights. But vision has nothing to do with it – Johns Hopkins University neuroscientists have found that the brain network behind numerical reasoning is identical in blind and sighted people.

Kill Them With Cuteness: The Adorable Thing Bats Do to Catch Prey

Bats’ use of echolocation to detect, track and catch prey is well documented. But this Johns Hopkins team is the first to show how the relatively mysterious head and ear movements factor into the hunt.

Researchers Find Brain’s ‘Physics Engine’

Whether or not they aced it in high school, human beings are physics masters when it comes to understanding and predicting how objects in the world will behave. A Johns Hopkins University cognitive scientist has found the source of that intuition, the brain’s “physics engine.”

The Brain’s Super-Sensitivity to Curbs

Humans rely on boundaries like walls and curbs for navigation, and Johns Hopkins University researchers have pinpointed the areas of the brain most sensitive to even the tiniest borders.

What Free Will Looks Like in the Brain

Johns Hopkins University researchers are the first to glimpse the human brain making a purely voluntary decision to act.

How a Woman With Amnesia Defies Conventional Wisdom About Memory

Johns Hopkins University cognitive scientists say the sharp contrasts in the memory profile of a patient with severe amnesia — her inability to remember facts about pursuits once vital to her life as an artist, musician and amateur aviator, while clearly remembering facts relevant to performing in these domains — suggest conventional wisdom about how the brain stores knowledge is incorrect.

A Simple Numbers Game Seems to Make Kids Better at Math

Although math skills are considered notoriously hard to improve, Johns Hopkins University researchers boosted kindergarteners’ arithmetic performance simply by exercising their intuitive number sense with a quick computer game.