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.”
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.
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.
Johns Hopkins University researchers are the first to glimpse the human brain making a purely voluntary decision to act.
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.
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.
Rats that responded to cues for sugar with the speed and excitement of binge-eaters were less motivated for the treat when certain neurons were suppressed, researchers discovered.
People are intuitive physicists — knowing from birth how objects under the influence of gravity are likely to fall, topple or roll. In a new study, scientists have found the brain cells apparently responsible for this innate wisdom.
Objects — everything from cars, birds and faces to letters of the alphabet — look significantly different to people familiar with them, scientists have found.
People searching for something can find it faster if they know what to look for. But new research suggests knowing what not to look for can be just as helpful.
You’re at a crowded party, noisy with multiple conversations, music and clinking glasses. But when someone behind you says your name, you hear it and quickly turn in that direction. The same sort of thing happens with bats and Johns Hopkins University researchers have discovered how a bat’s brain determines what’s worth paying attention to. The findings, which have implications across animal systems, were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The human brain is wired to pay attention to previously pleasing things — a finding that could help explain why it’s hard to break bad habits or stick to New Year’s resolutions.
More than a century ago Pavlov figured out that dogs fed after hearing a bell eventually began to salivate when they heard the ring. A Johns Hopkins University-led research team has now figured out a key aspect of why.
Though people can distinguish between millions of colors, we have trouble remembering specific shades because our brains tend to store what we’ve seen as one of just a few basic hues, a Johns Hopkins University-led team discovered.
Although the human ability to write evolved from our ability to speak, in the brain, writing and talking are now such independent systems that someone who can’t write a grammatically correct sentence may be able say it aloud flawlessly, discovered a team led by Johns Hopkins University cognitive scientist Brenda Rapp.
Media Advisory for Science Writers: Neuroscience will be Focus of Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology Symposium
On Friday, May 1, the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology (INBT) hosts its ninth annual multidisciplinary symposium, featuring six faculty speakers and 100 multidisciplinary research posters. Neuro X is the title and theme for the symposium, which will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Owens Auditorium on the Johns Hopkins medical campus.
Infants have innate knowledge about the world and when their expectations are defied, they learn best, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found.
Science news tips for reporters, including a story suggestion from Johns Hopkins Magazine on JHU and ET and another on mistletoe and cancer.
While previous studies of the brain suggest that processing of objects and places occur in very different locations, a Johns Hopkins University research team has found they are closely related.
Imagine a quarterback on the gridiron getting ready to pass the ball to a receiver. Suddenly, in charges a growling linebacker aiming to take him down. At what point does the quarterback abandon the throw and trigger evasive maneuvers?
With the use of verbal stories, a researcher from Johns Hopkins University has found that the brains of people born blind respond to situations similarly to the way people with sight do.
Millions of high school and college algebra students are united in a shared agony over solving for x and y, and for those to whom the answers don’t come easily, it gets worse: Most preschoolers and kindergarteners can do some algebra before even entering a math class.
For some, it’s the tradition of steeping tealeaves to brew the perfect cup of tea. For others, it’s the morning shuffle to a coffee maker for a hot jolt of java. Then there are those who like their wake up with the kind of snap and a fizz usually found in a carbonated beverage. Regardless of the routine, the consumption of caffeine is the energy boost of choice for millions to wake up or stay up. Now, however, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University have found another use for the stimulant: memory enhancer.
Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have found that introducing testosterone in select areas of a male canary’s brain can affect its ability to successfully attract and mate with a female through birdsong. They also found that enhancing song activity based on testosterone in one brain area can change the size of a separate brain area that regulates song quality.
Offering Economic Incentives to Attract Blood Donations Should Be Encouraged, Researchers Write in Science
Three researchers including Carey Business School Assistant Professor Mario Macis say economic incentives can motivate members of the public to increase their donations of much-needed blood, the economists write in the May 24, 2013, issue of Science.