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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.

 

How Your Brain Might be Secretly Thwarting Your New Year’s Resolutions

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.

Johns Hopkins Solves a Longtime Puzzle of How We Learn

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.

When the Color We See Isn’t the Color We Remember

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.

Say What? How the Brain Separates Our Ability to Talk and Write

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.

Element of Surprise Helps Babies Learn

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 from Johns Hopkins

Science news tips for reporters, including a story suggestion from Johns Hopkins Magazine on JHU and ET and another on mistletoe and cancer.

Johns Hopkins University Neuroscientist to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

 November 17, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Tracey Reeves Office: 443-997-9903 Cell: 443-986-4053 treeves@jhu.edu Michela Gallagher, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, doesn’t just study the brain. She mentors young scientists on the importance and rewards of studying it too. Over the course of her career, Gallagher has spent almost as [...]

JHU Researchers Make New Discovery About 3-D Shape Processing in the Brain

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.

JHU Researcher’s Use of Owls Provide Clues on How Humans Might Direct Attention

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?

Johns Hopkins Researcher Finds People Born Blind Perceive Sight Similar to Those With Vision

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.

Are You Smarter Than a 5-Year-Old? Preschoolers Can Do Algebra, Psychologists Find

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.

It’s All Coming Back to Me Now: JHU Researchers Find Caffeine Enhances Memory

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.

Testosterone In Male Songbirds May Enhance Desire To Sing But Not Song Quality

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.

Exposure to Light at Night May Cause Depression, Learning Issues, JHU Biologist Says

For most of history, humans rose with the sun and slept when it set. Enter Thomas Edison, and with a flick of a switch, night became day, enabling us to work, play and post cat and kid photos on Facebook into the wee hours. However, according to a new study led by Johns Hopkins biologist Samer Hattar, this typical 21st- century scenario comes at a serious cost: When people routinely burn the midnight oil, they risk suffering depression and learning issues, and not only because of lack of sleep. The culprit could also be exposure to bright light at night from lamps, computers and even iPads.

Johns Hopkins Receives $7.4 Million Grant to Boost STEM Education in Baltimore City

Supported by a five-year $7.4 million National Science Foundation grant, experts at The Johns Hopkins University are partnering with teachers and administrators in Baltimore City Public Schools on a program to enhance teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and math in city elementary schools by making STEM a community affair. The program, called STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools – SABES for short — not only will benefit more than 1,600 students in grades three through five in nine city elementary schools, but could also become a national model for science, technology, engineering and math education.

Don’t Get Mad, Get Creative: Social Rejection Can Fuel Imagination, JHUCarey Researcher Finds

A new study by a Johns Hopkins University business professor finds that social rejection can inspire imaginative thinking, particularly in individuals with a strong sense of their own independence.

Citizen Science: Johns Hopkins Study Allows Thousands to Test Gut Sense for Numbers

A first-of-its kind study using the World Wide Web to collect data from more than 10,000 study subjects ages 11 to 85 found that humans’ inborn “number sense” improves during school years, declines during old age, and remains linked throughout the entire lifespan to academic mathematics achievement. The study, led by psychologist Justin Halberda of The Johns Hopkins University and published in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences during the week of June 25, is groundbreaking for presenting a picture of how our basic cognitive abilities may change across our lifetime.

Reducing Brain Activity Improves Memory After Cognitive Decline, Johns Hopkins Team Finds

A study led by Michela Gallagher of The Johns Hopkins University and published in the May 10 issue of the journal Neuron suggests a potential new therapeutic approach for improving memory and interrupting disease progression in patients with a form of cognitive impairment that often leads to full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.

Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Shifts Focus to Business of Healthcare

The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School has reorganized to focus its degree programs on the study of business issues related to healthcare and the life sciences, Interim Dean Phillip Phan has announced. “We’re making this move not just because we are Johns Hopkins, with the best medical institutions in the world, but also because health care is an increasingly important part of the economic discussion in the United States,” said Phan.

Johns Hopkins First in R&D Expenditures for 32nd Year

The Johns Hopkins University performed $2 billion in medical, science and engineering research in fiscal 2010, making it the leading U.S. academic institution in total research and development spending for the 32nd year in a row, according to a new National Science Foundation ranking. The university also once again ranked first on the NSF’s separate list of federally funded research and development, spending $1.73 billion in FY2010 on research supported by NSF, NASA, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

New Show Invites Visitors to “Please Touch” and Hold

At the “Touch and the Enjoyment of Sculpture: Exploring the Appeal of Renaissance Statuettes” exhibition — an exhibition at the Walters Art Museum through April 15 – visitors are invited to disregard the usual rule against touching. In fact, handling the objects d’arts – which include replicas of famous 16th century statuettes that are part of the Walters’ collection – is one of the reasons behind the exhibition, explains neuroscientist Steven Hsiao of the Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute, which is partnering with the Walters on this show – the fourth in a series of projects between the museum and Johns Hopkins.

JHU Rethinks University-Level Science Teaching

On Friday, Jan. 20, The Johns Hopkins University will hold a daylong meeting of nearly 300 faculty members, academic leaders, staff members and outside experts to consider innovative, more effective alternatives to traditional large lecture/lab introductory science classes for undergraduates, graduate students and professional students.

Will There Be Blood? Yes, Especially If Donors Are Compensated, New Research Shows

Economic incentives can significantly increase blood donations from the public, according to a new study co-authored by a Johns Hopkins business professor.
The findings also suggest that similar methods could be used to build up life-saving supplies of human bone marrow, organs, and body parts for transplantation.