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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.

 

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.

Johns Hopkins Neuroscientists Find Brain Activity May Mark the Beginning of Memories

By tracking brain activity when an animal stops to look around its environment, neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins University believe they can mark the birth of a memory.

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.

It Takes Two: Brains Come Wired for Cooperation, JHU Neuroscientist Asserts

When legal commentator Nancy Grace and her partner danced a lively rumba to Spandau Ballet’s 1980’s hit, “True,” on a recent “Dancing With the Stars,” more was going on in the legal commentator’s brain than concern over a possible wardrobe malfunction. Deep in Grace’s cortex, millions of neurons were hard at work doing what they apparently had been built to do: act and react to partner Tristan MacManus’s movements to create a pas de deux that had the dancers functioning together (for the most part) like a well-oiled machine. That is because the brain was built for cooperative activity, whether it be dancing on a reality television show, constructing a skyscraper or working in an office, according to a study led by Johns Hopkins behavioral neuroscientist Eric Fortune and published in the November 4 issue of the journal Science.

Social vs. Dependent Drinking: Is the Difference in the Brain?

Why some people can enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a few beers at a ballgame with no ill effects and others escalate their drinking and become dependent remains one of medicine’s baffling mysteries and a major public health concern. Using a $1 million stimulus-funded grant from the National Institutes of Health, a team headed by Elise Weerts, associate professor of behavioral biology in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, is using brain imaging techniques to explore whether individual differences in the brain’s opiate receptor system could contribute to a person’s future risk of developing problems with alcohol.

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