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.

 

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.