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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.

 

The Science Behind the Appeal of Pumpkin Spice

Fall is still days away but at coffee shops and grocery stores, it’s already peak autumn thanks to the arrival of a certain flavor that has come to signal the season’s unofficial start. Everyone knows, it’s pumpkin spice time.

But why?

Johns Hopkins University perception researchers can say a key to understanding why people love pumpkin spice is the smell of it. Those notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger trigger deeply rooted cozy memories of autumn.

Mimes Help Us ‘See’ Objects That Don’t Exist

When we watch a mime seemingly pull rope, climb steps or try to escape that infernal box, we don’t struggle to recognize the implied objects — our minds automatically “see” them, a new study concludes.

To explore how the mind processes the objects mimes seem to interact with, Johns Hopkins University cognitive scientists brought the art of miming into the lab, concluding that invisible, implied surfaces are represented rapidly and automatically. The work appears today in the journal Psychological Science.

Researchers Run ‘Philosophy Experiment’ in a Lab to Test Objectivity of Vision

Johns Hopkins University researchers who study the mind and brain used methods from cognitive science to test a long-standing philosophical question: Can people see the world objectively?

JHU: What We Can’t See Can Help Us Find Things

Anyone who’s ever tried to find something in a hurry knows how helpful it is to think about the lost item’s color, size and shape. But surprisingly, traits of an object that you can’t see also come into play during a search, Johns Hopkins University researchers found.

What You Know Can Affect How You See

Objects — everything from cars, birds and faces to letters of the alphabet — look significantly different to people familiar with them, scientists have found.