In this paper, we consider the multi-task sparse learning problem under the assumption that the dimensionality diverges with the sample size. The traditional l1/l2 multi-task lasso does not enjoy the oracle property unless a rather strong condition is enforced. Inspired by adaptive lasso, we propose a multi-stage procedure, adaptive multi-task lasso, to simultaneously conduct model estimation and variable selection across different tasks. Motivated by adaptive elastic-net, we further propose the adaptive multi-task elastic-net by adding another quadratic penalty to address the problem of collinearity. When the number of tasks is fixed, under weak assumptions, we establish the asymptotic oracle property for the proposed adaptive multi-task sparse learning methods including both adaptive multitask lasso and elastic-net. In addition to the desirable asymptotic property, we show by simulations that adaptive sparse learning methods also achieve much improved finite sample performance. As a case study, we apply adaptive multi-task elastic-net to a cognitive science problem, where one wants to discover a compact semantic basis for predicting fMRI images. We show that adaptive multi-task sparse learning methods achieve superior performance and provide some insights into how the brain represents meanings of words.