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Todd Gureckis
Assoc. Professor

I want to understand why people are so smart and computers are not (or vice versa!). In my research, I primarily study human learning, memory, and decision processes. My research approach combines behavioral studies and computational modeling. Our modeling approaches are directly inspired by research in computer science on machine learning and artificial intelligence. Recent efforts in the lab are directed at understanding how people actively explore their environment when learning, how they generate and test hypotheses about the world, how they learn abstract concepts from concrete examples, and the influence of concept learning on perception.

[personal website] [cv]

Ili Ma
Post Doc

Ili is a postdoctoral researcher in the lab funded by a NWO Rubicon grant. She received her PhD in 2017 with Anouk Scheres at the Radboud University. She was a postdoctoral researcher in Alan Sanfey’s Decision Neuroscience Lab at the Donders Institute. Her research uses game theory, computational models of information gain, and neuroimaging to improve our understanding of social learning and decision-making. Her research interests further extend to adolescent social decision-making and psychopathology.


Shannon Tubridy
Post Doc

Shannon is a post-doctoral researcher in the lab. He received his PhD in 2014 with Lila Davachi at NYU. His research focuses on the neural mechanisms underlying episodic memory formation and retrieval. Recent work in the lab is exploring new computational approaches to modeling the neuroscience of human memory.

[personal website] [cv]

David Halpern
Grad student

David is a sixth year graduate student studying computational approaches to the cognitive neuroscience of attention, memory, and perception.

Zhiwei Li
Grad student

Zhiwei is a 4th-year in neuroscience who is interested in almost every aspect of the world that humans try to conceptualize and understand. In her work she asks: what makes people curious? How do people learn and update their knowledge and how can machine do a similar job? Currently she's building models of surprise and suspense that people experience while watching competitive sports games.

Pam Osborn Popp
Grad student

Pam is a second year graduate student in the Center for Neural Science studying human learning. Her interests are in combining behavior, neural imaging, and computational modeling to characterize and potentially improve learning strategies.

Research Assistants

Lab Alumni

Anselm Rothe - Grad student, question asking in humans and machines (2014-2019), now Post-doc at the Max Plank Institute in Berlin
Neil Bramley - Post-doc, learning about physics by acting researcher (2017-2018), now Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology at University of Edinburgh
Alex Rich - Grad student, learning traps researcher (Fall 13-Summer 18), now data scientist at Flatiron Health
Camille Gasser - Undergrad honors student, now Cognitive Neuroscientist studying memory at Columbia University
Anna Coenen - Grad Student, active causal learning researcher (Fall 12 - Fall 17), now at New York Times, engineering division
Brenden Lake - Center for Data Science Fellow/lab affiliate, now NYU Assistant Professor Psychology and Data Science
George Kachergis - Post-doc, developmental computational cognitive scientist (Spring 15-Summer 16), now research scientist, Stanford University
Doug Markant - Grad Student, active learning researcher (Fall 08 - Fall14), now Assistant Professor of Psychology at University of North Carolina, Charlotte
John V. McDonnell - Grad Student, crowd-sourcing categorization researcher (Fall 08 - Summer 13), data scientist at StitchFix
Mordechai Juni - Grad Student, psychophysics-decision making researcher (Fall 08 - Summer 12), now post-doc at UC Santa Barbara
Jay Martin - Grad student, machine learning, crowdsourcing, web programming, psiturk building extraordinare, (Fall 09 - Fall14), data scientist at Facebook
Nathaniel Blanco - Lab Manager/RA (Fall 09 - Summer 12), post-doc at Ohio State Univeristy
Patricia Chan - Research Assistant/Lab Manager, (Summer 12 - Fall 14)
Carol Jew - Research Assistant, (Summer 11 - Spring 12), now grad student at University of Rochester
Devin Domingo - Honors research student (Fall 11 - Spring 12), now Service Desk Manager at Intersection Co.
Jerad Fields - Grad Student, Bayesian modeler (Summer 09-Fall 10), now data scientist at Evie Labs
Rebecca Bainbridge - Research Assistant (Spring 09, Fall09), honors research student, undergrad researcher at NYU, now senior software engineer at Etsy
Sabina Tomkins - Research Assistant 2012-2013, now post-doc at Harvard University
Megan Patterson - Research Assistant (2010-2011)
Ben Goldberg - Research Assistant (Fall10)
Lisa Zaval - Lab Manager (08-Summer 09), now postdoc at UMass
Louis Tur - Lab Programmer (08-09), Apple, Inc., etc.. now Freelance iOS Developer
Andrew Cohen - Research Assistant (Summer-Fall09)
Jared Johnson - Research Assistant (Fall09)
Lani Lei - Research Assistant (Fall09)


Our work is supported by grants from

Copyright 2008-2013 - Todd Gureckis - New York University