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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]

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]

Neil is a Moore-Sloan post-doctoral associate in the lab. He received his PhD in 2017 with David Lagnado and Peter Dayan at University College London. His research uses interactive online experiments and games combined with computational and cognitive modelling to better understand how people learn, represent, and reason about the world.

[personal website] [cv]

I am a fourth year graduate student in the Cognition and Perception program at NYU. I earned my B.A. in mathematics and cognitive science at Williams College in 2013. I'm interested in how people interact with and learn from their environment, and how their decisions affect what they learn.

[personal website] [cv]

I am studying how people and machines ask questions. In the past, I have worked on causal structure learning and causal-based categorization. I am a third year graduate student in the Cognition and Perception program at NYU. I earned my B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Psychology at Georg August University in Göttingen, Germany.


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

Research Assistants

Lab Alumni

Anna Coenen - Grad Student, active causal learning researcher (Fall 12 - Fall 17), now at New York Times, engineering division
Brenden Lake - Data Science Fellow/affiliate, now NYU Assistant Professor Psychology and Data Science
George Kachergis - Post-doc, developmental computational cognitive scientist (Spring 15-Summer 16), now Asst. Professor, Department of AI, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior, Radboud University
Doug Markant - Grad Student, active learning researcher (Fall 08 - Fall14), postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Adaptive Rationality, within the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, now Assistant Professor of Psychology at University of North Carolina, Charlotte
John V. McDonnell - Grad Student, crowd-sourcing categorization researcher (Fall 08 - Summer 13), fellow at Insight Data Science Program, data scientist at Square, 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 Stitch Fix, now Netflix
Nathaniel Blanco - Lab Manager/RA (Fall 09 - Summer 12), grad student at UT Austin, now 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 at Apple, Inc.
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 engineer at Tumblr
Sabina Tomkins - Research Assistant 2012-2013, now phd student at UC Santa Cruz (Engineering)
Megan Patterson - Research Assistant (2010-2011)
Ben Goldberg - Research Assistant (Fall10)
Lisa Zaval - Lab Manager (08-Summer 09), now grad student at Columbia
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