Research Areas:

  • Health@Luddy - Crosscutting
  • Animal Informatics
  • Animal Computer Interaction

Areas of Study:

  • Cognitive Science
  • Social Psychology

Research Interests:

  • Simple heuristics for decision making, and how they capitalize on the structure of information in environments
  • Evolution of behavior (experimental approaches to evolutionary psychology and computer simulations of simple organisms adapting to different environmental structures, both physical and social)
  • Emergence of environment structure through interactions of populations of agents following simple behavioral rules
  • How people and other animals search for resources in time and space, from sequential search for mates or jobs to foraging for prey or parking spaces
  • Artificial life approaches to music
  • Making decisions about food and eating, and cognition of consumption

My research interests cover the simple cognitive mechanisms that exploit information structures in the environment to generate adaptive behavior, how such mechanisms evolve, and the ways in which evolution, cognition, and other adaptive processes (including learning and culture) can interact with each other. Research projects currently underway include studies of sequential choice (including the search for jobs, mates, or parking spaces), simple heuristics for decision making and how they can be learned, the benefits of cognitive limits, heuristics for food choice, judging animate intentions from motion trajectories (by children and adults), evolution of rhythmic and other musical behavior, and the evolution of learning. I explore questions in these areas primarily by modeling empirical results with individual-based simulations of adaptive agents behaving in structured environments (whose structure in turn can be affected by the agents' own behavior).

Keywords: decision making, evolutionary psychology, mate choice, food choice, search

Research: Food cognition; Decision-making; Consumer behavior

Research Area:

  • Environment in the Arts and Humanities


Research Interests

  • cognitive science and social psychology

Subject Area

  • Psychological and Brain Sciences
Past Affiliations

Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University Bloomington

Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Cultural Studies, Humanities & Social Sciences, Max Planck Society (past)

Professor, Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior, College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University Bloomington

Animal Science, Philosophy, Neuroscience, Economics, Cognitive Science, Psychology
PhD, Stanford University, Psychology, 1992
MA, University of California, San Diego, Psychology, 1987
MPhil, University of Cambridge, Computer Speech and Language Processing, 1986
BA, Oberlin College, Mathematics, 1985