Stanford University
Joined Jul 2015

I am a Professor in the Psychology Department and Director of the Center for Mind, Brain and Computation at Stanford. My research addresses a broad range of topics in cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience, including perception and perceptual decision making; learning and memory; language and reading; semantic and mathematical cognition; and cognitive development. I view cognitive functions as emerging from the parallel, distributed processing activity of neural populations, with learning occurring through the adaptation of connections among participating neurons, as discussed in Parallel Distributed Processing (Rumelhart, McClelland, and the PDP Research Group, 1986). Research in my lab revolves around efforts to develop explicit computational models based on these ideas; to test, refine, and extend the principles embodied in the models; and then to apply the models to substantive research questions through behavioral experiment, computer simulation, and mathematical analysis. Recently my lab has begun a broad-ranging effort to understand to apply the PDP framework to mathematical cognition. We aim to develop a simulated agent that lives in a 2-dimensional world that it can explore and manipulate and communications with others using language and mathematical expressions. Through its explorations and the instructions it receives from teachers and others, our hope is that it will learn math well enough to pass the New York State Regents exam in geometry.


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