menu: (home) -- papers -- teaching -- personal

Jonathan D. Nelson, Ph.D.

  pic copyright 2007, curious imagery


Research Scientist
Max Planck Institute for Human Development
Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition
Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin, Germany
office: room 226
email: or
phone: 030-82-406-658 (within Germany), or (+49) 30-82-406-658 (from elsewhere)

I study human cognition using a combination of behavioral experiments, eye tracking, brain imaging, and probabilistic modeling.

My current research foci:

-- relationship between intuitive beliefs and real world stochastic processes
-- statistical foundations of active visual perception: eye movements as hypothesis testing (eye movement experiments); relationship between salience (bottom-up) and task-relevant information (top-down) in visual attention
-- neural bases of the value of information for categorization (fMRI experiments)
-- use of optimal experimental design principles to design informative behavioral experiments, to characterize the intuitive value of information
-- communicative pragmatics of biases (base rate neglect, conservatism) in Bayesian inference
-- effective communication of probabilities using experienced-based learning and natural sampling
-- characterization of helpful and unhelpful strategies for teaching by examples
-- Bayesian modeling of learning on probabilistic and deterministic categorization tasks
-- development of information-search strategies in sequential tasks
-- (see my papers for more info)

Some current collaborators:

bjoern meder flavia filimon gary cottrell laura martignon marty sereno terry sejnowski

Some recent collaborators:

craig mckenzie aaron hoffman javier movellan bob rehder josh tenenbaum