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Jonathan D. Nelson, Online Papers

(My Google Scholar page may be the very most up to date. Please email me, at, for anything missing. Questions, ideas, and critiques are always welcome.)

Schulz, E.; Bertram, L.; Hofer, M.; Nelson, J. D. (submitted). Exploring the space of human exploration.    (RXiv preprint)  

Nelson, J. D.; Meder, B.; Jones, M. (submitted). Towards a theory of heuristic and optimal planning for sequential information search.    (RXiv preprint)  

Wu, CM; Schulz, E; Speekenbrink, M; Nelson, JD; Meder, B (2018). Generalization guides human exploration in vast decision spaces.    Nature Human Behavior.   doi:10.1038/s41562-018-0467-4   (pdf)   (RXiv preprint)  

Coenen, A; Nelson, JD; Gureckis, TM (2018). Asking the right questions about the psychology of human inquiry: Nine open challenges.    Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.   (pdf)   doi:10.3758/s13423-018-1470-5  

Crupi, V; Nelson, JD; Meder, B; Cevolani, G; Tentori, K (2018). Generalized Information Theory Meets Human Cognition: Introducing a Unified Framework to Model Uncertainty and Information Search.    Cognitive Science, 42, 1410-1456.   (pdf)   doi:10.1111/cogs.12613  

Knauber, HM; Schray, HH; Meder, B; Martignon, LM; Nelson, JD (2017). Informationssuche im Mathematikunterricht der Grundschule: Zahlenspiele und Fabelwesen als mšgliches Lern-Lehrarrangement. (Information search in mathematics teaching in primary school: Number games and mythical creatures as a possible learning-teaching arrangement).   MNU Journal, 6, 375-382.   (pdf)  

Wu, CM; Schulz, E; Speekenbrink, M; Nelson, JD; Meder, B (2017). Mapping the unknown: The spatially correlated multi-armed bandit.   Proceedings of the 2017 Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.   (pdf)  

Wong, THJ; Nelson, JD; Schooler, LJ (2017). Sequential search behavior changes according to distribution shape despite having a rank-based goal.   Proceedings of the International Conference on Cognitive Modeling.   (pdf)  

Jarecki, J; Meder, B; Nelson, JD (2017). Naïve and robust: Class-conditional independence in human classification learning.   Cognitive Science.   (pdf)   doi:10.1111/cogs.12496  

Wu, CM; Meder, B; Filimon, F; Nelson, JD (2017). Asking better questions: How presentation formats influence information search.   Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition.   (.pdf)   doi:10.1037/xlm0000374   

Moussaid, M; Nelson, JD (2014). Simple heuristics and the modeling of crowd behaviours.   Pedestrians and Evacuation Dynamics (PED), 75-90. (publisher link) (accepted pdf)

Nelson, JD; Divjak, B; Gudmundsdottir, G; Martignon, LF; Meder, B (2014). Children's sequential information search is sensitive to environmental probabilities.   Cognition 130,   74-80.    doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2013.09.007    (science direct version)  

Jarecki, J; Meder, B; Nelson, JD (2013). The assumption of class-conditional independence in category learning.   Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society,  Berlin, Germany. (.pdf) 

Filimon, F; Philiastides, M; Nelson, JD; Kloosterman, N; Heekeren, H (2013). How embodied is perceptual decision making?— Evidence for separate processing of perceptual and motor decisions.   Journal of Neuroscience, 33(5), 2121-2136  (.pdf)  (accepted .pdf) 

Meder, BM; Nelson, JD (2012). Information search with situation-specific reward functions. Judgment and Decision Making, 7(2), 119-148.  (.pdf) (.html)

Nelson, JD; McKenzie, CRM; Cottrell, GW; Sejnowski, TJ (2010). Experience matters: information acquisition optimizes probability gain. Psychological Science, 21(7), 960-969.  (.pdf) (.doc)

Nelson, JD & McKenzie, CRM (2009). Confirmation bias. In M. Kattan (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Medical Decision Making, pp. 167-171. London, UK: Sage. (.doc) (.pdf)

Filimon, F; Nelson, JD; Huang, R.-S.; Sereno, M. I. (2009). Multiple parietal reach regions in humans: cortical representations for visual and proprioceptive feedback during online reaching. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(9), 2961-2971 (pdf) (doi)

Nelson, JD (2009). Naļve optimality: Subjects' heuristics can be better-motivated than experimenters' optimal models. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 32, 94-95. (comment) (article)

Nelson, JD (2008). Conversations on cognitivism and the study of language. Cognitive Science Online, 6, 45-60. (pdf)

Nelson, JD (2008). Towards a rational theory of human information acquisition. In Oaksford, M & Chater, N (Eds.), The probabilistic mind: Prospects for rational models of cognition (pp. 143-163). Oxford: Oxford University Press. (pdf)

Filimon, F; Nelson, JD; Hagler, DJ; Sereno, MI (2007). Human cortical representations for reaching: mirror neurons for execution, observation, and imagery. NeuroImage, 37(4), 1315-1328.   (pdf) (doi) (accepted)

Nelson, JD; Cottrell, GW (2007).   A probabilistic model of eye movements in concept formation.  Neurocomputing, 70, 2256-2272. (article) (accepted) (doi)

Nelson, JD (2005). Finding useful questions: on Bayesian diagnosticity, probability, impact and information gain.  Psychological Review, 112(4), 979-999.  (pdf 400k) (supplement 150k)

Nelson, JD (2005). Optimal Experimental Design as a Theory of Perceptual and Cognitive Information Acquisition. PhD dissertation, Cognitive Science Department, University of California, at San Diego. (pdf of chapter 1)

McKenzie, CRM; Nelson, JD (2003). What a speaker's choice of frame reveals: Reference points, frame selection, and framing effects.  Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 10(3), 596-602.   (pdf 180k)   (doi)

Movellan, JR; Nelson, JD (2001). Probabilistic functionalism: a unifying paradigm for cognitive science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24(4), 690-692.   (pdf 266k)

Nelson, JD; Tenenbaum, JB; Movellan, JR (2001). Active inference in concept learning. In J. D. Moore & K. Stenning (Eds.), Proceedings of the 23rd Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 692-697. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.   (conf pdf)   (my pdf)

Nelson, JD; Movellan, JR (2001) Active inference in concept learning. Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, 13, 45-51.   (pdf)   (ps.gz 400k)

Selected published abstracts

Filimon, F., Nelson, J., & Sereno, M. (2007, May). Human fMRI of tactile spatial representations. Journal of Vision, 7(9):301, 301a, doi:10.1167/7.9.301.

Nelson, J. D., McKenzie, C., Cottrell, G., & Sejnowski, T. (2007, May). Towards a descriptive theory of value of information in categorization tasks: implications for theories of eye movement and information search. Journal of Vision, 7(9):960, 960a, doi:10.1167/7.9.960.

Nelson, J. D., & Cottrell, G. W. (2006, May). An optimal experimental design model of information acquisition on a classic concept learning task. Journal of Vision, 6(6):489, 489a, doi:10.1167/6.6.489.

Filimon, F., Nelson, J. D., & Sereno, M. I. (2006, May). Egocentric and allocentric reference frames for eye movements -- an fMRI study. Journal of Vision, 6(6):979, 979a, doi:10.1167/6.6.979.

Filimon, F., Nelson, J. D., & Sereno, M. I. (2005, May). Parietal cortex involvement in visually guided, non-visually guided, observed, and imagined reaching, compared to saccades. Journal of Vision, 5(8), 629a,, doi:10.1167/5.8.629. (abstract)

Nelson, JD; Cottrell, GW; Movellan, JR; Sereno, MI (2004, May). Yarbus lives: a foveated exploration of saccadic eye movement. Journal of Vision, 4(8), 741 (abstract).    Vision Science Society conference, Sarasota, Florida. (.pdf poster 55 Mb)