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Andrew Perfors

Associate Professor

University of Melbourne

I am Deputy Director of the Complex Human Data Hub at the University of Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, where I run the Computational Cognitive Science Lab along with Charles Kemp. My research focuses on quantitative approaches to higher-order cognition: categorisation, concepts, language learning, decision-making, and cultural and social evolution and change. I'm transgender, and was previously known as Amy Perfors.

I use a combination of computational models and experiments to understand the why and the what within these topics. What goals are human learners and reasoners trying to achieve in particular situations? What constraints (cognitive, informational, environmental) do they operate under? How do these factors shape their behaviour, both on an individual and a group level?

Interests

  • Categorisation, decision-making, learning, language
  • Evolution of social and cultural systems

Education

  • PhD in Brain & Cognitive Sciences, 2008

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • MA in Linguistics, 2000

    Stanford University

  • BS in Symbolic Systems, 1999

    Stanford University

Research

Concepts

Concept knowledge, inference, and learning

Culture

Social learning and its effects on information transmission and culture

Decision-making

Making choices in a complex world

Language

Language acquisition, representation, and evolution

Miscellaneous

Other projects, mostly focused on meta-science questions

Contact

  • University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010
  • Redmond Barry room 609