Meet the most important part of the project: the people.

As well as the core team described in this page, we also have an extensive network of interested researchers spread around the University of Bristol.

Core academic staff

Iain Gilchrist

Prof. Iain Gilchrist (Co-director)

Iain is an experimental psychologist whose research is concerned with the link between vision and action. Vision provides information so that we can interact with the world. These interactions involve motor systems such as eye, arm, head, and whole body movements. One major focus of this work has been to understand how and why we move our eyes.

David Leslie

Professor David Leslie (Co-director)

David is a mathematician with interests including game theory, learning in games, reinforcement learning, stochastic optimisation, and Bayesian statistics. He is particularly interested in understanding decision-making processes through their relationship with statistical and machine learning procedures. David took his Chair as Professor in Mathematics and Statistics at Lancaster University in September 2014.  

Roland Baddeley

Dr Roland Baddeley

Roland is an experimental psychologist whose research interests include computer models in psychology, Bayesian modelling, eye movements, memory and forgetting, and motor learning.

Rafal Bogacz

Dr Rafal Bogacz

Rafal is a computer scientist. His research focuses on computational models of decision-making in the mammalian brain. In particular, he investigates the mechanisms of reinforcement learning in the human brain, the role of synchronization between brain areas in decision-making, which computations are performed by the cortico-basal ganglia circuit during decision-making, and how the information processing in the basal ganglia is affected by Parkinson's disease. Rafal is now (2013) an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford.

Simon Farrell

Prof. Simon Farrell

Simon is an experimental psychologist, carrying out experiments on human beings guided by computational models. Research areas include working memory and episodic memory (particularly for order and time); modelling of decision-making; categorisation; investigation and analysis of serial correlations (1/f noise) in human cognition; and model selection issues. Simon returned to his home country of Australia in March 2014 and works at the University of Western Australia, Perth.

Casimir Ludwig

Dr Casimir Ludwig

Casimir is an experimental psychologist, interested in how motor systems deal with incoming sensory information to guide behaviour. Research to date has focused on the visual and oculomotor systems. He has recently acquired the capability of studying the role of vision in other motor behaviours (e.g. head movements, reaching and grasping, locomotion). The methods he uses include eye tracking, motion capture, visual psychophysics, and computational modelling.

John McNamara

Prof. John McNamara

John is a mathematician whose research interests lie in behavioural and evolutionary biology. His objective is to provide theoretical explanations of known phenomena and to motivate and steer the direction of new experiments. His work develops approaches, methods and modelling tools for the functional analysis of behaviour. These attempt to give a careful underpinning of the theoretical foundations of the field. In particular, he developed a general framework that exposes the logic of how individual actions contribute to lifetime reproductive success, and provides a common currency for actions. This framework also provides a natural way of building more realistic models of behaviour, allowing behaviour to depend on state and time. A consistent theme is that a holistic approach is both necessary to rigorously expose the logic and is essential to get realistic predictions; it is necessary to consider sequences of actions rather than individual actions in isolation, to derive game payoffs from other parts of the system rather than take them as externally defined, to consider how the existence of individual differences alters strategy sets and hence predictions, and so on.

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Post-doctoral researchers

Andreas Jarvstad

Dr Andreas Jarvstad

Andreas is interested in the cognitive mechanisms and the neural structures that support our decision-making abilities - whether they are part of choice itself or support it (e.g., sensing, judgment, reasoning, learning). He is also interested in what makes a good choice (optimality/rationality) and how good people are at making decisions. He uses psychophysics, behavioural methods, computational modelling, eye-tracking and neuroimaging to explore these topics.  Andreas is now (2015) a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford.

Gaurav Malhotra

Dr Gaurav Malhotra

Gaurav is a computer scientist. He has carried out two research projects which explore how people change their syntactic preference during a conversation and how people predict the timing of sensory events. His research methods have focused on developing mathematical models that describe psychological processes as a series of computations. He is particularly interested in investigating how humans and animals make decisions when the information available for making these decisions is insufficient and changes over time.

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PhD students

Rosie Clark

Rosie Clark

Rosie has just completed a Biology degree at the University of Bristol, where her research focussed on evacuation efficiency in rock ant colonies, namely the phenomena of symmetry breaking and herding and their parallels with human behaviour under panicked conditions. Her interests lie in game theory, decision-making involved in crowd behaviour, foraging and hoarding, and the neuropsychology of memory and decision-making.

Rebecca Floyd

Rebecca Floyd

Rebecca is a psychologist with several years human factors engineering and project management experience. Research interests include understanding the roles and interaction of context, social factors, experience and memory in decision making.

Alice Mason

Alice Mason

Alice recently completed a degree in Experimental Psychology at Bristol. Her research focused on the role of mood and affective bodily signalling in decision-making. Alice is interested in understanding human behaviour and decision-making across different levels of science, from computational models of the cortical mechanisms of decision making to complex behaviours such as foraging.  Congratualtions to Alice, who has recently undergone her Viva (January 2016) and is now working as a Research Associate in Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol.

Adnane Ez-Zizi

Adnane Ez-Zizi

Adnane has just completed a masters degree in statistics in Paris. He is particularly interested in applying iterative algorithms to decision making problems with missing information. He is also interested in understanding the role of emotions in decision making and how to integrate these into theoretical models.

Rebecca Pike

Rebecca Pike

Rebecca completed a degree in Mathematics in Bristol with her final year research project based on the evolution of cooperative behaviour. After graduating she took a brief hiatus from Bristol, completing the 2 year TeachFirst programme in London. She then returned to Bristol for postgraduate study. Her interests lie in modelling in behavioural ecology and decision making, with emphasis on cooperation between individuals, particularly in the context of parental care, and the evolution and maintenance of personalities in animal populations.

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Administrative staff

Sally-Ann Parry

Sally-Ann provides part-time administrative support to the team.

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Research visitors

Kevin Lloyd

Kevin Lloyd

Kevin started his PhD in Bristol in 2010 under the supervision of Rafal Bogacz and David Leslie. He is broadly interested in formal models of psychological processes.

Prof. Jeff Orchard

Kevin LloydJeff received degrees in applied mathematics from the University of Waterloo (BMath 1994) and the University of British Columbia (MSc 1996), and received his PhD in Computing Science from Simon Fraser University in 2003. Since then, he has been a faculty member in the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. Jeff’s research focuses on computational neuroscience, using mathematical models and computer simulations of neural networks in an effort to understand how the brain works.  He has developed a model of the entorhinal cortex, a part of the brain that seems responsible for our perception of where we are.  He has also worked on unsupervised learning algorithms in neural models of vision.  Jeff has been awarded a Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professorship which will will allow him to bring these methods to Bristol and apply them here in a focused set of collaborations and a broader programme of interactions via Bristol Neuroscience.  Jeff visited the group for one year (2013-2014).

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