Neil R Bramley

Neil Bramley

E-mail: neil.bramley@nyu.edu
Office: 60 5th Ave., Room 627, New York, NY 10011
CV: here
On the web:             

I am a cognitive scientist and Moore-Sloan post-doctoral associate in Todd Gureckis' computation and cognition lab and the Centre for Data Science at New York University. I use interactive experiments and games combined with computational modelling to study how people learn, represent, and reason about the world.

Much of my research has focused on how people learn about causal structure and how they gather new information during extended interactions with their environment. One of my key contributions is a model of incremental, boundedly rational learning in which wholesale belief change takes place through a sequence of local changes. This approach is helping to explain how the mind deals with radical complexity, and demystifies notions like “curiosity” and “creativity” as precise algorithmic components of a flexible, incremental and active inferential system.

I will be starting as a Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Edinburgh from January 2019. Get in touch if you are interested in doing a PhD or postdoc!

Publications

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Forthcoming

Coenen, A., Ruggeri, A., Bramley, N. R. & Gureckis, T. M. (in revision). Testing one or multiple: How beliefs about sparsity affect causal experimentation.
preprint

Bramley, N. R., Gerstenberg, T., Mayrhofer, R. & Lagnado, D. A. (in press). Intervening in time. In Kleinman, S. & Cowles, L. (Eds.) Time and Causality across the Sciences. Cambridge University Press.
abstract

2018

Bramley, N. R., Gerstenberg, T., Tenenbaum, J. B. & Gueckis, T. M. (2018). Intuitive experimentation in the physical world. Cognitive Psychology, 195, 9-38.
pdf, preprint, github

Bramley, N. R., Gerstenberg, T., Mayrhofer, R. & Lagnado, D. A. (2018). Time in causal structure learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition.
pdf, doi

Bramley, N. R., Rothe, A., Tenenbaum, J. B., Xu, F. & Gureckis, T. M. (2018). Grounding compositional hypothesis generation in specific instances. In Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1390-1395). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
pdf, github, demo

Davis, Z., Bramley, N. R., Rehder, R. E. & Gureckis, T. M (2018). A causal model approach to dynamic control. In Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 281-286). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
pdf

Davis, Z., Bramley, N. R. & Rehder, R. E. (2018). Causal structure learning with continuous variables in continuous time. In Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 287-292). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
pdf

Meng, Y., Bramley, N. R. & Xu, F. (2018). Children's causal interventions combine discrimination and confirmation. In Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 762-767). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
pdf

2017

Bramley, N. R., Mayrhofer, R., Gerstenberg, T. & Lagnado, D. A. (2017). Causal learning from interventions and dynamics in continuous time. In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
pdf, exp, video

Schulz, E., Klenske, E. D., Bramley, N. R. & Speekenbrink, M. (2017). Strategic exploration in human adaptive control. In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
pdf

Coenen, A., Bramley, N. R., Ruggeri, A. & Gureckis, T. M. (2017). Beliefs about sparsity affect causal experimentation. In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
pdf

Bramley, N. R., Dayan, P., Griffiths, T. L. & Lagnado, D. A. (2017). Formalizing Neurath's ship: Approximate algorithms for online causal learning. Psychological Review, Vol 124 (3), 301-338.
pdf, supplementary materials, figure 7d (corrected), figure 11d (corrected)

2016

Bramley, N. R., Gerstenberg, T. & Tenenbaum, J. B. (2016). Natural Science: Active learning in dynamic physical microworlds. In Papafragou, A., Grodner, D., Mirman, D., & Trueswell, J.C. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2567 - 2572). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
pdf, supplementary materials

McCormack, T., Bramley, N. R., Frosch, C., Patrick, F. & Lagnado, D. A. (2016). Children's Use of Interventions to Learn Causal Structure. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. 141, 1-22.
pdf

2015

Bramley, N. R., Dayan, P. & Lagnado, D. A. (2015). Staying afloat on Neurath's boat: Heuristics for sequential causal learning. In Noelle, D. C. et al (Eds.) Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 262-267). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
pdf, exp 1, exp 2
Winner of Robert J. Glushko and Pamela Samuelson Foundation student paper award

Bramley, N. R., Lagnado, D. A. & Speekenbrink, M. (2015). Conservative forgetful scholars: How people learn causal structure through interventions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition, Vol 41(3), 708-731.
pdf, exp 1, exp 2, data

2014

Bramley, N. R., Gerstenberg, T. & Lagnado, D. A (2014). The order of things: Inferring causal structure from temporal patterns. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 236-242). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
pdf, demo, data

Posters

Bramley, N. R., Rothe, A., Tenenbaum, J. B., Xu, F. & Gureckis, T. M. (2018). Grounding compositional hypothesis generation. Poster presented at The 40th Annual Meeting of the Cogntive Science Society, Madison, Wisconsin.
pdf

Li, Z., Bramley, N. R., Gureckis, T. M. (2018). Mechanisms of active causal learning. Poster presented at The 40th Annual Meeting of the Cogntive Science Society, Madison, Wisconsin.
abstract, pdf

Bramley, N. R., Nelson, J. D., Speekenbrink, M. Crupi, V., Lagnado, D. A. (2014). What should an active causal learner value? Poster presented at The Psychonomic Society Annual Meeting, Long Beach, California, USA.
pdf

Bramley, N. R., Lagnado, D. A. & Speekenbrink, M. (2013). Mechanisms of active causal learning. Poster presented at The 35th Annual Meeting of the Cogntive Science Society, Berlin, Germany.
pdf

Workshops

Bramley, N. R., Schulz, E., Xu, F. & Tenenbaum, J. B. (2018). Learning as program induction. In Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. pp 5-6). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
pdf, website

Theses

Bramley, N. R. (2017). Constructing the world: Active causal learning in cognition. PhD thesis, Experimental Psychology, UCL, London.
pdf, supplement
Winner of British Psychology Society's Annual Award for Outstanding Doctoral Contributions to Psychology

Bramley, N. R. (2013). Modelling active causal learning. MRes thesis, Computer science, UCL, London.

Bramley, N. R. (2011). Mechanisms of active causal learning. MSc thesis, Cognitive, Perceptual & Brain Sciences, UCL, London.

Bramley, N. R. (2009). Does physicalism entail panexperientialism? MA thesis, Philosophy, University of Glasgow.

Book reviews

Future-Minded: The Psychology of Agency and Control by Magda Osman.
link

Press

Building rich theory spaces piece by piece. The Psychologist 31, June 2018.
link

Talk series

I host NYU ConCats, a semi-weekly informal discussion group for research related to psychology of concepts and categories. Fridays 1:00-2:30pm in Meyer 851, 6 Washington Place, NYU, New York, NY, 10003.
schedule

Until recently I hosted the London Judgment and Decision Making (LJDM) group seminar series. Wednesdays 17:00-18:30, 313, 26 Bedford Way, UCL, London, WC1H 0AP, UK.
schedule

Lectures

Active learning. For PSYCGD04: Knowledge, Learning & Inference, Experimental Psychology, UCL.
2014, 2016

Integrated information theory of consciousness. For PSYCGD01: Philosophy of Cognitive Science, Experimental Psychology, UCL.
2015a, 2015b

Causal learning in an imperfect world. For PSYC1103: Introduction to Psychological Experimentation, Experimental Psychology, UCL.
2014