Dr Alex Doumas


A human child is the ultimate learning machine, far out-pacing what current computers can achieve. I am interested in understanding the cognitive basis of this ability.


I am a Lecturer in the Psychology department. I am originally from Greece, but went the the U.S. to get my PhD, and stayed there working as a research scientist and academic staff member before moving to Edinburgh in 2013. I have an 8 month old daughter named Violet, and a cat named Bernoulli.

Likes: Comic books, being silly with my daughter, napping with my cat.
Dislikes: Waking up early


Humans are unique in the animal kingdom in our ability to represent and reason about abstract concepts (like love or multiplication). I study how children and adults learn abstract concepts from our experience in the world, and how we represent those concepts for the purposes of solving problems.

Current research topics

  • Computational models of cognitive development
  • Learning structured (i.e. symbolic) concepts from experience
  • The development of analogy making.


  • Hamer, A. J. & Doumas, L. A. A. (2013). Discovering quantification and number in a role-filler model. Proceedings of the Thirty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.
  • Doumas L. A. A., Hummel J. E. (2013) Comparison and Mapping Facilitate Relation Discovery and Predication. PLoS ONE 8(6): e63889.
  • Dewald, A. D., Sinnett, S., & Doumas, L. A. A. (2013). A Window of Perception When Diverting Attention? Enhancing Recognition for Explicitly Presented, Unattended, and Irrelevant Stimuli by Target Alignment. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.
  • Doumas, L. A. A., & Hummel, J. E. (2012). Computational models of higher-cognition. In K. J. Holyoak & R. G. Morrison (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Doumas, L. A. A., Hummel, J. E., & Sandhofer, C. M. (2008). A theory of the discovery and predication of relational concepts. Psychological Review, 115, 1-43.

External links