Dr. Peter M. Todd
Max Planck Institute for Human Development
Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition
14195 Berlin GERMANY
Phone: (+49) (30) 824 06 347 or 824 06 430 (secretary)
Fax: (+49) (30) 824 06 394 or 824 99 39
Our book on fast and frugal decision making, Simple
Heuristics That Make Us Smart, is available in paperback.
You can see a short description of the book along with back-cover blurbs, the table of contents, and a long precis for Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS). Our next book, focusing on ecological rationality, is currently underway.
An increasingly-out-of-date list (up to about 2000) of my publications
is available, most of which are available electronically. The updated list will appear shortly.
All of the abstracts are also available in one document for keyword searching.
I am currently the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Adaptive Behavior, which covers models of adaptive behavior in animals and autonomous artificial systems studied via simulations and robotic implementations. Potential authors are encouraged to contact me about article ideas.
I received a BA in mathematics from Oberlin College, an MPhil in computer speech and language processing from Cambridge University, and an MA in psychology from the University of California at San Diego. I completed my PhD in psychology at Stanford University in 1992, working with David Rumelhart on connectionist simulations of the evolution of learning. After this I worked as a research scientist at the Rowland Institute for Science in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and as an assistant professor in the psychology department of the University of Denver. In September 1995 I moved to Munich to help establish the new Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Insitute for Psychological Research under the direction of Gerd Gigerenzer. In October 1997 our center moved to the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, where I became senior research scientist in 2001. My research interests cover the simple cognitive mechanisms that exploit information structures in the environment to generate adaptive behavior, how such mechanisms evolve, and the ways in which evolution, cognition, and other adaptive processes (including learning and culture) can interact with each other. Research projects currently underway include studies of sequential choice (including the search for jobs, mates, or parking spaces), simple heuristics for decision making and how they can be learned, the benefits of cognitive limits, heuristics for food choice, judging animate intentions from motion trajectories (by children and adults), evolution of rhythmic and other musical behavior, and the evolution of learning. I explore questions in these areas primarily by modeling empirical results with individual-based simulations of adaptive agents behaving in structured environments (whose structure in turn can be affected by the agents' own behavior).
In summer 2005 I will take up a new position as Professor of Cognitive Science and Informatics at Indiana University. Interested potential graduate students and postdocs are encouraged to contact me about possibilities there.