with Armenian carpet (photo by my mom!)

Marina Dubova

I am a Cognitive Science PhD student at Indiana University. My current research aims to reveal and inform the cognitive mechanisms of discovery. I develop formal (e.g. computational models) and empirical methods to put the foundations of scientific method to rigorous tests. I use insights from cognitive science to learn how theories and data can be integrated to come up with understandings of the world. Some questions that I am currently focusing on: 

Apart from these (already way too broad) issues, I am also studying concept learning in humans and AI, mechanisms of language evolution, and conceptual influences on perception. 

I combine behavioral experiments, computational modeling, and theoretical analyses in my research. I work at the intersection of cognitive science, philosophy of science, complex systems, and artificial intelligence. 

When I am not learning or studying learning, I like to play music, sing, travel, conduct clay & glazing studies, work on my bird categorization skills, and sail away from and back to the marinas without sinking.

I am always enthusiastic to discuss your/my research and ideas. Please, feel free to contact me :)

I am grateful to be supported by these people: Arseny Moskvichev, Ella Liu, Rob Goldstone, Sabina Sloman, Sebastian Musslick, Roman Tikhonov, Jamie Michelson, Sander Beckers, Will Hayes, Polina Greskova, Alexey Filippov, TCTS community + many others


May 24th 2024: said good bye to all my favorite people in Bloomington and moved to my new home in Santa Fe, NM

May 14th 2024: I defended my PhD dissertation "Observations and theories: cognitive mechanisms of discovery"!!!

April 2024: I received the Outstanding Dissertation in Cognitive Science award at IU!

March 27th 2024: I am giving a talk "If reality is there would we be able to learn about it?" at the Investigating Reality workshop

November 7th 2023: I am talking about random experiments at Russ Poldrack's lab

August 16-21st 2023: I am visiting the Autonomous Empirical Research group at Brown University

July 27th 2023: I am (virtually) presenting the "Excess Capacity Learning" paper at CogSci

July 18-21st 2023: I am participating at the MathPsych conference

July 10-15th 2023: I am participating at the workshop on Scientific and Statistical Inference and presenting some ideas on why parsimony principle in model building should be abandoned

June 14th 2023: our paper "Carving joints into nature: reengineering scientific concepts in light of concept-laden evidence" is published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences, and is featured in the cover:)

May 9th 2023: I am presenting a poster on computational modeling of experimentation strategies in science and giving a talk on autonomous empirical research at Metascience 2023

May 3rd 2023: I am giving an invited talk "Computational investigation of experimentation strategies in science" at the Computational Social Science Society of Americas webinar. My talk is paired with Abdullah M. Almaatouq's talk on integrative experimental design:)

April 2023: I received the Outstanding Research in Cognitive Science award at IU!

April 2023: I received the Teaching Excellence award at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at IU:)

November 29-December 4: participating at NeurIPS conference and presenting the work on "Generalizing with overly complex representations"

November 17-20: participating at the Psychonomic society meeting and presenting a poster "The role of active perception and naming in sameness comparison"

November 9-12: participating at the Philosophy of Science Association, and giving a talk on the (controversial) work "Against theory-motivated experimentation in sciences

Summer 2022: I am supported by the CNS-NRT summer fellowship

May 2022 - ...: I am co-organizing the Augmented Intelligence Workshop

April 29, 2022: I gave a talk "Against theory-motivated experimentation" at the Pittsburgh Formal Epistemology Workshop

January 21, 2022: our (with R. Goldstone) work showing unequal influences of categories on the color perception of simultaneously present objects is published in Cognition

January 18 - May 6, 2022: I am visiting the Center for Formal Epistemology and Department of Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University!

December 30, 2021: my (solo-author!) review paper on building human-like communicative AI is published in Cognitive Systems Research

December 28, 2021: I am awarded with IU Cognitive Science supplemental fellowship

September 13, 2021: I successfully defended my PhD qualification papers:)

August 22, 2021: I submitted two PhD qualification papers to IU cognitive science program! The papers are on 1) making progress in cognitive science and 2) grounded language learning in AI.

July 26-29, 2021: I am presenting a poster "Categories affect color perception of only some simultaneously present objects" at the Cognitive Science Society conference. 

July 21, 2021: I am giving an invited talk "Growing opportunities to grow: towards a model of open-ended communication learning" at the Social Learning and Cultural Evolution workshop

July 18 - July 23, 2021: I am participating at my favorite ALIFE conference, where I am presenting some preliminary results on modeling open-ended communication learning in groups!

June 14 - July 2, 2021: I am participating at the SFI Complexity Interactive summer school! Our group project is called "Mapping Complexity: An Epistemological Look at Methods of Study & Discovery"

June 1 - August 23, 2021: I am supported by the CNS-NRT summer fellowship

May 21, 2021: my very first journal paper "The Influences of Category Learning on Perceptual Reconstructions" got published in the Cognitive Science journal! 

April 6, 2021: I am participating at the Mechanisms of Learning Forum at Emory University as an affiliate of the Building a Mind Lab

March 26, 2021: I gave an invited talk "Categorical Perception Meets El Greco" at the HSE Cognitive Research Lab Meeting

Sept 17 - Sept 25, 2020: I am presenting our work "The Influences of Category Learning on Perceptual Reconstructions" at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society: check out our poster here!

Sept 17 - Sept 25, 2020: Presenting our work "Reinforcement Communication Learning in Different Social Network Structures" at NetSci!

July 29 - Aug 1, 2020: Participating at CogSci annual conference!

July 18, 2020: Presenting our work "Reinforcement Communication Learning in Different Social Network Structures" at ICML Language and Reinforcement Learning workshop!

July 16, 2020: I'm presenting the work "Effects of Supervision, Population Size, and Self-Play on Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning to Communicate" at ALIFE conference (feel free to join the discussion!)

July 13 - July 18, 2020: I am participating at ALIFE and ICML conferences!

June 22July 3, 2020: I will attend SINSA2020 (won fee remission by IUNI-SINSA Scholars program)

June 14 – July 10, 2020: I will attend the Complex Systems Summer School at Santa Fe Institute (whoa!)

March 12 .... 2020: I am isolating at home, drinking tea, and working *very productively*

March 1 – March 3, 2020: I gave a talk on the mechanisms of categorical perception at Emory University, Georgia (Mechanisms of Learning Forum)