Mesotocin influences pinyon jay prosociality (2018.04.11)

Graduate student Juan Duque and former undergrads Whitney Leichner and Holly Ahmann had a paper published in Biology Letters on on Mesotocin influences pinyon jay prosociality. (PDF). This paper has attracted the attention of the media:

Welcome, Francine! (2017.07.24)

Francine Goh has joined ADML to begin her PhD in the Social and Cognitive program. Welcome, Francine!

Welcome, Elise! (2017.07.10)

Elise Thayer has transitioned from ADML undergraduate research assistant to project manager for the corvid intertemporal choice project. Welcome (back), Elise!

ADML goes to OK-JDM (2017.04.08)

ADML headed down to University of Oklahoma for the Oklahoma-Kansas Judgment and Decision Making Workshop. Undergraduate student Elise Thayer presented her poster "Experiencing (Oculus) rifts in nature: Virtual reality influences on decision making", and Dr. Stevens presented "Judging similarity in intertemporal choice with decision trees".

Impulsivity hits the stands (2017.04.04)

Impulsivity: How Time and Risk Influence Decision Making

The Nebraska Symposium volume Impulsivity: How Time and Risk Influence Decision Making is available from Springer and Amazon.

  • As the 64th volume in the prestigious Nebraska Series on Motivation, this book focuses on impulsivity, a multi-faceted concept that encompasses such phenomena as the inability to wait, a tendency to act without forethought, insensitivity to consequences, and/or an inability to inhibit inappropriate behaviors.

Juan Duque had his first pub come out (2016.11.08)

Juan Duque had his first publication come out in Animal Behaviour on Voluntary food sharing in pinyon jays: The role of reciprocity and dominance. (PDF). Congrats!

Chimpanzee social contact in UNL Today (2016.09.09)

ADML's paper in Royal Society Open Science on Reflections of the social environment in chimpanzee memory: applying rational analysis beyond humans. (PDF) was publicized in UNL Today.

ADML recruiting graduate students (2016.06.03)

ADML is recruiting a graduate student starting fall 2017 to work on decision making in humans. Possible research areas include intertemporal choice, risky choice, cooperation, and environmental decision making. Contact Jeff Stevens if you're interested in applying to the lab!

ADML at Sunday with a Scientist (2016.03.04)

ADML will have a station on Bird Brains at the BrainStorm Sunday with a Scientist at the University of Nebraska State Museum (Morrill Hall) on 14 March 2016. Come check out the hands-on activities to learn more about our work on avian cognition and brain function, including demonstrations of Electroencephalography (EEG) – measurement of the electrical activity of the brain, Electrodermal Activity – sweat gland activity which tells us about the emotions people experience, and eye tracking equipment that allows scientists to see how eyes help take in information from all kinds of interesting images.

Similarity paper in UNL Today (2016.03.03)

ADML's paper in Journal of Behavioral Decision Making on Intertemporal similarity: Discounting as a last resort. (PDF) was publicized in UNL Today.

Class art exhibit on display (2016.01.29)

Dr. Stevens' Perspectives in Psychology class has curated an art exhibit on controversial art at the Sheldon Museum of Art, entitled "You're Making Me Uncomfortable: Perspectives on Controversial Art". The students in the class worked in groups to choose a controversial topic, worked with Sheldon staff to select a piece of art that reflects this topic, and wrote a reflection on the piece, as well as the label for the exhibit. The exhibit opened on Tuesday, 26 January and will run through 13 March. Check out the media coverage at UNL Today and the Daily Nebraskan.

Similarity paper in JBDM (2015.12.29)

ADML published a paper in Journal of Behavioral Decision Making on Intertemporal similarity: Discounting as a last resort. (PDF).

Two ADML assistants graduate (2015.12.19)

Congratulations to Treavor Heeney and Emily Stockwell for graduating with degrees in psychology. Best wishes in the future!

Pinyon jay paper in PBR (2015.12.04)

ADML published (online version) a paper in Psychonomic Bulletin and Review on The domain specificity of intertemporal choice in pinyon jays (PDF).

ADML at Psychonomics and SJDM (2015.11.22)

ADML presented posters on on "The nature of decisions: the influence of natural and built environments on decision making" and "Similarity judgments of time delay and reward amount in intertemporal choice" at the Psychnomic Society meeting and the Society for Judgment and Decision Making meeting in Chicago.

ADML and science communication (2015.10.04)

ADML presented a talk on "Changing minds: the science of belief" at the UNL SciComm 2015: A Symposium on Effective Science Communication (#UNLSciComm).

Learning defined (2015.07.01)

Trends in Neurosciences has published our paper on embracing multiple definitions of learning. ADML collaborated with the wonderful participants in the NESCent working group on a unified evolutionary theory of decision making in animals on this project.

Three ADML assistants graduate (2015.05.09)

Congratulations to three ADML undergraduate assistants for graduating from UNL! Holly Ahmann and Whitney Leichner graduated with degrees in psychology, and Christa Ostdiek graduated with a degree in animal science. Best wishes in the future!

Whitney Leichner submits honor's thesis (2015.04.27)

Whitney Leichner submitted her honor's thesis entitled "Hormonal mechanisms of non-kin cooperation: A study of the effects of mesotocin on prosocial behavior in pinyon jays (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus)". Congratulations, Whitney!

Paid REU positions available (2014.08.24)

Dr. Leen-Kiat Soh (Department of Computer Science and Engineering) and I are looking for undergraduate research assistants to help analyze data for a National Science Foundation funded project on predicting human decision making with machine learning. An NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) supplement will pay a stipend to two undergraduates to help on this project in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015. This project involves both using decision trees to categorize an existing set of behavioral data and developing further experiments to collect and analyze more data. In addition to conducting research, the assistants are expected to meet weekly with Drs. Stevens and Soh to discuss the project. We are looking for students interested in cognitive science or the interface between computer science and human psychology. Experience in machine learning and programing is desired but not required. If interested in this position, please contact Dr. Stevens at

Evolution of primate patience (2014.05.14)

Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B has published an ADML paper on evolutionary pressures shaping primate intertemporal choice. Check out the press coverage.

ADML's 50th publication (2014.01.28)

ADML has produced its 50th publication! The newest paper in PLoS ONE explores patterns of social contact.

The big move (2014.01.19)

The ADML has moved to the new East Stadium expansion to become a part of the Center for Brain, Biology, and Behavior.

Welcome, Emily! (2013.08.08)

Emily Johnson has joined ADML to begin her PhD in the Neuroscience and Behavior program. Welcome, Emily!

ADML at Berkeley (2013.08.05)

ADML undergraduate and McNair Scholar Dina Morales presented her summer project on pinyon jay caching and intertemporal choice at the McNair Scholar Symposium at UC Berkeley.

Interview on (2013.03.21)

ADML was interviewed on the science blog Find out more about the evolution of decision making there, including an interview with Brian Hare.

CompCog workshop on intertemporal choice (2013.03.20)

ADML co-organized a workshop on intertemporal choice with Dr. Friederike Range at the Messerli Institute in Vienna, Austria 18-20 March 2013. The European Science Foundation's CompCog network sponsored the Workshop on Concepts and Methodologies in the Field of Intertemporal Choice. The workshop was very successful, and we aim to produce a paper detailing our discussion.

Presentations at CO3 (2013.03.11)

ADML was in full force at the Comparative Cognition Society conference in Melbourne, Florida 6-9 March 2013. Jeff presented on intertemporal choice with capuchins and Juan presented on food sharing in pinyon jays. The highlight of the conference was the presentation of the Comparative Cognition Society's Research Award to UNL's own Al Kamil. Congrats, Al!

Evolution and Mechanisms of Decision Making hits the stands (2012.11.23)

Evolution and Mechanisms of Decision Making

Co-edited with Peter Hammerstein, the Ernst Strüngmann Forum volume Evolution and Mechanisms of Decision Making is available from MIT Press and Amazon.

  • This volume--with contributors from a broad range of disciplines, including evolutionary biology, psychology, economics, anthropology, neuroscience, and computer science--offers a multidisciplinary examination of what evolution can tell us about our and other animals’ mechanisms of decision making.

CECE is born (2012.11.11)

ADML joined forces with Leilani Arthurs and a fantastic group of interdisciplinary researchers at UNL in a retreat this weekend to begin developing the Center for Environmental Cognition and Education (CECE). Stay tuned for more details!

Two new papers (2012.09.22)

ADML has two new papers out. One explores the role of uncertainty in cooperation. The other is a commentary on a pretty cool article exploring how to integrate cognition into behavioral ecology. Check them out under publications.

Welcome, Juan! (2012.07.27)

Juan Duque has joined ADML to begin his PhD in the Neuroscience and Behavior program. Welcome, Juan!

Join us at choice workshop in Berlin (2012.05.20)

Along with Michel Regenwetter at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, ADML is hosting the Workshop on Testing Theories of Choice from 18-20 July 2012 in Berlin, Germany. The goal of this workshop is to bring together scholars interested in intertemporal choice, risky choice, game theory, and methods for theory testing in the decision sciences. We have arranged for a number of invited speakers to discuss their research related to this goal. Make sure to register before 30 June!

ADML goes green! (2012.05.02)

ADML has received funding from the College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to start studying environmental decision making, develop a seminar series, and assemble an interdisciplinary team of researchers interested in environmental cognition and education.

Behavioural Processes tribute to Alex Kacelnik is available (2012.01.29)

The journal Behavioural Processes has published a tribute to Alex Kacelnik with great articles from host of eminent comparative psychologists and behavioral ecologists. Don't forget to check out ADML's article on intertemporal choice in lemurs.

Welcome new ADML members! (2012.01.18)

Welcome to the new members of ADML! Adam Thurley, Art Burtsch, and Ginger Waite! They will be working on ADML projects in the Spring 2012 semester involving intertemporal choices in humans and other animals.

How long can lemurs wait? (2011.11.12)

The ADML has a paper coming out on intertemporal choice in lemurs. The paper is an invited article to a special issue of Behavioural Processes honoring the contributions of Alex Kacelnik. It shows lemurs to be about as impulsive as marmosets, and suggests that larger species of animals tend to be more patient than smaller species.

Phylogenetic comparative psychology is born (2011.10.19)

Dr. Stevens recently attended a NESCent working group on Phylogenetic Comparative Psychology (or PhyloPsy for short). This is a great group of folks (headed by Charlie Nunn and Brian Hare) interested in a truly comparative approach to cognition grounded in a strong knowledge of phylogenetics. There first concept paper was published in the journal Animal Cognition.

ADML is looking for undergraduate and graduate students (2011.09.18)

The Adaptive Decision Making Lab is ready to start recruiting undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate research opportunities will be available for the spring semester, and graduate student positions will be available starting Fall 2012. If you are interested in studying decision making in humans or other animals, contact Jeff Stevens.

ADML arrives! (2011.08.09)

The Adaptive Decision Making Lab opens in the Department of Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln! Lab director Jeffrey R. Stevens has moved to Lincoln from Berlin, Germany, where he was a research scientist in the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. The ADML is based in the Department of Psychology but is also affliated with the Systems Biology of Social Behavior Initiative, the Center for Brain, Biology, and Behavior, and the School of Biological Sciences.