School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences Psychology


Dr Leonidas Doumas

Photograph of Dr Leonidas Doumas
Personal URL
0131 651 1328
S5 (7GS)
Research Interests
Analogy, relational reasoning, mental representation, cognitive development.

I received my PhD in Cognitive and Developmental Psychology at UCLA working with John Hummel, Keith Holyoak, and Cathy Sandhofer. I worked as a post-doc in Linda Smith's lab at Indiana University before working as an Assistant Professor at the University of Hawaii. I came to Edinburgh as a Lecturer in 2013. I used to read a lot of comic books. I still try to read the occasional sci-fi novel. My wife, Brandy, and I have a daughter called Violet, and a cat called Bernoulli (I was only allowed to name one of those two). 


I regularly teach on topics in developmental science, cognitive science, and statistics. At the moment I am teaching on the Year 2 Research Methods and Statistics 1 course and the MSc Univariate statistics using R course. 

My CONSULTATION (OFFICE) HOURS are on Mondays at 2.30pm-4.30pm, and I will try to be in my office at those times. Feel free to drop me an email or knock on my door outside those times if you want to meet. 


Research interests

I am interested in how distributed systems (like brains and artifical neural networks) come to represent and reason about relational concepts (like 'above', 'next-to', or 'likes'). Specifically, I am interested in how children and adults learn to think about, represent, and use relations for solving problems. My students, my collaborators, and I explore these issues in domains like analogy making, mathematical reasoning, and learning. We employ empirical methods with children and adults, computional models, and techniques from neuroscience (e.g., eeg, tms) to understand how we think and learn. 

For more information on my work (and a list of publications) please visit my website

For prospective students

I am currently accepting PhD. and MSc. students. If you'd like to pursue a Ph.D. and might be interested in working with me, please send me an email.

I'm happy to answer questions, and may be able to meet if you're near Edinburgh, or we’re attending the same conference.

It's wise to contact prospective supervisors sooner rather than later. First, there are more funding opportunities available the earlier one starts. Second, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re clear about whom you are proposing to work with and what you are proposing to work on in your application. 

Representative publications

Doumas L. A. A., Hummel J. E. (2013) Comparison and Mapping Facilitate Relation Discovery and Predication. PLoS ONE 8(6): e63889.

Morrison, R. G., Doumas, L. A. A., & Richland, L. E. (2011). A computational account of the development of analogical reasoning: The importance of inhibitory control in working memory. Developmental Science, 14, 516-529.

Doumas, L. A. A. & Hummel, J. E. (2010). A computational account of the development of the representations underlying object recognition. Cognitive Science, 34, 698-712.

Sandhofer, C. M. & Doumas, L. A. A. (2008). Order and presentation effects in learning catego- ries. Journal of Cognition and Development, 9, 194-221.

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.