Leonidas Doumas


  • Psychology
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Room S5, Psychology Building

7 George Square, Edinburgh
Post code


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 partner, Brandy, and I have a daughter called Violet, and a cat called Bernoulli (I was only allowed to name one of those two). 

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.

Undergraduate teaching

I regularly teach on topics in developmental science, cognitive science, and statistics. At the moment I am teaching on the Year 2 and Year 3 Research Methods and Statistics courses. 

My CONSULTATION (OFFICE) HOURS are on Thursdays from 10am-12pm. Feel free to drop me an email or knock on my door outside those times if you want to meet. 

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

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. 

Current PhD students supervised

Research summary

Analogy, relational reasoning, mental representation, cognitive development, computational modelling and neural networks.

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