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Thomas Hills (Professor)

Thomas Hills

Cognitive Search, MIT Press

Cognitive Search: Evolution Algorithms and the Brain. MIT Press.



I am interested in quantitative approaches to language, wellbeing, memory, and decision making.

My work involves using 'big data' to understand psychological change over cultural time; understanding language learning using network analysis; computational modelling of memory representations and age-related cognitive decline; and information search in decision making.

Contact Details

Publications and pdfs

I am the Director of the Bridges-Leverhulme Doctoral Training Centre and lead the Behavioural and Data Science MSc.

Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute (PhD studentships available)

My top 10 science-based study skills for students here.

Warwick's Global Research Priority in Behavioural Science

Representative Publications:

  • Engelthaler, T. & Hills, T.T. (2017). Feature biases in early word learning: Network distinctiveness predicts age of acquisition. Cognitive Science, 41, 120-140.
  • Noguchi, T., & Hills, T.T. (2016). Description-experience gap in choice deferral. Decision, 3, 54-61.
  • Hills, T.T., Proto, E., & Srgoi, D. (2015). Historical analysis of national subjective wellbeing using millions of digitized books. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9195.
  • Noguchi, T., & Hills, T.T. (2015). Experience-based decisions in large set sizes favor riskier alternatives. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. Advanced online publication: DOI: 10.1002/bdm.1893
  • Hills, T.T., & Adelman, J. (2015). Recent evolution in the learnability of American English from 1800 to 2000. Cognition, 143, 87-92.
  • Jones, M.N., Hills, T.T., & Todd, P.M. (2015). Hidden processes in structural representations: A reply to Abbot, Austerweil, and Griffiths (2015). Psychological Review, 122, 570-574.
  • Bilson, S., Yoshida, H., Tran, C., Woods, E., & Hills, T.T. (2015). Semantic facilitation in bilingual first language acquisition. Cognition, 140, 122-134.
  • Hills, T.T. & Butterfill, S. (2015). From foraging to autonoetic consciousness: The primal self as a consequence of embodied prospective foraging. Current Zoology, 61, 368-381.
  • Hills, T.T (2015). Crowdsourcing content creation in the classroom. Journal of Computing in Higher Education. Published online: DOI 10.1007/s12528-015-9089-2

Download open access versions of publications

Supervisor to:

Li Ying
Eva Jimenez Mesa
Tomas Engelthaler
Shayan Shaikh