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RAP opportunity at Air Force Science and Technology Fellowship Program     AF STFP

Holistic Cognitive Models of Decision-making


711th Human Performance Wing, RHW/Training Group

opportunity location
13.15.02.C0869 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 454337905


name email phone
Alexander Ryan Hough 937.255.9492


This research opportunity involves foundational research to better understand cognitive processes and mechanisms of decision-making to predict, explain, and simulate human behavior. In order to make decisions, people make sense of a situation by gathering information through the senses and/or previous experiences stored in memory, and then employ cognitive processes like reasoning to determine a course of action. Depending on the context, individuals may multitask, experience high cognitive workload, have to weed out less useful or misleading information, and have performance decrements due to fatigue. To achieve these goals, I leverage experimental work with behavioral, subjective, and physiological (EEG, eye-tracking, and FNIRS) measures, and holistic cognitive models with end to end (perception to action) processing capable of performing complex tasks while tracking cognitive processes at high resolution. 

I am interested in a range of tasks and topics in the decision-making space capable of supporting these goals and applying to Air Force strategic objectives. An ideal project would include multiple cue decision-making and address at least one of the following: 1) perception and situation awareness, 2) performance modulators like fatigue and cognitive workload, 3) learning through exploration/exploitation (e.g., strategies), and cognitive vulnerabilities/biases. Expectations for a project would include reviewing relevant literature, analysis of behavioral and physiological data, and developing or expanding on an existing cognitive model. 

Hough, A. R., Stevens, C., Fox, E., & Myers, C. (2023). An initial cognitive model of a radar detection task. In Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM). Via

Hough, A. R., Larue, O., Myers, C., & Leung, O. (2023). Integrated Cognitive Model Framework for Analogical Reasoning. Paper presented at Virtual MathPsych/ICCM 2023. Via

Hough, A. R., O’Neill, K., & Juvina, I. (2021). Counterfactual-based nudging and signaling promote more efficient coordination during group tasks. Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology, 1-27.

key words
Cognitive science; cognitive architecture; cognitive modeling; ACT-R; reasoning; situation awareness; cognitive workload; multitasking; fatigue; perception


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$95,000.00 $5,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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