steven t. piantadosi

about

I am an assistant professor at the University of Rochester, where I head the computation and language lab (colala).

I am an NCSE Steve who really likes free software, wikipedia, and accordions.

My research uses formal computational methods and behavioral experiments to study how people learn language and conceptual systems. You can read about some of my work on information and language, ambiguity, and the evolution of human-like cognition.


cv

A current CV is available here.


phd thesis

My thesis studied learning in language of thought models, in which learners compose simple functions in order to express complex concepts like those needed for natural language. A precis is available here.


courses


data + code

All data and code from papers published and in progress is available upon request.

I develop several free libraries for research in cognitive science:

Please see the resources page on colala for links to current projects. My github contains other projects and libraries I work on.


papers

under review
[65]S. T. Piantadosi, "The computational origin of representation and conceptual change", under review. [pdf]
[64]S. T. Piantadosi, K. Mahowald, C. Kidd, R. Futrell, E. Gibson, "Lexical prescriptivism reduces communicative efficiency", under review. [email]
[63]S. T. Piantadosi, H. Palmeri, R. Aslin, "Limits on composition of conceptual operations in 9-month-olds", under review. [pdf]
[62]K. Mahowald, I. Dautriche, E. Gibson, S. T. Piantadosi, "Word forms are structured for efficient use", under review. [email]
[61]E. Gibson, S. T. Piantadosi, J. Jara-Ettinger, R. Levy, "Task effects in cross-cultural research: Computerized experiments can yield misleading results in non-industrialized populations", under review. [email]
[60]I. Dautriche, K. Mahowald, E. Gibson, A. Christophe, S. T. Piantadosi, "Words cluster phonetically beyond phonotactic regularities", under review. [email]
in press
[59]S. T. Piantadosi, J. Cantlon, "True Numerical Cognition in the Wild", Psychological Science, in press. [email]
[58]S. T. Piantadosi, E. Fedorenko, "Infinitely productive language can arise from chance under communicative pressure", Journal of Language Evolution, in press. [pdf]
[57]F. Mollica, S. T. Piantadosi, "How data drives early word learning: A cross-linguistic waiting time analysis", Open Mind, in press. [email]
[56]S. Ferrigno, J. Jara-Ettinger, S. T. Piantadosi, J. Cantlon, "Universal and uniquely human factors in spontaneous number perception", Nature Communications, in press. [email]
2016
[55]S. T. Piantadosi, "A rational analysis of the approximate number system", Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 2016, pp. 1-10. [pdf] [doi]
[54]S. T. Piantadosi, J. Tenenbaum, N. Goodman, "The logical primitives of thought: Empirical foundations for compositional cognitive models", Psychological Review, 2016. [pdf]
[53]S. T. Piantadosi, R. Jacobs, "Four problems solved by the probabilistic Language of Thought", Current Directions in Psychological Science, vol. 25, 2016, pp. 54-59. [pdf]
[52]S. T. Piantadosi, C. Kidd, "Extraordinary intelligence and the care of infants", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 113, no. 25, 2016. [pdf]
[51]S. T. Piantadosi, C. Kidd, "Endogenous or exogenous? The data don’t say (Commentary on Han, Musolino, & Lidz 2016)", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 113, no. 20, 2016. [pdf]
[50]S. T. Piantadosi, "Efficient estimation of Weber's W", Behavior Research Methods, vol. 48, 2016, pp. 42-52. [pdf]
[49]S. T. Piantadosi, R. Aslin, "Compositional reasoning in early childhood", PLOS ONE, 2016. [pdf]
[48]M. C. Overlan, R. A. Jacobs, S. T. Piantadosi, "A Hierarchical Probabilistic Language-of-Thought Model of Human Visual Concept Learning", in Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society, 2016. [pdf]
[47]L. Martí, F. Mollica, S. T. Piantadosi, C. Kidd, "What determines human certainty?", in Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society, 2016. [pdf]
[46]J. Jara-Ettinger, S. T. Piantadosi, E. Spelke, R. Levy, E. Gibson, "Mastery of the logic of natural numbers is not the result of mastery of counting: Evidence from late counters", Developmental Science, 2016. [pdf]
[45]R. Futrell, L. Stearns, D. L. Everett, S. T. Piantadosi, E. Gibson, "A Corpus Investigation of Syntactic Embedding in Pirahã", PLOS ONE, 2016. [pdf]
[44]I. Dautriche, K. Mahowald, E. Gibson, S. T. Piantadosi, "Wordform similarity increases with semantic similarity: an analysis of 100 languages", Cognitive Science, 2016. [pdf]
[43]E. J. Bigelow, S. T. Piantadosi, "A large dataset of generalization patterns in the number game", Journal of Open Psychology Data, vol. 4, 2016. [pdf] [doi]
[42]E. J. Bigelow, S. T. Piantadosi, "Inferring priors in compositional cognitive models", in Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society, 2016. [pdf]
2015
[41]S. T. Piantadosi, B. Hayden, "Response: "Commentary: Utility-free heuristic models of two-option choice can mimic predictions of utility-stage models under many conditions”", Frontiers in Neuroscience, vol. 9, no. 299, 2015. [pdf] [doi]
[40]S. T. Piantadosi, "Problems in the philosophy of mathematics: A view from cognitive science", in Mathematics, Substance and Surmise: Views on the Meaning and Ontology of Mathematics, E. Davis, P. J. Davis, Eds., Springer, 2015. [pdf]
[39]S. T. Piantadosi, B. Hayden, "Utility-free models of binomial choice can replicate predictions of utility models in many conditions", Frontiers in Neuroscience, 2015. [pdf]
[38]M. Pelz, S. T. Piantadosi, C. Kidd, "The dynamics of idealized attention in complex learning environments", in The 5th Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics, 2015. [pdf]
[37]F. Mollica, S. T. Piantadosi, "Towards semantically rich and recursive word learning models", in Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society, 2015. [pdf]
[36]F. Mollica, S. T. Piantadosi, M. K. Tanenhaus, "The perceptual foundation of linguistic context", in Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society, 2015. [pdf]
[35]J. Jara-Ettinger, E. Gibson, C. Kidd, S. T. Piantadosi, "Native Amazonian Children Forego Egalitarianism When They Learn to Count", Developmental Science, 2015. [pdf] [doi]
[34]P. Hemmer, K. Persaud, C. Kidd, S. T. Piantadosi, "Inferring the Tsimane's use of color categories from recognition memory", in Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society, 2015. [pdf]
[33]E. Gibson, P. Jacobson, P. Graff, K. Mahowald, E. Fedorenko, S. T. Piantadosi, "A pragmatic account of complexity in definite Antecedent-Contained-Deletion relative clauses", Journal of Semantics, vol. 32, 2015. [pdf]
[32]J. Cantlon, S. T. Piantadosi, S. Ferrigno, K. Hughes, A. Barnard, "The origins of counting algorithms", Psychological Science, 2015. [pdf]
[31]S. Alonso-Diaz, J. Cantlon, S. T. Piantadosi, "Cognition in reach: continuous statistical inference in optimal motor planning", in Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society, 2015. [pdf]
2014
[30]S. T. Piantadosi, C. Kidd, R. Aslin, "Rich analysis and rational models: Inferring individual behavior from infant looking data", Developmental Science, 2014, pp. 1-16. [pdf]
[29]S. T. Piantadosi, E. Gibson, "Quantitative Standards for Absolute Linguistic Universals", Cognitive Science, vol. 38, no. 4, 2014, pp. 736-756. [pdf] [doi]
[28]S. T. Piantadosi, J. Jara-Ettinger, E. Gibson, "Children's learning of number words in an indigenous farming-foraging group", Developmental Science, vol. 17, no. 4, 2014, pp. 553-563. [pdf] [doi]
[27]S. T. Piantadosi, "Zipf’s word frequency law in natural language: A critical review and future directions", Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, vol. 21, 2014, pp. 1112-1130. [pdf] [doi]
[26]C. Kidd, S. T. Piantadosi, R. N. Aslin, "The Goldilocks Effect in Infant Auditory Attention", Child Development, vol. 85, 2014, pp. 1795-1804. [pdf] [doi]
2013
[25]C. Rieth, S. T. Piantadosi, K. Smith, E. Vul, "Put your money where your mouth is: Incentivizing the Truth by Making Nonreplicability Costly", European Journal of Personality, 2013. [pdf]
[24]S. T. Piantadosi, H. T. H., E. Gibson, "Information content versus word length in natural language: A reply to Ferrer-i-Cancho and Moscoso del Prado Martin [arXiv:1209.1751]", ArXiv e-prints, 2013. [pdf]
[23]E. Gibson, L. Bergen, S. T. Piantadosi, "The rational integration of noise and prior semantic expectation: Evidence for a noisy-channel model of sentence interpretation", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 11, 2013, pp. 8051-8056. [pdf]
2012
[22]S. T. Piantadosi, L. Stearns, D. Everett, E. Gibson, "A corpus analysis of Pirahã grammar: An investigation of recursion", Talk presented at the LSA (by E. Gibson)., 2012. [pdf]
[21]S. T. Piantadosi, J. Tenenbaum, N. Goodman, "Bootstrapping in a language of thought: a formal model of numerical concept learning", Cognition, vol. 123, 2012, pp. 199-217. [pdf]
[20]K. Mahowald, E. Fedorenko, S. T. Piantadosi, E. Gibson, "Info/information theory: speakers actively choose shorter words in predictable contexts.", Cognition, vol. 126, 2012, pp. 313-318. [pdf]
[19]C. Kidd, S. T. Piantadosi, R. Aslin, "The Goldilocks Effect: Human Infants Allocate Attention to Visual Sequences That Are Neither Too Simple Nor Too Complex", PLoS ONE, 2012. [pdf]
[18]E. Gibson, S. T. Piantadosi, E. Fedorenko, "Quantitative methods in syntax / semantics research: A response to Sprouse & Almeida", Language and Cognitive Processes, 2012. [pdf]
[17]E. Gibson, S. T. Piantadosi, K. Brink, L. Bergen, E. Lim, R. Saxe, "A noisy-channel account of crosslinguistic word order variation", Psychological Science, vol. 24, 2012, pp. 1079-1088. [pdf]
[16]E. Fedorenko, S. Piantadosi, E. Gibson, "Processing Relative Clauses in Supportive Contexts", Cognitive Science, vol. 36, 2012, pp. 1-27. [pdf]
[15]E. Fedorenko, S. T. Piantadosi, E. Gibson, "The interaction of syntactic and lexical information sources in language processing: The case of the noun--verb ambiguity", Journal of Cognitive Science, 2012. [pdf]
2011
[14]S. T. Piantadosi, H. Tily, E. Gibson, "Word lengths are optimized for efficient communication", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 108, no. 9, 2011, pp. 3526. [pdf]
[13]S. T. Piantadosi, H. Tily, E. Gibson, "Reply to Reilly and Kean: Clarifications on word length and information content", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 108, no. 20, 2011, pp. E109. [pdf]
[12]S. T. Piantadosi, "Learning and the language of thought.", Ph.D. dissertation, MIT, 2011. [pdf]
[11]S. T. Piantadosi, H. Tily, E. Gibson, "The communicative function of ambiguity in language", Cognition, vol. 122, 2011, pp. 280--291. [pdf]
[10]E. Gibson, S. T. Piantadosi, K. Fedorenko, "Using Mechanical Turk to Obtain and Analyze English Acceptability Judgments", Language and Linguistics Compass, vol. 5, no. 8, 2011, pp. 509-524. [pdf]
2010
[9]S. T. Piantadosi, J. Crutchfield, "How the Dimension of Space Affects the Products of Pre-Biotic Evolution: The Spatial Population Dynamics of Structural Complexity and The Emergence of Membranes", Santa Fe Institute Working Paper arXiv:1010.5019, 2010. [pdf]
[8]S. T. Piantadosi, J. Tenenbaum, N. Goodman, "Beyond Boolean logic: exploring representation languages for learning complex concepts", in Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society, 2010. [pdf]
[7]C. Kidd, S. T. Piantadosi, R. Aslin, "The Goldilocks Effect: Infants' preference for visual stimuli that are neither too predictable nor too surprising", in Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society, 2010. [pdf]
2009
[6]H. Tily, S. T. Piantadosi, "Refer efficiently: Use less informative expressions for more predictable meanings", in Proceedings of the workshop on the production of referring expressions: Bridging the gap between computational and empirical approaches to reference, 2009. [pdf]
[5]S. T. Piantadosi, H. Tily, E. Gibson, "The communicative lexicon hypothesis", in Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society, 2009, pp. 2582-2587. [pdf]
2008
[4]S. T. Piantadosi, "Symbolic dynamics on free groups", Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems, vol. 20, no. 3, 2008, pp. 725-738. [pdf]
[3]S. T. Piantadosi, N. Goodman, B. Ellis, J. Tenenbaum, "A Bayesian model of the acquisition of compositional semantics", in Proceedings of the Cognitive Science Society, 2008. [pdf]
2006
[2]S. T. Piantadosi, "Symbolic Dynamics on Free Groups", Senior Honors Thesis, 2006. [pdf]
[1]S. T. Piantadosi, "Computation with opaque representation", Unpublished paper, 2006. [pdf]