Michael Ramscar

Michael Ramscar
fearless leader, intrepid seven year old:
Ramscar claims concepts, metaphor, analogy, language learning and processing, and all manner of mental representations amongst his interests. A big fan of the musical theatre of Rescorla and Wagner, Ramscar can be found most afternoons in his office drinking tea and mumbling about prediction. Verdict: should get out more.

Michael is a member of the Linguistics Department at the University of Tübingen, with a new academic page there. You can find Michael’s academic CV and research statement here.  Direct any email to michael.ramscar at uni-tuebingen dot de.


Learning; language acquisition; mental representation; meaning and usage; memory; analogy; metaphor; concepts and categorization; cognitive.
(1) The nature of human knowledge representation
(2) Statistical and probabilistic learning
(3) Learning and learnability in language acquisition
(4) Probabilistic modeling of syntax
(5) Language learning and bilingualism
(6) The development of human learning processes
(7) The nature and development of cognitive control
(8) Imitation and the development of cognitive agency
(9) The relationship between explicit and implicit learning
(10) Levels of representation in mental processing
(11) Applications of learning research to education and training


2011 – present, University of Tübingen, Researcher (Faculty Rank), Linguistics Department
2002 – 2010, Stanford University, Assistant Professor, Psychology Department
1999 – 2000, Edinburgh University, Division of Informatics, Lecturer, Computational Models of Human Cognition
1997 – 1999, Edinburgh University, Department of Artificial Intelligence, Lecturer (faculty rank)
1991 – 1996, Edinburgh University, Department of Architecture, Research Associate


2001, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, APA Advanced Training Institute in fMRI
1995-1999, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, Scotland, Ph.D., Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence
1989-1990, Strathclyde University, Strathclyde, Scotland, MSc, Computer Science & Electronic Engineering
1986-1989,  Kings College, University of London, England, B.A., Philosophy, with Honours
2007 Received $750,000 award from NSF (Co-PIs Bresnan, Jurafsky & Wasow) in support of research into the probabilistic nature of grammar.
2006 Received $400,000 CAREER award from NSF in support of language learning research.
2003 Awarded $25,000 grant by Stanford OTL in support of language learning research.
1999 Awarded $100,000 grant by EPSRC in support of analogy modelling research
1999 Awarded one of 5 “Enterprise Ireland” Post-Doctoral Fellowships (declined)
1994 Awarded $200,000 by EPSRC to the Department of Architecture, Edinburgh University in support of design modelling research.
Daniel Yarlett, Sharon Thompson-Schill, Ulrike Hahn, Lera Boroditsky, Teenie Matlock, Nicolas Davidenko, Michael Frank, Scott MacDonald, Michelle St. Clair, Padraic Monaghan, Natasha Kirkham, Colin Bannard, Inbal Arnon, Richard Futrell, Melody Dye and Sam McClure.