Evolution & Cognition Lab Clarkson University

Research Overview

Welcome to the Evolution & Cognition Lab at Clarkson University. Over evolutionary time, humans had to solve difficult information-processing problems, such as finding food, finding a mate, deal with risk and uncertainty, and adapt to various statistical distributions in their living environments. In our laboratory we are interested in this human cognitive evolution, specifically, the evolution of judgment and decision-making capacities. Our laboratory is currently pursuing several lines of research which combine ideas from disciplines such as cognitive psychology, evolutionary psychology, behavioral ecology, and biological anthropology. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions -- thank you.

Lab Team


Wilke, A. (2020). The adaptive problem of exploiting resources: Human foraging behavior in patchy environments. In L. Workman, W. Reader, & J. H. Barkow (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behavior (pp. 241-249). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jarecki, J., & Wilke, A. (2020). The relevance of subjective benefits in risky choice across ten domains of life. Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

Wilke, A., & Todd, P. M. (2018). Studying the evolution of cognition: Towards more methodological diversity in evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 12, 133-134.

von Helversen, B., Mata, R., Samanez-Larkin, G. R., & Wilke, A. (2018). Foraging, exploration, or search? On the (lack) of convergent validity between three behavioral paradigms. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 12, 152-162.

Wilke, A., Lydick, J., Bedell, V., Dawley, T., Treat, J., Pedersen, S., & Langen, T. A. (2018). Spatial dependency in local resource distributions. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 12, 163-172.

Jarecki, J., & Wilke, A. (2018). Into the black box: Tracing information about risks in ten evolutionary domains. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 12, 230-244.

Wilke, A. (2018). Risky behavior. In T. K. Shackelford & V. A. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer.

Wilke, A., & Mata, R. (2017). Cognitive bias. Reference Module in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology (pp. 1-6). Elsevier.

Sherman, A., Minich, S. H., Langen, T. A., Skufca, J., & Wilke, A. (2016). Are college students’ assessments of threat shaped by the dangers of their childhood environment? Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31, 2006-2025.

Gaissmaier, W., Wilke, A., Scheibehenne, B., McCanney, P., & Barrett, H. C. (2016). Betting on illusionary patterns: Probability matching in habitual gamblers. Journal of Gambling Studies, 32, 143-156.

Wilke, A., Minich, S., Panis, M., Langen, T. A., Skufca, J. D., & Todd, P. M. (2015). A game of hide and seek: Expectations of clumpy resources influence hiding and searching patterns. PLoS ONE, 10(7), e0130976.

Wilke, A., Sherman, A., Curdt, B., Mondal, S., Fitzgerald, C., & Kruger, D. J. (2014). An evolutionary domain-specific risk scale. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 8, 123-141.

Blanchard, T. C., Wilke, A., & Hayden, B. Y. (2014). Hot hand bias in rhesus monkeys. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 40, 280-286.

Wilke, A., Scheibehenne, B., Gaissmaier, W., McCanney, P., & Barrett, H. C. (2014). Illusionary pattern detection in habitual gamblers. Evolution and Human Behavior, 35, 291-297.

Hills, T. T., Mata, R., Wilke, A., & Samanez-Larkin, G. R. (2013). Mechanisms of age-related decline in memory search across the adult life span. Developmental Psychology, 49, 2396-2404.

von Helversen, B., Karlsson, L., Mata, R., & Wilke, A. (2013). Why does cue polarity information provide benefits in inference problems? The role of strategy selection and knowledge of cue importance. Acta Psychologica, 144, 73-82.

Mata, R., Wilke, A., & Czienskowski, U. (2013). Foraging across the lifespan: Is there a reduction in exploration with aging? Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7, 53.

Wilke, A., & Mata, R. (2012). Cognitive bias. In V. S. Ramachandran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Behavior (2nd Edition), Vol. 1 (pp. 531-535). Academic Press.

Wilke, A., & Todd, P. M. (2012). The evolved foundations of decision-making. In M. K. Dhami, A. Schlottmann, & M. Waldmann (Eds.), Judgement and Decision Making as a Skill: Learning, Development and Evolution (pp. 3-27). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

von Helversen, B., Wilke, A., Johnson, T., Schmid, G., & Klapp, B. (2011). Performance benefits of depression: Sequential decision making in a healthy sample and a clinically depressed sample. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120, 962-968.

Ross, C., & Wilke, A. (2011). Decision making: Towards an evolutionary psychology of rationality by Mauro Maldonato. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 9, 275-278.

Scheibehenne, B., Wilke, A., & Todd, P. M. (2011). Expectations of clumpy resources influence predictions of sequential events. Evolution and Human Behavior, 32, 326-333.

Hills, T. T., Mata, R., Wilke, A., & Samanez-Larkin, G. R. (2011). Exploration and exploitation in memory search across the lifespan. In L. Carlson, C. Hoelscher, & T. F. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 991-996). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Mata, R., Wilke, A., & Czienskowski, U. (2011). Adult age differences in information foraging. Journal of Psychophysiology, 25, 41.

Wilke, A., & Todd, P. M. (2010). Past and present environments: The evolution of decision making. Psicothema, 22, 4-8.

Haselton, M. G., Bryant, G. A., Wilke, A., Frederick, D. A., Galperin, A., Frankenhuis, W. E. & Moore, T. (2009). Adaptive rationality: An evolutionary perspective on cognitive bias. Social Cognition, 27, 733-763.

Mata, R., Wilke, A., & Czienskowski, U. (2009). Cognitive aging and adaptive foraging behavior. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 64, 474-481.

Wilke, A., & Barrett, H. C. (2009). The hot hand phenomenon as a cognitive adaptation to clumped resources. Evolution and Human Behavior, 30, 161-169.

Wilke, A., Hutchinson, J. M. C., Todd, P. M., & Czienskowski, U. (2009). Fishing for the right words: Decision rules for human foraging behavior in internal search tasks. Cognitive Science, 33, 497-529.

Wang, X. T., Kruger, D. J., & Wilke, A. (2009). Life-history variables and risk-taking propensity. Evolution and Human Behavior, 30, 77-84.

Barrett, H. C., Frankenhuis, W. E., & Wilke, A. (2008). Adaptation to moving targets: Culture/gene coevolution, not either/or (Commentary on M. H. Christiansen and N. Chater, Language as shaped by the brain). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31, 511-512.

Hutchinson, J. M. C., Wilke, A. & Todd, P. M. (2008). Patch leaving in humans: Can a generalist adapt its rules to dispersal of items across patches? Animal Behaviour, 75, 1331-1349.

Panchanathan, K. & Wilke, A. (2007). Modelling for field biologists and other interesting people by Hanna Kokko. Evolution & Human Behavior, 28, 447-450.

Kruger, D. J., Wang, X. T., & Wilke, A. (2007). Towards the development of an evolutionarily valid domain-specific risk-taking scale. Evolutionary Psychology, 5, 555-568.

Wilke, A., Hutchinson, J. M. C., Todd, P. M., & Kruger, D. J. (2006). Is risk taking used as a cue in mate choice? Evolutionary Psychology, 4, 367-393.

Brighton, H., Mata, R., & Wilke, A. (2006). Reconciling vague and formal models of language evolution (Commentary on J. L. Locke and B. Bogin, Language and life history: A new perspective on the development and evolution of human language). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 29, 282.

Hanoch, Y., Johnson, J. G., & Wilke, A. (2006). Domain-specificity in experimental measures and participant recruitment: An application to risk-taking behavior. Psychological Science, 17, 300-304.

Wilke, A. (2005). Human evolution: An illustrated introduction by Roger Lewin. Human Ethology Bulletin, 20, 6-8.

Mata, R., Wilke, A., & Todd, P. M. (2005). Adding the missing link back into mate choice research (Commentary on D. Schmitt, Sociosexuality from Argentina to Zimbabwe. A 48-nation study of sex, culture, and strategies of human mating). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 289.

Wilke, A., Hutchinson, J. M. C., & Todd, P. M. (2004). Testing simple rules for human foraging in patchy environments. In K. Forbus, D. Gentner, & T. Regier (Eds.), Proceedings of the 26th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (p. 1656). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Wilke, A. & Mata, R. (2004). How Homo became Sapiens: On the evolution of thinking by Peter Gardenfors. Evolutionary Psychology, 2, 24-27.

Johnson, J. G., Wilke, A., & Weber, E. (2004). Beyond a trait view of risk-taking: A domain-specific scale measuring risk perceptions, expected benefits, and perceived risk attitude in German-speaking populations. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 35, 153-163.