Julian Jara-Ettinger

I am a third-year Ph.D. candidate at the Brain and Cognitive Sciences program advised by Laura Schulz and Josh Tenenbaum. I also work on numerical cognition with Ted Gibson and Steve Piantadosi. You can email me at jjara [at] mit [dot] edu, call the lab at (617) 324-2887, or visit me at 46-4005.

My research focuses on Theory of Mind (ToM), our capacity to attribute unobservable mental states (like desires and intentions) to agents. I am interested in understanding how ToM supports learning and moral reasoning, how to implement it on a machine, and how it affects social cognition in general, as in autism. To do this, I use a combination of computational models, quantitative studies with adults, and qualitative studies with children.

For my Ph.D., I am developing a computational theory of social motivation and evaluation. My research is funded by the Simons Center for the Social Brain and the Center for Brains, Minds and Machines.


Data from all publications where I am first author is available upon request.

Code and Experiments.

Experiments and Models.


Awards and Honors.

(Ir)Relevant Activites and Links.


I am the current student representative in charge of organizing the Spring Teuber Lecture Series.


I occasionally write about science (in Spanish) in Saber Mas magazine.


In my free time I mix, remix, and make music. I also fire dance, and play hide-and-seek.