The Reasoning Lab @ NRL

The Reasoning Lab is housed in the Laboratory of Autonomous Systems Research and the Information Technology Division building at NRL headquarters in Washington, DC.

Today’s best interactive AI and robotic systems cannot reason, and so there exists an urgent need to reconcile the differences between human and machine reasoning. The Reasoning Lab at the Naval Research Laboratory seeks to address it. The lab’s primary goal is to understand the mental processes that underlie human thinking well enough to build plausible computer simulations of them. It is situated within the Human and Machine Intelligence Section, where ongoing research focuses on engineering AI systems that can interact with people effectively. Humans reason when they interact with devices and each other, and so genuinely interactive AI systems must accommodate human reasoning.

Join the lab

Our group is always looking to form new collaborations with enthusiastic researchers. If you’d like to join the lab, read more here.

Current members

Sangeet “Sunny” Khemlani (
Principal investigator

Branden Bio (
Postdoctoral researcher (2021-present)

Maria Kon (
Postdoctoral researcher (2023-present, co-advised with A. Lovett)

Greg Trafton (
Section Head, Human and Machine Intelligence Section

Affiliated researchers

Gordon Briggs (
Computer scientist in NRL’s AI Center

Andrew Lovett (
Computer scientist in NRL’s AI Center

Lab alumni

Laura Kelly
Postdoctoral researcher (2018-2021)

Hillary Harner
Postdoctoral researcher (2019-2021)
Now: Data Scientist at Altamira Corporation

Zach Horne
Postdoctoral researcher (2016-2017)
Now: Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of Psychology at University of Edinburgh

Joanna Korman
Postdoctoral researcher (2016-2018)
Now: Assistant Professor of Psychology at Bentley University