Wael Taji Miller

biology – behavior – biotech


About me and what I do

Hi - my name is Wael. I'm a Beijing-based predoctoral student working in behavioral economics and neuroscience. This lets me research cool things like the behavioral ecology of the sexual marketplace, or social and individual intelligence.

I also write stuff which you may have seen featured in Quillette, Genetic Literacy Project, International Business Times, Arab Millennial, or in over 10 other news sites and think tanks. Some of my work has been translated and republished, which is great since I love languages - I happen to speak five of them (though I'm told my Japanese has a persistent Afghan accent).

You can scroll down to get in touch or learn more about what I do. If you've got a cool project and you want to reach out, you can email me at waeltajimiller@gmail.com.


Stuff I like to read and write about - and occasionally even work on

  • Cognitive Anthropology
    • Non-biological belief-predicated kinship groups; their evolutionary templates
    • Social grouphood & cognition; enabling group identity
    • Cultural evolution and devolution
  • Neuroscience
    • Declarative memory and meaningful experiences
    • Neuropharmacology; nootropics, n=1 autoexperimentation
    • Cognitive ability and individual differences
  • Behavioral Economics
    • Bounded rationality and behavior
    • Prosociality and dyssociality
    • Behavioral externalities and collective outcomes
  • Cliodynamics
    • Cultural cyclicity
    • Inadequate equilibria
    • ‘Asabiyyah
  • Evolutionary Biology
    • Gene-culture coevolution
    • Life history theory
    • Behavioral ecology

Q1 – how does inequality in the domains of cognitive ability and reproductive outcome affect the life cycle and stability of social ecologies?

Q2 – how do cultural and religious systems evolve patterns of behavior to alleviate the effects of these inequalities?

Q3 – how might answers to these problems be used to build models that explain human history – and predict future trajectories for social systems today?

Publications and other writing


The Cognitive Dimension of China's Urban-Rural Divide
Chapter in book forthcoming (2019)
Wael Taji, Blake Mandell, and Xiaoyan Lei

Neural mechanisms underlying the semantic recollections including lexical identity
Journal of Neuroscience (under review)
Zhansheng Xu, Bo Shen, Wael Taji, Pei Sun, and Yuji Naya

Relationships we can’t ignore? Exploring associations between polygyny, prosociality, and life history theory with behavioral and conceptual models
In preparation
Wael Taji

General interest (selected)