Postdoc position ON Top-down mechanisms in peripheral vision

Postdoc position ON Top-down mechanisms in peripheral vision

Published Deadline Location
18 Nov 8 Jan Amsterdam

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Do you have a completed Phd in the field of cognition (cognitive psychology, experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, or directly related areas), and would you like to work in a team of world-renowned professionals in an academic environment? P...

Job description

General Description
One Postdoc position of two years for 1.0 fte is available at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam under the supervision of Prof. Chris Olivers The position is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) Vici project "Periscope". The postdoc will work closely with Chris Olivers, Johannes Fahrenfort and where opportune others in the Cognitive Psychology section at the Vrije Universiteit

The Research Project
Vision differs profoundly depending on the eccentricity of the stimulus. This starts with acuity differences caused by eye physiology and signal convergence. But also at the level of the brain is peripheral information treated differently from foveal information, resulting in phenomena such as crowding and statistical representations. While quite a lot is known about the bottom-up, sensory limits of peripheral vision, very little is known about how top-down perceptual mechanisms operate for the periphery, and what their limitations are. Such top-down mechanisms are important for creating attentional biases towards, as well as useful memories of, task-relevant visual information, in order to facilitate adaptive behavior.

The proposed project focuses on how top-down mechanisms of visual attention and working memory may differ for foveal and peripheral processing. Questions we will ask is to what extent visual working memory for peripheral information suffers above and beyond the limitations imposed by the sensory input, and to what extent top-down attentional template representations differ for peripheral versus foveal information. The approach will use behavioural techniques of measuring the capacity and precision of top-down representations, as well as eye tracking and EEG decoding techniques. Where opportune there may be the option of doing an fMRI study.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


  • a PhD in the field of cognition (cognitive psychology, experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, or closely related discipline)
  • extensive research training and experience in cognitive experimenting and/or modeling
  • A background in visual perception, attention and/or working memory research is desirable
  • Experience with specifically EEG, eye tracking, or other advanced techniques is desirable
  • Excellent programming and data analysis skills
  • Demonstratable ability to publish quality scientific papers
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English
  • Be able to start by June 1, 2022 the very latest (and preferably earlier)

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 2 years.

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. On full-time basis the remuneration amounts to a minimum gross monthly salary of €2,836 (scale 10)
and a maximum €5,922 (scale 12), depending on your education and experience. The job profile: is based on the university job ranking system and is vacant for at least 1 FTE.

The appointment will be for 2 years.

Additionally, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers excellent fringe benefits and various schemes and regulations to promote a good work/life balance, such as:
  • a maximum of 41 days of annual leave based on full-time employment
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus,
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • a wide range of sports facilities which staff may use at a modest charge
  • discounts on collective insurances (healthcare- and car insurance)


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The ambition of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is clear: to contribute to a better world through outstanding education and ground-breaking research. We strive to be a university where personal development and commitment to society play a leading role. A university where people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborate to achieve innovations and to generate new knowledge. Our teaching and research encompass the entire spectrum of academic endeavor - from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences through to the life sciences and the medical sciences.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is home to more than 26,000 students. We employ over 4,600 individuals. The VU campus is easily accessible and located in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas district, a truly inspiring environment for teaching and research.

We are an inclusive university community. Diversity is one of our most important values. We believe that engaging in international activities and welcoming students and staff from a wide variety of backgrounds enhances the quality of our education and research. We are always looking for people who can enrich our world with their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences
The Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences focuses on the broad domain of behaviour and health. Our teaching and research programmes are devoted to current developments in society, from healthy aging to e-health, from juvenile crime to dealing with depression, from training for top athletes to social media as a teaching tool. We are unique in that we combine three academic disciplines: psychology, movement sciences and education.

Working at Behavioural and Movement Sciences means working in an ambitious organization that is characterized by an informal atmosphere and short lines of communication. Our faculty offers tremendous scope for personal development. We employ more than 600 staff members, and we are home to around 3,400 students.


  • Postdoc
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2836—€5922 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 8655


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1105, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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