Postdoctoral Researcher: How Predictions Shape Information Processing Across the Adult Lifespan

Postdoctoral Researcher: How Predictions Shape Information Processing Across the Adult Lifespan

Published Deadline Location
31 Mar 15 May Nijmegen

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Job description

Do you hold a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience and are you interested in predictive processing in naturalistic paradigms? Do you want to know how the human brain develops across the lifespan and how prior knowledge guides our information processing? If yes, then join the world-renowned Donders Institute as a postdoctoral researcher and help to change our views on how the brain develops across the adult life span. 

The subtle age-related differences in cognition in real life are in stark contrast to the substantial declines in cognition observed in laboratory experiments. This is because older adults can rely on a tremendous amount of prior knowledge and experiences in real life that are typically irrelevant in lab settings. This project investigates the neural mechanisms that allow older adults to effectively rely on prior knowledge to support cognition in real life-like situations. In particular, we expect that prior knowledge allows older adults to rely more on predictions. The aim of the project is to investigate the effects of aging on predictive signals and the extent to which these predictions shape perception across the lifespan.

To do this, we will measure brain activity while participants across the adult lifespan experience naturalistic stimuli, such as movies and audiobooks. To investigate predictive brain signals and how these predictions alter perception, we will use clever experimental manipulations and state-of-the art data analysis methods. Your primary responsibilities will be designing experiments to acquire a large fMRI dataset and analysing the data using novel and sophisticated methods. You will supervise a research assistant who will assist with data collection. You will also be responsible for disseminating your research output in the form of high-impact papers and well curated datasets. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to supervise or co-supervise Bachelor's students, Master's students and PhD candidates in their thesis projects. If you want to know more about the research project, please contact us.

This position is part of an NWO Vidi-funded project aimed at understanding how knowledge drives information processing in the aging brain. You will work at the department of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Donders Centre for Cognition (DCC).


Radboud University


  • You hold a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology or Artificial Intelligence.
  • You have experience with fMRI data acquisition and analysis.
  • You enjoy programming (in Python or Matlab) and like to utilise innovative data analysis methods.
  • You enjoy the creative process of experimental design.
  • You are interested in the research topic and ideally already know something about aging, predictive coding or working with naturalistic stimuli.
  • You are good at expressing yourself in English, both in writing and in presentations.
  • You have a proactive and goal-directed attitude, good organisational skills, and the ability to get things done.
  • You enjoy working in a collaborate environment and have strong communication and interpersonal skills.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: It concerns a temporary employment for 3,5 years.

  • It concerns an employment for 0.8 FTE.
  • The gross monthly salary amounts to a minimum of €3,974 and a maximum of €5,439 based on a 38-hour working week, depending on previous education and number of years of relevant work experience (salary scale 11).
  • You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • It concerns a temporary employment for 3,5 years.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 30 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.


You will be part of the Dynamic and Naturalistic Cognitive Neuroscience lab and will be supervised by Linda Geerligs in collaboration with Karen Campbell from Brock University. You will be employed at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, where you will have the opportunity to collaborate and interact with renowned experts in the fields of artificial intelligence, psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Our lab is a highly collaborative environment and is committed to creating a safe, open and inclusive research atmosphere with a healthy balance between life and work.

The Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour is a world-class interfaculty research centre, that houses more than 700 researchers devoted to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of the human mind. Research at the Donders Institute is focused around four themes: 1. Language and communication, 2. Perception, action and decision-making, 3. Development and lifelong plasticity, 4. Natural computing and neurotechnology. Excellent, state-of-the-art research facilities are available for the broad range of neuroscience research that is being conducted at the Donders Institute. The Donders Institute has been assessed by an international evaluation committee as ‘excellent’ and recognised as a ‘very stimulating environment for top researchers, as well as for young talent’. The Donders Institute fosters a collaborative, multidisciplinary, supportive research environment with a diverse international staff. English is the lingua franca at the Institute.

Radboud University
We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!


  • Postdoc; Research, development, innovation
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 32 hours per week
  • €3974—€5439 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1208019



Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen

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