Spatial orientation and self-motion perception depends on the integration of vestibular and visual signals and, when the motion is self-generated, also relies on motor feedback signals. Recent theory suggests that the neuronal computations for both active and passive spatial orientation and self-motion estimation involve a single sensory internal model that optimally combines motor commands with vestibular and visual signals. Using virtual reality and wearable technology, as well as analysis methods from data science and artificial intelligence, this PhD project will test if this theory can be applied to understand spatial orientation and self-motion perception in the real world, and will apply this knowledge to understand deficits in aging and clinical populations.
Preference will be given to candidates with an MSc in cognitive neuroscience, artificial intelligence, biomedical science or engineering, physics, movement sciences, or a related field, who are highly motivated to conduct challenging interdisciplinary empirical, model-driven, and ecologically relevant research. Strong programming skills and a demonstrable affinity with quantitative data analysis (e.g. Matlab, Python) are required. Experience with psychophysical and brain imaging techniques and patient studies is desirable.
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FSW/Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
The Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour is a world-class interfaculty research centre that houses more than 600 researchers devoted to understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of the human mind. The Institute’s research is focused around four themes: 1. Language and communication, 2. Perception, action and control, 3. Plasticity and memory, 4. Brain networks and neuronal communication. Excellent, state-of-the-art research facilities are available for the broad range of neuroscience research that is conducted at the Donders Institute. Recently, the Donders Institute was 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.
The project will be embedded in the Sensorimotor Control group, headed by Prof. Medendorp. The project will be embedded in the Centre for Cognition of the Donders Institute, which is also part of the Faculty of Social Sciences, one of the largest faculties at Radboud University in Nijmegen.
The Donders Institute is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and as such encourages applications from women and minorities.
Further information on Sensorimotor Research Lab
Further information on Sensorimotor Control
Further information on Donders Graduate School
Prof. Pieter Medendorp, Professor of Sensorimotor Neuroscience
Telefoon: +31 24 361 60 41
No commercial propositions please.
Comeniuslaan 4, 6525 HP, Nijmegen
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Make sure to apply no later than 6 Jun 2019.