PhD Candidate: ‘Decisions in action’

PhD Candidate: ‘Decisions in action’

Published Deadline Location
15 May 6 Jun Nijmegen

Job description

Motor decisions involve complex interactions between sensory and motor systems. For example, tennis players base their positioning and next stroke on the continuous stream of information about the ball’s trajectory and their opponent’s movements. The closer they come to ball contact, the more options they will rule out before committing themselves to an action. Sometimes they suddenly feel the urge to change their mind from forehand to backhand, or they ‘know’ they made the wrong choice. Although it has indeed been shown that perceptual information is continuously fed into the motor system (Selen et al., 2012), it remains unknown how this continuous flow is modulated by task demands and the state of different levels of the central and peripheral motor system.
 
The project ‘Decisions in action: interactions between perceptual and motor processes’ aims at testing hypotheses about how this continuous flow of sensory evidence into the motor system is implemented at the central and peripheral level in order to prepare for an upcoming motoric action or to revise an ongoing action. We will use different experimental paradigms and various techniques to test hypotheses about (1) the neuronal implementation of a change-of-mind, (2) the influence of the absence or presence of a rule linking sensory evidence to motor action, (3) the role of the dopaminergic system, with Parkinson as a model, for regulating the influence of perceptual information on motor preparatory activity. To tackle these questions, we will make use of a random-dot-motion paradigm in well controlled sensorimotor tasks, aided by a drift-diffusion modelling framework to quantify latent variables and link it to the physiological motoric state using EMG and EEG.

Specifications

Radboud University

Requirements

  • Educational Background: MSc in cognitive neuroscience, movement sciences, artificial intelligence, biomedical science or engineering, physics, or a related field.
  • Keen interest in model-driven experimental research in the field of sensorimotor control.
  • Creative ideas in how to transform a scientific question into an experimental paradigm.
  • Good communication skills, both in speech and writing. Particularly in the patients studies good social skills are a necessity.
  • Affinity with technically challenging setups, with robotic manipulanda and electrophysiological measurements (electromyography and electro-encephalography).
  • Good programming skills are required, both for coding experiments and quantitative data analysis (e.g. Matlab, Python, C++).
  • Previous experience with electrohysiological analyses, e.g. cortico-muscular coherence, is beneficial but not a requirement.

Conditions of employment

  • employment: 0.8 - 1.0 FTE
  • the gross starting salary amounts to €2,325 per month, and will increase to €2,972 in the fourth year (P scale)
  • in addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • term of contract: you will be appointed a PhD student for an initial period of one and a half year, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by another 2,5 years
  • UFO job profile: PhD Candidate (Promovendus)
  • you will be able to make use of our Dual Career Service where our Dual Career Officer will assist with family related support, such as child care, and help your partner prepare for the local labour market and with finding an occupation

 
You will be part of the Donders Graduate School for Cognitive Neuroscience.

Are you interested in our excellent employment conditions?

Employer

Strategically located in Europe, Radboud University is one of the leading academic communities in the Netherlands. A place with a personal touch, where top-flight education and research take place on a beautiful green campus in modern buildings with state-of-art facilities.

Department

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. Research at the Donders Institute is focused around four themes: 1. Language and communication, 2. Perception, action and control, 3. Plasticity and memory, 4. Brain networks and neuronal communication. 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 is part of the Perception, Action and Control theme and the Brain Networks and Neuronal Communication theme.
 
The advertised project will be embedded in the Sensorimotor Control group at the Donders Centre for Cognition, which is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences, one of the largest faculties at Radboud University in Nijmegen. Dr. Praamstra from the Department of Neurology at the Radboud University Medical Center will also be involved in the supervision of the PhD candidate. You will be involved in teaching activities in psychology and/or artificial intelligence.
 
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

Additional information

Luc Selen, Assistant Professor Sensorimotor Control
Telefoon: +31 24 361 26 29
l.selen@donders.ru.nl

No commercial propositions please.

Specifications

  • PhD positions
  • 30.4—38 hours per week, temporary
  • University Graduate
  • 24.30.19

Employer

Location

Comeniuslaan 4, 6525 HP, Nijmegen

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Application procedure

The intended start date is 1 September 2019.

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Apply for this job via the employer's website.

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Application procedure

Application procedure

The intended start date is 1 September 2019.

Make sure to apply no later than 6 Jun 2019.