Openings

Tenure-track* researcher position

* tenure will be evaluated within a year of the initial contract 

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Applications are invited for a tenure-track researcher position in the Cognition and Brain Dynamics research team of Virginie van Wassenhove. The lab is hosted at NeuroSpin (Dir. Prof Stanislas Dehaene) on the plateau de Saclay near Paris, France. Salary will be commensurate with experience. Application closing date is set to April 22nd 2018 and pre-selected candidates will be interviewed in May. Earliest start date is planned for September 2018.

Profile: The successful candidate will have a competitive record of publications in cognitive neuroscience and a demonstrated expertise using MEG.

Duties: The successful candidate will contribute to ongoing research in the Cognition and Brain Dynamics team and develop his or her own cutting-edge research in cognitive neuroscience, which should be relevant and complementary to the ongoing work in the team (https://brainthemind.com; e.g.: neural oscillations, temporal (meta)cognition, mental time travel, multisensory integration,…). The successful candidate will also dedicate some of his/her time in providing MEG support to members of the team and collaborators. This supporting role will consist in advising neuroscientists and clinical users in the design of their protocols as well as consolidate and contribute various methods developed in the team in collaboration with the mne-python (https://martinos.org/mne/stable/index.html) community.

Additional responsibilities include:

  • Participation in the design, evaluation and implementation of MEG studies;
  • Design and conduction of cognitive neuroscience experiments;
  • Management, analysis and publication of quantitative data and theoretical insights;
  • Effective communication of research findings internationally;
  • Active contribution to the scientific liveliness and strategy of the team;

Eligible qualifications for this position include:

  • PhD in Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Experimental Psychology, or related discipline;
  • Research track records in cognitive neuroscience as demonstrated by peer-reviewed publications as first and/or last author;
  • Extensive hands-on MEG experience including experimental design and setup, data acquisition, pre-processing and analysis;
  • Proven skills and expertise in data analysis using one or more common tools (MNE, Fieldtrip, SPM, Brainstorm, etc.);
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, assertive and proactive;
  • Experience in seeking grants;
  • Strong coding aptitudes, proficiency in Python, Matlab.

Please, submit a letter detailing your current research interests, a curriculum vitae, and the contact information of up to three individuals who can provide a letter of recommendation to Virginie.van.Wassenhove @ gmail.com with “CANDIDATE” in the headline.

 

 


Internship (master): Tracking decision processes in temporal metacognition (with Tadeusz Kononowicz)

Metacognition is the ability to know about one’s thoughts, actions, and cognitive processes. In daily life, self-monitoring and action evaluation typically involve some form of time keeping, from very basic movements to sophisticated movement timing when creating enjoyable artistic expressions. To keep track of the passage of time the brain has to rely on its internally generated dynamics, which poses an interesting problem from the metacognitive perspective. To gain insight into the precision of its own timing process, the brain has to make sense of its internally-generated neural dynamics: one hypothesis is that the brain encodes the passage of time by mapping its internal-dynamics with external temporal statistics. The outcome of such process results is the ability to intelligibly infer one’s magnitude estimation and is referred to as temporal metacognition.

In practice, we ask human participants to produce time intervals by keeping a button pressed for 2 sec. Afterwards, participants are asked to estimate whether they over or underestimated duration i.e. the signed magnitude of their temporal estimates. We find that participants can reliably track the magnitude of internally generated time intervals providing evidence for the temporal metacognitive process tracking produced duration.

We are now developing a new set of studies to elucidate which decision mechanisms in the brain govern temporal metacognition. During this specific internship, you will take part in the investigation of decision processes that support metacognition by using variations of the described methodology. As an intern, you will be involved in the design of psychophysiological experiments targeting temporal metacognition. The internship will involve the use of continuous eye movement tracking techniques and/or continuous finger tracking techniques. You will learn to perform and analyze the outcomes of the behavioral experiments using various statistical techniques and learn how to design and acquire human brain activity non-invasively.

The candidate will have a good mastery of the English language, a good understanding or willingness to learn about the topic, programming skills in python or matlab are a plus.

 


Internship (master): Assessing the relationship between implicit and explicit timing in the human brain (with Sophie Herbst)

The perception of time in humans can be implicit or explicit. By implicit timing, we refer to the capacity humans, and animals alike, have to anticipate the temporal regularities in the world without paying much attention to it. For instance, the timing of color changes in traffic lights, or the typical duration of the closing of the doors in the metro/rer. By contrast, we refer to explicit timing, the ability we have to explicitly and intelligibly report when 15 seconds have passed, the time it took you to read the text, or the observation that you can pay attention to a property of events in the world that we refer loosely refer to as “time”. There is currently no consensus on how the human brain maps the time dimension in our minds, and this project is part of this general question.

During this internship, you will take part in ongoing team efforts to investigate to which extent implicit temporal information can be predictive of explicit time intervals. The intern will help developing human experimental protocols, acquire and analyze magnetoencephalography (MEG) brain data in collaboration with a postdoctoral fellow who is an expert in time perception research. The project includes sophisticated analyses (time-frequency, cross-frequency coupling) and decoding of MEG recordings to understand the role of neural oscillations in time perception.

The candidate will have a good mastery of the English language, a good understanding or willingness to learn signal processing, and programming skills in python or matlab.