[visionlist] PhD studentship available

Paul Downing p.downing at bangor.ac.uk
Tue Feb 14 11:28:12 GMT 2006

PhD Studentship Available

A funded PhD studentship on the general topic of "The neural bases of 
'social vision'" is now available in the School of Psychology, 
University of Wales, Bangor.

One of the critical functions of human vision is to provide accurate 
information about the identities, actions, and intentions of other 
people. This is essential for success in the social environment. The 
research in my lab uses fMRI to investigate the neural underpinnings 
of these functions. We have identified two areas of extrastriate 
visual cortex that appear to support an early phase of "social 
vision" by selectively responding to the appearance of the human 
body. We are actively engaged in research to further understand the 
functional roles of these regions (e.g. how do they contribute to 
action perception, or to identification?), their mutual interactions, 
their electrophysiological signatures, and their relationships with 
other nearby functional regions. A related area of active research is 
into how these focal, selective regions fit into the broader 
organisational scheme of non-retinotopic visual cortex.

The studentship would be held under the supervision of Dr Paul 
Downing. The PhD student would gain expertise in the neuroscience of 
human high-level vision and in the design, implementation, and 
analysis of fMRI experiments. Frequent School-wide user meetings and 
journal clubs focussed on fMRI, TMS, and neuropsychology offer 
further opportunities for development. fMRI research is currently 
conducted on an upgraded 1.5T scanner at the local hospital; from 
2007 a research-dedicated 3T will be housed in Psychology.

Successful applicants will join a thriving community of around 80 
Masters and 50 PhD students, in a School that obtained the highest 
possible ranking (5*A) in the most recent Research Assessment 
Exercise, and the highest possible ranking (Excellent) in the most 
recent Teaching Quality Assessment.

Informal enquiries can be made to:
p.downing at bangor.ac.uk

Information about Paul Downing's work can be found at:

Information about the School of Psychology can be found at:

Details about the studentship and the application procedures can be found at:

Closing date for applications: Friday, 24th March 2006
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