[visionlist] phd position at university of aberdeen

Martinovic, Jasna j.martinovic at abdn.ac.uk
Tue Mar 16 16:50:41 GMT 2010

Interactions between bottom-up and top-down biases in the processing of colour; a fully-funded PhD project at the School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen

Project description

The efficiency of attentional selection depends on two factors: the saliency of the stimulus (bottom-up processing, driven by exogenous cues) and the adopted perceptual set (top-down processing, driven by endogenous cues). Relations between these stimulus and task-driven factors are still poorly understood. However, it seems that in difficult tasks, when stimuli compete for limited perceptual resources, endogenous cueing interacts with exogenous cues such as stimulus saliency.  In real-life situations, the visual system is habitually presented with the difficult task of selecting stimuli from diverse and dynamic scenes. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that interactions between bottom-up and top-down biases are the norm, rather than an exception.  Preliminary work, using psychophysics and steady-state visual evoked potentials in the EEG, indicates multiplicative, independent effects of saliency and top-down selection in a continuous stimulus domain such as luminance. The current project will look for interactions between colour saliency and cueing in colour selection using the same methods. Due to the discontinuous nature of colour as a stimulus dimension, there may be interactions between bottom-up and top-down factors dependent on both low-level and high-level colour representations. This will extend the previous work on colour selection derived from visual search paradigms into the domain of complex dynamic displays and will complement it with insights into underlying neural processes through the use of EEG.

The project is based at the School of Psychology of the University of Aberdeen and will be supervised by Dr Jasna Martinovic and Prof Arash Sahraie.

School of Psychology has state-of-the-art EEG facilities, including two 64-electrode Biosemi ActiveTwo EEG systems. Vision Research Laboratories within the School are equipped with multiple psychophysical workstations and a high-resolution eye tracking system (EyeLink 1000). The succesful candidate will join an active group of vision researchers comprising of academic and research staff and students.

Information for applicants

Candidates must be eligible for UK/EU fee status and should hold a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree, a Masters degree or an equivalent qualification.  Candidates should have a background in visual  perception, neuroscience, cognitive psychology or a related field. Programming skills (e.g. Matlab, C) and previous experience with electrophysiology, psychophysics and signal processing methods are highly desirable.

If you would like to be considered for this position, please send a cover letter, an up-to-date CV and names of two referees to Dr Jasna Martinovic (j.martinovic at abdn.ac.uk<mailto:j.martinovic at abdn.ac.uk>).

Dr Jasna Martinovic
School of Psychology
University of Aberdeen
William Guild Building
AB24 2UB

tel: 01224 272240
email: j.martinovic @ abdn.ac.uk
web: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/~psy527/dept/

The University of Aberdeen is a charity registered in Scotland, No SC013683.
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