[visionlist] Postdoctoral position in inhibitory control

Cain, Matthew Matthew.Cain at tufts.edu
Wed Apr 4 11:37:34 -05 2018

Announcing a postdoctoral position to work collaboratively with Drs. Stephen Mitroff and Dwight Kravitz at the George Washington University and Dr. Matthew Cain at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center. The work will primarily take place at the Tufts University Center for Applied Brain and Cognitive Sciences in Medford, MA.

This position is centered around the use of big data to address novel questions about the nature of inhibitory control. Specifically, data are drawn from the mobile app “Airport Scanner,” which is a game where players serve as airport security officers and attempt to detect prohibited items in bags. As of March 2018, there are data from 14 million unique devices with 3.4 billion bags (i.e., trials). On a small percentage of these trials, there are bags with a badge telling the player that the bag belongs to an Air Marshal and they should *not* tap on the illegal item. That is, the player must inhibit their response and not do their normal act of responding to a threat. The sheer size of the dataset allows for very fine-grained analyses of trials preceding and following rare inhibition trials, which gives the potential to closely compare existing theories of inhibitory control and develop new ones.

The primary project will be to analyze existing data from Airport Scanner with an eye toward making theoretical advances in inhibitory control. This will be coupled with designing follow-up experiments (involving behavior, eye-tracking, EEG, virtual reality, and/or augmented reality, as appropriate) with the goal of applying findings in Army-relevant situations.

An ideal candidate will have a Ph.D. in psychology, cognitive science, or a related discipline, solid analytical and programming skills (Matlab and/or Python experience is a plus), a demonstrated interest in inhibitory control, and excitement for both theoretically driven and applications-oriented research.

Interested parties should contact Drs. Stephen Mitroff (mitroff at gwu.edu) and Matthew Cain (matthew.s.cain6.civ at mail.mil) with a C.V. and the contact information for two references. The position is for one year dependent on funding from the Army Research Office with possibility of renewal, contingent on funding availability. The start date has some flexibility.

Matthew S. Cain, Ph.D.
Research Psychologist
Tufts University Center for Applied Brain and Cognitive Sciences
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