[visionlist] 6 position openings (PhD students and postdocs) on Excellence of Science (EOS) research program on human visual categorization

Johan Wagemans johan.wagemans at kuleuven.be
Thu May 17 03:02:36 -05 2018

Excellence of Science (EOS) position openings to work on human visual categorization
We have several position openings for PhD students and postdoctoral researchers to conduct research on ¡°Fundamental mechanisms of human visual categorization: Neural basis, development and plasticity¡±. This research program has received generous funding from the EOS (¡°Excellence of Science¡±), a joint funding scheme from FWO and FNRS (the two largest science foundations in Belgium). The Principal Investigators are Bart Boets, Hans Op de Beeck and Johan Wagemans (from KU Leuven) and Olivier Collignon, Val¨¦rie Goffaux and Bruno Rossion (from UC Louvain), in an international collaboration with Antony Norcia (Stanford) and Serge Dumoulin (Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging in Amsterdam).
This research consortium will aim at understanding the cognitive mechanisms and neural basis of visual categorization, a fundamental brain function by (1) generating a core of knowledge integrated in a coherent conceptualization of how visual signals are integrated to form categories in the human ventral occipito-temporal cortex (VOTC) with high field fMRI and intracerebral recordings using fast presentation of natural visual images; (2) assessing the flexibility of brain mechanisms underlying the neural circuitry for perceptual categorization in natural experts, sensory deprived populations and animals lacking categorical representations without training and (3) investigating how these mechanisms develop in typical and atypical populations shedding light on our understanding of key neurodevelopmental disorders (cerebral visual impairment, autism, dyslexia, congenital cataract).
Currently, we have 6 open positions:
1. A PhD student (4 years) or postdoc (3 years) to perform high©\resolution imaging at 7T, in order to characterize category-selective VOTC regions in more detail than possible with 3T, to investigate how many regions we have for one particular category and how the functional regions relate to anatomy and cytoarchitecture (see https://www.kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/jobs/54646102).
2. A PhD student<https://www.kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/jobs/54642696> (4 years) or postdoc<https://www.kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/jobs/54643004> (3 years) to investigate how the interplay between low-level regions encoding the ¡°parts¡± and high-level regions encoding the ¡°wholes¡± changes dynamically over time, using new psychophysical paradigms (with ¡°the eidolon factory<http://www.gestaltrevision.be/pdfs/papers/2017/Koenderink_et_al_JOV_201703.pdf>¡±) in combination with multiple imaging techniques (e.g., MVPA of 3T or 7T fMRI, EEG with fast period stimulation, connectivity analysis).
3. A PhD student (4 years) or postdoc (3 years) to study nonvisual responses in early blind individuals, including the presence of topographic mapping in V1 and domain specialization in VOTC (using MVPA or RSA) (see attached file ¡°blind¡±).
4. A PhD student (4 years) or postdoc (3 years) to study visual expertise in early deaf individuals, including population receptive field mapping of the entire visual field (focusing on the far periphery) and functional tuning of the visual word form area for sign language (see attached file ¡°deaf¡±).
5. A PhD student (4 years) to study visual learning in rodents through a combination of psychophysics, high-field fMRI imaging, and invasive electrophysiology (see https://www.kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/jobs/54646104).
6. A PhD student (4 years) to investigate the processing of social and emotional auditory cues using periodic auditory stimulation EEG (see https://www.kuleuven.be/personeel/jobsite/jobs/54647368).

The PhD students and postdocs will be employed at one of the two host institutions (KU Leuven or UC Louvain) but the actual work will be carried out in close collaboration with one or two PI¡¯s from the partner institutes. A genuine interest in collaborative work, as well as some flexibility and mobility are therefore a requirement.
Interested candidates can apply for one or more these positions by following the procedure indicated on the weblinks before June 6.

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