[visionlist] Two weeks left to apply: PhD program in Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience at American University (Dec 1)

Laurie Bayet lauriebayet at gmail.com
Wed Nov 15 22:43:25 -04 2023

Dear all,

Applications to the PhD program in Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience
(BCaN) at American University, Washington DC, are currently invited
through *December
1* for a Fall 2024 start. Prospective students may apply now at:
https://www.american.edu/cas/neuroscience/phd/requirements.cfm (GRE
optional), mentioning the name(s) of the specific faculty they are
interested in working with within their statement of purpose. For inquiries
about waiving the application fee, please contact the PhD program director
at mark.laubach at american.edu (first generation college students, among
others, are generally eligible for the waiver).

The following *cognitive neuroscience* faculty are anticipating accepting a
PhD student this cycle:

*Dr. Laurie Bayet *directs the *Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience lab*,
which focuses on infant cognitive and visual development. The lab combines
neuroimaging (EEG, fNIRS), eye-tracking, behavioral methods, and
computational (e.g., machine learning) tools to uncover how infants and
young children learn to interpret complex visual objects, such as those
that are relevant to affective, social communication. Current areas of
focus include (1) the early development of high-level visual
representations, in comparison to computational models of vision; and (2)
social and affective communication understanding in typical-risk and
elevated-risk infants. Prior experience with either
developmental/neuroimaging research or programming/ machine learning (we
use Python, Matlab, and/or R) is strongly preferred but not strictly
required, as training will be provided. The lab is currently funded by the
National Science Foundation, a NARSAD Young Investigator Award from the
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, a Toffler Scholar Award from the
Karen Toffler Charitable Trust, and American University. Our work involves
local, domestic, and international collaborations, and has been recognized
by a Rising Star award from the Association for Psychological Science and a
Distinguished Early Career Contribution Award from the International
Congress of Infant Studies. Learn more: https://www.bayetlab.com/

*Dr. Emily Grossnickle Peterson* directs the *Educational Neuroscience Lab*.
The Ed Neuro Lab investigates the thinking and reasoning skills that impact
learning science and mathematics, and examines the role of motivations such
as interest and curiosity. We are especially interested in understanding
curiosity and visual-spatial reasoning in science. At the heart of our work
is a desire to reduce disparities among individuals typically
under-represented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics) fields by conducting research that contributes to a deeper
understanding of how students engage with science and mathematics. We
conduct research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and
educational settings, and we apply methods from psychology, neuroscience,
and education to study learning in the laboratory and in K-12 schools.
Research in the lab is supported by grants from the National Science
Foundation and the National Academy of Education. Learn more:

*Dr. Bei Xiao* directs the *Computational Perception lab*, which focuses on
human vision, computer vision and computational modeling of perception. The
main topic of this PhD is to understand neural representation of objects
and materials. Specifically, we study how humans estimate object properties
and plan interactions in an immersive multimodal environment using
generative AI, Human Psychophysics, EEG and functional brain imaging
methods. We use a combination of psychophysics, deep learning, generative
AI, VR/AR, computer graphics, EEG/MEG methods. The candidate will receive
hands-on training in one or several of these areas. Besides this topic, we
also study the visual development of material and object perception in
infancy and early childhood through a collaboration with Laurie Bayet in
the Department of Neuroscience using behavioral and EEG methods.  In
addition, Xiao lab also studies computer vision and collaborates with
researchers at Virginia Tech, NIH/NEI, George Mason University, University
of Giessen, and the University of Tokyo. These collaborations allow the
candidate the opportunity to work on a variety of related topics. To learn
more about the Xiao lab: https://sites.google.com/site/beixiao/

The BCaN PhD program is hosted by the Center for Neuroscience and Behavior (
https://www.american.edu/cas/center-neuroscience) at American University,
which involves more than 20 faculty conducting research on the mind and
brain across multiple departments including Neuroscience, Psychology,
Computer Science, Biology, and the School of Education. The program
provides 4 years of guaranteed funding including a TA-ship, with additional
funding based on other sources (such as faculty grant support).

American University provides a stimulating intellectual environment, just 2
miles from downtown Washington DC. DC offers a vibrant research community,
and American University enjoys proximity to other notable research
institutions. With extensive public transit, an exciting cultural and
restaurant scene, many museums and public parks, and proximity to other
green spaces in the surrounding region (e.g., Appalachian trail, Shenandoah
National Park), Washington DC consistently ranks amongst the top US
metropolitan areas for quality of life.

(Apologies for cross-posting)

All the best,

Laurie Bayet, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neuroscience,
American University
(202) 885-1719
bayet at american.edu
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