[visionlist] 2 Postdoc positions: Neurocomputational mechanisms of decision making

Simon Kelly spkell at gmail.com
Sun Jan 3 05:56:03 -04 2021

Applications are invited for two 3-year postdoctoral positions in the Kelly
lab in University College Dublin, to work on a project examining the
task-adaptive role of evidence accumulation in perceptual decision making
using human neurophysiology combined with computational modelling. This
project is funded under a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award, by the
SFI-HRB-Wellcome Research Partnership.

The extent to which evidence accumulation underpins decision formation in
some or all perceptual tasks is still widely debated. Accordingly, there
now exist many distinct, alternative mathematical decision models that
limit the role of evidence accumulation in various ways, most notably
through leaky integration or "collapsing" decision bounds. The trouble is,
these alternative models can often be made to fit behavioral data equally
well but lead to fundamentally different inferences. With the rapidly
growing use of these models across many basic and clinical research
domains, it is past time that we knew whether, why and how these
alternative mechanisms are invoked across different task scenarios,
including ones representative of real life. This project will draw on novel
neurally-informed modelling approaches developed by our lab (see, e.g.
[1-3]) and others, to uncover core principles governing how
neurocomputational decision processes are flexibly adapted to diverse task

The Kelly lab is based in the School of Electrical and Electronic
Engineering in University College Dublin, Ireland, and is affiliated with
the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. It has strong collaborative
links to basic and clinical cognitive neuroscience research groups
employing a range of methods, both locally and internationally. The
successful candidate will have ample opportunities for wider collaborations
and the learning of new skills.

Interested candidates should submit their CV and a brief research statement
describing their background and research interests and how they align with
the project and the broader interests of the Kelly lab. Please submit these
materials through the UCD job vacancies site (
https://www.ucd.ie/workatucd/jobs/ - search for job ref number *012812*),
before the *deadline of Jan 11 2021*. The positions are intended to start
in April/May 2021, with some flexibility.

[1] Afacan-Seref K, Steinemann NA, Blangero A, Kelly SP. Dynamic interplay
of value and sensory information in high-speed decision making. Current
Biology. 2018. 28(5):795-802.e6.
[2] Kelly SP, Corbett EA, O'Connell RG. Neurocomputational mechanisms of
prior-informed perceptual decision making in humans. Nature Human
Behaviour. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-00967-9.
[3] O'Connell RG, Shadlen MN, Wong-Lin K, Kelly SP. Bridging Neural and
Computational Viewpoints on Perceptual Decision-Making. Trends Neurosci.
2018;41(11):838‐852. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2018.06.005

Simon Kelly, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
University College Dublin
t: +353 (1) 716 1803
e: simon.kelly at ucd.ie
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