[Comp-neuro] PhD and postdoctoral stipends in vision or computational neuroscience

Fred Hamker fhamker at uni-muenster.de
Tue Dec 11 09:38:28 CET 2007

Several PhD and postdoctoral stipends in vision or computational  
neuroscience are available at the Dept. of Psychology, University of  
Münster, Germany in association with a European consortium concerned  
with high-level visual scene understanding. The consortium aims at an  
active view on scene perception combining computer vision,  
computational neuroscience, robotics, visual psychophysics,  
oculomotor function, and neurophysiology. It is formed by partner  
labs in Germany, Italy, Spain, and Belgium.

The groups of Prof. Markus Lappe and Dr. Fred Hamker in Münster  
pursue a theoretical and model-driven approach to experimental  
psychology/neuroscience in the field of visual perception and its  
cognitive control. We form an interdisciplinary research community  
with members coming from psychology, biology, computer science,  
electrical engineering, mathematics and physics. More information  
about the groups can be found at http://wwwpsy.uni-muenster.de/ 

Applications are invited for the following projects:

A. Oculomotor commands in visuo-spatial awareness. This project  
investigates the contribution of motor signals of saccadic eye  
movements to the awareness of visual space. We hypothesize that motor  
signals used for saccade execution are also used for the perception  
of spatial locations, and that, because these motor signals are  
plastic, perceptual awareness of peripersonal space is dynamic as  
well. Using saccadic adaption as an experimental paradigm the project  
will study the shaping of perceptual space by sensorimotor  
contingencies. Depending on the interest of the candidate the project  
can be pursued with either experimental or computational approaches.

B. Joint attention in a common workspace. Cooperative behavior  
between interacting humans can form a shared workspace and a shared  
control of attention within this workspace by using eye movements and  
knowledge about the contingencies of the shared task. Social  
cognition and mirroring networks are important for this. In human- 
human experiments this project will clarify how shared workspace/ 
shared attention is established and maintained between partners and  
how it depends on task settings and sensorimotor contingencies.  
Concurrent eye- and hand-tracking of two actors sharing a visual- 
spatial task will be used to experimentally monitor attention and  
performance of both actors simultaneously.

C. Model of attention tracking based on action planning and eye  
movement observation. The principles of human shared attention shall  
be used to construct a computational model of cooperative behavior  
that monitors the overt attention of a cooperation partner and  
predicts the partner’s actions in a well-defined interaction  
scenario. This project is linked to project B and will make use of  
the experimental data obtained in that project.

D. Cognitive control of visual perception. Vision requires high-level  
cognitive control in form of visual-visual and visual-reward  
associations, specifically when vision is embedded into a task that  
requires to interact with the environment. This computational project  
aims at developing a neuro-computational model of cognitive control  
based on the present knowledge of the prefrontal cortex and basal  
ganglia. For more information see: http://wwwpsy.uni-muenster.de/ 

E. Dynamic model of object recognition in the near workspace. In this  
computational project we will develop algorithms for learning  
receptive fields at different levels of abstraction in visual  
processing, including stereo information for depth perception and  
color. The learned receptive fields will be compared to observations  
made in different brain areas of human and monkey. For more  
information see: http://wwwpsy.uni-muenster.de/Psychologie.inst2/ 

The positions are available for up to 3 years (from March 2008 or  
later) and are funded according to guidelines for stipends from the  
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. A degree in psychology, computer  
science, electrical engineering, physics, mathematics or biology is a  
prerequisite. Experience in programming (C++, Matlab), applied  
mathematics, and neural modeling is of significant advantage. PhD  
candidates are encouraged to apply for the interdisciplinary PhD  
Program of the Otto-Creutzfeldt-Center for Behavioral and Cognitive  
Neuroscience (www.occ-muenster.de)

Please send applications by January 15th 2008 per email (PDF  
preferred) to mlappe at psy.uni-muenster.de (projects A - C) or  
fhamker at uni-muenster.de (projects D and E).

The university is an equal opportunity employer. Women are encouraged  
to apply. Disabled applicants will receive priority in case they have  
equal qualifications.

Dr. Fred H Hamker
Institute of Psychology
Westf. Wilhelms-Universitaet Muenster
Fliednerstr. 21
D-48149 Münster

Tel:+49 (0)251/83-34171
Fax:+49 (0)251/83-34180
email: fhamker at uni-muenster.de
www: http://wwwpsy.uni-muenster.de/Psychologie.inst2/AELappe/personen/ 

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