[Comp-neuro] Modeler postdoc position available at Ohio State U

Alex Petrov apetrov at alexpetrov.com
Sat Jul 21 00:56:26 CEST 2012

Dear Computational Neuroscientist,

A post-doctoral position will soon become available at the Laboratory  
of Cognitive Modeling and Computational Cognitive Neuroscience at the  
Psychology Department of the Ohio State University.  The position is  
funded by an NIH grant aimed at developing a Dual-Process Model of  
Perceptual Learning (Dimple). The PI on the grant is Dr. Alex Petrov  
(OSU) in collaboration with Dr. Todd Maddox (U Texas at Austin).  We  
seek a post-doctoral researcher with strong computational skills and  
interests in neural network modeling of spatial vision, perceptual  
learning, categorization, and/or decision making. This training  
opportunity involves a variety of methods, close collaboration with  
the PI, and is geared toward producing high-impact theoretical  
contributions. The initial appointment will be for 12 months,  
renewable for another year, and potentially longer depending on  
funding.  The start date is expected to be in September or October  
2012, pending final determination of the availability of funds. Salary  
and benefits will conform to NIH postdoctoral rates.

= Summary of Duties =
The position involves working in close collaboration with the PI on  
the development and Matlab implementation of the Dimple model.  As  
this is a neural-network model, expertise in connectionism and/or  
computational neuroscience is essential. As the model takes grayscale  
images as inputs, expertise in vision science, image processing,  
and/or computer vision is desirable. Dimple builds a bridge between  
the research literature on perceptual learning (PL) and that on  
perceptual categorization (PC) and perceptual decision making. Thus,  
familiarity with any of these fields will also be an asset. The  
post-doctoral researcher will conduct extensive simulations with  
various models using the resources of the Ohio Supercomputer Center.  
The researcher will also participate in the design and Matlab  
implementation of psychophysical experiments, the statistical analysis  
of behavioral data, and the empirical validation and testing of Dimple  
and related models. They will also be involved in the supervision of  
doctoral students and undergraduate research assistants, as well as in  
the preparation of papers for publication and presentation at seminars  
and conferences.

= Qualifications =
The applicants must have a PhD or an equivalent degree in computer  
science, psychology, cognitive science, theoretical neuroscience, or a  
related field, completed by their first day on the job. The applicants  
must also have first-hand experience in modeling -- preferably  
neural-network modeling of visual cognition, categorization, and/or  
decision making, although applicants with solid expertise in other  
domains (e.g., attention, memory) and other modeling frameworks (e.g.,  
mathematical, Bayesian, production systems) will be considered as  
well. Programming skills are also required, preferably in Matlab, R,  
or Python. In addition to these strict requirements (PhD + modeling +  
programming), any prior experience with any of the following topics  
will be to the candidate's advantage: the Leabra architecture and the  
Emergent neural network simulator (http://grey.colorado.edu/emergent),  
the Neural Engineering Framework and the Nengo simulator  
(http://nengo.ca), the ACT-R cognitive architecture  
(http://act-r.psy.cmu.edu), OpenBUGS (http://www.openbugs.info),  
Psychtoolbox (http://psychtoolbox.org), diffusion model analysis  
toolbox (DMAT, http://ppw.kuleuven.be/okp/software/dmat/), machine  
learning, image processing, object recognition, statistical data  
analysis (e.g., the nlme package in R), visual psychophysics, eye  
tracking, experimental design, etc.  Successful applicants will have  
the opportunity to gain skills in each of these areas.  Most  
importantly, we seek creative individuals willing to work hard,  
explore new approaches, and push cognitive science forward.

= Background =
Detailed information about the lab is available at  
http://cogmod.osu.edu and from Dr. Petrov's web page  
(http://alexpetrov.com). Information about the Maddox Lab is available  
at http://homepage.psy.utexas.edu/homepage/Group/MaddoxLAB/index.htm.

Representative publications related to the project:
* Petrov, A. A., Dosher, B. A., & Lu, Z.-L. (2005). The Dynamics of  
Perceptual Learning: An Incremental Reweighting Model. Psychological  
Review, 112 (4), 715-743. http://alexpetrov.com/pub/perclearn/
* Ashby, F. G., Paul, E., & Maddox, W. T. (2011). COVIS.  In E.M.  
Pothos & A.J. Wills (Eds), Formal approaches to categorization (pp.  
65-87). New York: Cambridge UP.  
* Petrov, A. A. (2012, abstract). A dual process model of perceptual  
learning. http://www.visionsciences.org/abstract_detail.php?id=1531

= How to Apply =
Please send your application by email to apetrov [at] cogmod [dot] osu  
[dot] edu.  Please include a brief statement outlining your research  
interests and highlighting your modeling experience. Also include a  
curriculum vitae and contact details for two or three references (no  
actual letters are required at this stage, but will be gladly received  
and read if available). Feel free to include (or point to) PDF  
reprints of one or two representative publications. The review of  
applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is  
filled. Appointments are contingent on the availability of funds. OSU  
is an equal-opportunity affirmative-action employer. Women and  
minorities are encouraged to apply.

Alexander A. Petrov:  apetrov at cogmod.osu.edu

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210

It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.

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