[Comp-neuro] PhD studentship in study of body ownership

Slawomir Jaroslaw Nasuto s.j.nasuto at reading.ac.uk
Mon Jun 18 19:04:56 CEST 2012

University of Reading, UK,

School of Systems Engineering and

the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics

Project title: Virtual Hand - study in body ownership (how the brain models our own body)

Department/School: Brain Embodiments Lab at School of Systems Engineering, and Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics, University of Reading.

Supervisors: Dr. Slawomir Nasuto, Prof Doug Saddy, Prof William Harwin and Dr Nick Holmes.

Project Overview: The feeling of body ownership arises as a result of the integration of multisensory information arriving at the central nervous system from the periphery. These integrative processes are effortless and automatic, so that body ownership (identification with one's biological body) and agency (identification as the agent of wilful actions) blend in our everyday feeling of self. However, under some circumstances these mechanisms break down, leading to some disturbing and often painful phenomena such as phantom limb.

This project aims to unravel how the brain integrates the multiple information streams with motor control and will thus contribute to better understanding how the notion of 'self' is constructed. The candidate will develop a novel experimental platform integrating a multisensory feedback system based around a virtual environment and haptic interfaces, together with a Brain Computer Interface decoding motor intentions.

The candidate will join a multidisciplinary and nurturing environment, and will collaborate closely with researchers at Systems Engineering, and the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics.

We are seeking an outstanding and highly motivated candidate who will have to be passionate about research, have interdisciplinary interests spanning cognitive sciences and engineering, and knowledge of the technologies behind Brain Computer Interfaces.


Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelors Degree in a relevant subject (e.g., cognitive psychology, cybernetics, engineering, physics, mathematics, computer science)

Good analytic skills and knowledge of signal processing and statistics

Good programming skills (e.g., MATLAB, Python, C/C++) for data collection and analysis

Ability to contribute to the design of experimental hardware

Due to restrictions on funding, this studentship is only open to candidates from the UK/EU and those with permit to leave or remain in the UK

Funding Details: The studentship will be supported by an EPSRC project, will include an annual stipend as set by the EPSRC, and will cover tuition fees and research training costs.

Start date: 1st October 2012

Duration: 36 months

How to apply: To apply for this studentship please submit a PhD application to the University - see http://www.reading.ac.uk/Study/apply/pg-applicationform.aspx

A statement regarding your suitability for this research studentship should be included in the 'Description of Proposed Research' section at the end of the application form.

Please mark a studentship reference number GS12-09 clearly on the form.

Application Deadline: 29 June 2012

Further Enquiries: For further details please contact Dr Slawomir J Nasuto (s.j.nasuto at reading.ac.uk) or Professor Doug Saddy (dsaddy at gmail.com)

Slawomir J Nasuto
Reader in Cybernetics
School Director of Postgraduate Research Studies
School of Systems Engineering
University of Reading
Reading, RG6 6AY, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 118 378 6701
Fax: +44 (0) 118 378 8220

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