[Comp-neuro] CORRECTION: Neural network modelling of motor control: 30 week postdoctoral position in New Zealand

Alistair Knott alik at cs.otago.ac.nz
Wed Oct 28 01:45:36 CET 2015


We are seeking applications for a short-term postdoctoral researcher, to develop a neural network model of the learning and execution of actions that move an effector or controlled target object along a prespecified trajectory. The project will focus on movements that bring an agent’s hand into a goal location, or that transport an object carried by the hand to a goal place: for instance, the kinds of movement described by the sentences ‘John put his hand on the table’ or ‘Mary put the cup onto the table’.

In such actions, there is evidence that the controlled object’s trajectory is defined in a coordinate system centred on the environment: for instance, that the hand or the cup moves in a relatively straight line in Cartesian space in simple point-to-point actions (see e.g. Cisek, 2005). The focus of the project is to model the mechanism that learns to map motor actions, defined in motor coordinates, onto environment-centred trajectories. The modelling work will contribute to an ongoing project modelling the interface between sensorimotor mechanisms and natural language, and will extend an existing model of the learning and control of motor actions. 

Cisek, P (2005). Neural representations of motor plans, desired trajectories, and controlled objects. Cognitive Processes 6:15–24.

The fixed-term position is for 30 weeks, starting in February or March 2016, on the Postdoctoral Fellow salary scale ($74,046 per annum). It is based at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Otago in New Zealand, under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Alistair Knott.  The department has an active neural networks programme with five academic staff working in this area, and two more working in related areas of computer vision.

If you have questions about the project, please contact Alistair Knott (alik at cs.otago.ac.nz).

See here for more information about this position, including details about how to apply. The deadline for applications is November 22nd 2015. 

Otago University is in Dunedin, a university town on the South-East coast of New Zealand's South Island. Dunedin sits on a spectacular harbour, with unspoiled beaches for wildlife and surfing, and lies within a few hours' drive of Queenstown and Wanaka in the Southern Alps. 
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