[Comp-neuro] Postdoc with Sonia Bishop in Computational Psychiatry at UC Berkeley

Peter Dayan dayan at tue.mpg.de
Mon Sep 28 17:25:30 CEST 2020

Postdoc in Computational Psychiatry at UC Berkeley

The UC Berkeley Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute is looking to hire a
postdoctoral researcher to work on an exciting, newly funded, five-year
NIH project.

This project brings together researchers with expertise in computational
psychiatry, computational and cognitive neuroscience and clinical
science from the Psychology Department and Helen Wills Neuroscience
Institute at UC Berkeley and from the Max Planck Institute for
Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany. Faculty involved include
Professor Sonia Bishop (Psychology & HWNI, UC Berkeley), Professor Anne
Collins (Psychology & HWNI, UC Berkeley), Professor Sheri Johnson
(Psychology, UC Berkeley) and Professor Peter Dayan (MPI, Tübingen,
Germany). This provides an exciting opportunity for a postdoctoral
candidate to work at the cutting edge of computational psychiatry
research and to take on a pivotal role in this team.

The aim of the project is to use a computational approach to delineate
component processes contributing to probabilistic decision-making across
positive and negative valence domains, to investigate their neural
substrate (using fMRI), and to relate abnormalities in these processes
and alterations in associated neural function to dimensional measures of
psychopathology. In addition, we aim to develop tasks and models that
can be shared with the broader computational psychiatry and RDoC
community. For pertinent theoretical and empirical work by team members
please see:


The successful applicant will have the opportunity to take an early lead
on studies conducted as part of this 5-year project and to contribute
intellectually to their development and direction.

The postdoc will be based within the Computational Psychiatry and
Affective Cognitive Neuroscience laboratory at UC Berkeley (please note,
given Covid, there may be an opportunity for remote working in year 1 -
feel free to inquire). The CPACN lab is located within the new Berkeley
Way West (BWW) building which houses the Department of Psychology and
multiple cognitive neuroscience, computational and clinical research
groups, providing a rich and stimulating scientific community. BWW is
within a 2 minute walk of the H. Wheeler Brain Imaging Center, located
within the Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences which
is home to two 3T MRI scanners and one 7T scanner. There will also be
the opportunity for annual collaborative trips to the Max Planck
Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany.

We are looking for an individual who is strongly motivated to pursue an
academic career and is excited by the opportunities for personal and
career development this position can provide. In addition to regular
interactions with, and training by, members of the project team, the
successful applicant will be able to take advantage of the many
opportunities provided by the broader scientific community at UC
Berkeley, including participation in weekly seminars and advanced
computational modelling and fMRI courses provided by the HWNI and
Psychology Department. There are also many opportunities for more
informal interactions with members of the local scientific community.

We seek postdoctoral applicants with established computational modelling
skills and a PhD in cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience or a
related discipline. Experience with fMRI is preferred but not
required. Strong programming skills (ideally in python or matlab) are
required. Candidates should have a track record of productivity and show
potential for success in working in a team environment. Good knowledge
of the computational psychiatry, decision-making, or computational
neuroscience literatures is desirable.

Qualified postdoctoral applicants should submit a current CV, a personal
statement describing their experience and interests, and contact
information for three references to sbishop at berkeley.edu (informal
enquiries also welcome). At UC Berkeley, postdoctoral salaries start at
$50,760/year depending on prior post-doctoral experience, and the
University offers medical insurance and benefits. The position is
available at this time but a delayed start is also negotiable. An
initial appointment for a one-year period will be made with potential
for extension for a further two years (or longer) depending on
successful performance.

UC Berkeley is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer with a
strong institutional commitment to excellence through diversity.
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