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<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color:black">Dear all, <o:p></o:p></span></p>
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<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:black">The Galea lab (<a href="http://josephgalea.weebly.com/" target="_blank"><span style="color:black">josephgalea.weebly.com</span></a>)
 in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham (UK) has a fully-funded (for UK/EU nationals) 3-year PhD position beginning October, 2017 funded by the ERC starting grant: MotMotLearn.
<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:black"><o:p> </o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:black">Motor learning (the ability of the brain to learn and update how an action is executed) is a fundamental process which
 influences many aspects of our lives such as learning to walk during childhood; the day-to-day behavioural adjustments required as an adult or in healthy ageing; and the rehabilitation process following an illness or injury. Despite the impact to society,
 it has proved extremely difficult to develop interventions that significantly enhance human motor learning. Therefore, devising protocols which optimise motor learning is a state-of-the-art research question that promises to deliver scientific, clinical and
 societal impact.<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:black"><o:p> </o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:black">Seeking reward and avoiding punishment are powerful factors in motivating humans to alter behaviour during cognition-based
 learning (selecting which action to perform), with sensitivity to reward and punishment being biased by the availability of dopamine in the brain. Intriguingly, reward and punishment are also known to affect generic motor learning (deciding how an action is
 executed) tasks which involve multiple underlying mechanisms. However to establish their potential for optimizing motor learning, we must understand how explicit reward- and punishment-based motivational feedback impact motor learning systems with unique computational
 and anatomical features.<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:black"><o:p> </o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:black">Using a combination of behavioural analysis, computational modelling, genetics and brain imaging, this PhD project will
 contribute to the first systems-based account of how reward, punishment and dopamine influence motor learning. Specifically, the successful candidate will investigate how motor memories are consolidated across multiple days and the influence reward has on
 this process. It will further examine whether memory retention can be enhanced through reward-based implicit cues and if this process can be captured with EEG.
<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:black"><o:p> </o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:black">Dr Galea is seeking an intelligent and enthusiastic student with experience either in motor control/learning, computational
 neuroscience and/or EEG. The ideal candidate will have experience with programming in matlab, collecting data (from participants) on behavioural tasks and some understanding of statistics. A masters and/or research assistant experience would be ideal but not
 compulsory.<o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:black"><o:p> </o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:black">Psychology at the University of Birmingham<span class="apple-converted-space"> </span><a href="http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/psychology/research/index.aspx" target="_blank"><span style="color:black">www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/psychology/research/index.aspx</span></a><o:p></o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:black"><o:p> </o:p></span></p>
<p style="margin:0cm;margin-bottom:.0001pt;background:white"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:black">If interested please email your CV to:<span class="apple-converted-space"> </span><a href="mailto:j.galea@bham.ac.uk" target="_blank"><span style="color:black">j.galea@bham.ac.uk</span></a><o:p></o:p></span></p>
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