Postdoc in cognitive psychology and neuroscience of synaesthesia and expertise

Aalborg University - Communication and Psychology

At the Department of Communication and Psychology, The Faculty of Humanities, a position as postdoc in cognitive psychology and neuroscience of synaesthesia and expertise is available from 1 March 2017 or as soon as possible after this date. The position is available for 2 years.

Job description

As part of the project: ”Synaesthesia – the Roles of Association Learning and of Differential Brain Development”, we are looking for a candidate who will join the project for a period of two years as a post doc.

The overall research project aims to investigate the basis for synaesthesia through three specific empirical questions: At what stage of the information processing does the synaesthetic processing differ from that of non-synaesthetes (Projects 1 and 2)? How similar is the synaesthetic information processing to other known areas of differential processing such as expertise (Project 3)? What are the neural substrates of synaesthesia (Project 4)?

The post doc will mainly focus on part 3 of the project, investigating the relationship between synaesthesia and expertise through behavioural experiments, and is expected to collaborate partly with a later neuroimaging post doc extending project 3 into project 4.

The goal of the overall project is to investigate the causes of different sensory experiences in people with and without synaesthesia. Specifically, similarities between expertise based processing and synaesthesia. A number of prior studies have investigated the similarities between expertise and synaesthesia; for example, whether synaesthesia relies on expertise through training (e.g. Colizoli, et al. 2012; Bor et al., 2014), can synaesthesia be learned from environmental cues (Witthoft & Winawer, 2006), and does it develop gradually (Simner & Bain, 2013; Sørensen, Nordfang, & Ásgeirsson, in review).

The post doc is expected to work along two main lines of inquiry on the project. The first line will attempt to extend previous synaesthesia training studies (e.g. Colizoli, et al. 2012; Bor et al., 2014) and the second will investigate the similarities and possible differences in cognitive processing styles between synaesthetes and experts.    

Preference is given to applicants with a background in one or more of the following; knowledge of experimental psychology, psychophysics, cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, statistics, programming (e.g. MATLAB, Python, etc.), attention, perception, learning and memory, and synaesthesia.

The post doc is an integral part of the Synaesthesia Project within the Department of Communication and Psychology and the candidate will be connected to the knowledge group Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience within the Department of Communication and Psychology.

Qualification requirements

Applicants are expected to have a solid background within experimental psychology and cognitive psychology, and preferably also prior experience with research on synaesthesia and/or expertise. Applicants are expected to have strong analytical abilities, and exhibit high degrees of independence and maturity in their research work as they are expected to extend the existing project ideas. Finally, it is important that the candidate can integrate into the research group on synaesthesia at Aalborg University, as well as take part of the broader international collaborations.

Everyone interested is encouraged to apply, regardless of age, gender, religion or ethnicity.

Any enquiries about the position may be addressed to Head of Department Mikael Vetner, email, telephone (+45) 9940 7263, or Associate Professor Thomas Alrik Sørensen, email, telephone (+45) 31 33 3793. 

Any enquiries relating to the application procedure should be addressed to Malene Steen at the Faculty Office via email or telephone (+ 45) 9940 7959. Your application including attachments must be sent electronically by clicking the “Apply online” link below.

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