PhD Studentship - Efficient Coding in Touch

University of Sheffield

Fully Funded PhD Scholarship in Psychology at the University of Sheffield

This is one of many projects in competition for the current funding opportunities available within the Department of Psychology

Project title: Efficient coding in touch

Primary supervisor: Dr Hannes Saal

Co-supervisor(s): Dr S Wilson

Project description: Efficient coding models can successfully explain the emergence of different features detectors along the visual pathway, such as center-surround receptive fields, simple and complex cells, and even higher-level visual neurons. However, whether this approach also works to explain the tuning of somatosensory neurons is currently unknown. Indeed, a unified understanding of somatosensory cortical neurons, similar to the simple/complex cell dichotomy in the visual system, does not exist at present, with only a vague understanding of what features these neurons are responsive too. This project will explore cortical feature tuning in the somatosensory system through the lens of efficient coding.

This PhD project is suitable for applicants with a background in computational neuroscience or robotics.

Start date: 1 October 2018

Requirements: Applicants must have a minimum of a first class or high upper second-class undergraduate honours degree and a distinction or high merit at Masters level in psychology or a related discipline.

Funding: Tuition fees £4,194 per year Living Expenses £14,500.00

Science Graduate School

As a PhD student in one of the science departments at the University of Sheffield, you'll be part of the Science Graduate School. You'll get access to training opportunities designed to support your career development by helping you gain professional skills that are essential in all areas of science. You'll be able to learn how to recognise good research and research behaviour, improve your communication abilities and experience the breadth of technologies that are used in academia, industry and many related careers. Visit to learn more.

For further details and the application process please visit:

Closing date for applications is 5pm Wednesday 24 January 2018

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