|Funding for:||UK Students, EU Students, International Students|
|Funding amount:||£17,668 pa|
|Placed On:||25th November 2022|
|Closes:||17th January 2023|
This PhD project will be supervised by Dr Sam Berens and at least one other academic from the University of Sussex (to be decided once the research proposal is confirmed).
How do we learn to solve problems for which we have little prior experience? Imagine you are foraging for dinner in an unfamiliar forest. You discover a delicious fruit that grows atop a particular type of tree. In order to have enough to eat, you must visit many different trees, yet there is a problem; the largest trees bear the most fruit but take the longest time to climb. You must quickly learn which trees are worth climbing and which are not. How do we learn new concepts like ‘a worthwhile tree’ and generalise this information to make good decisions in different situations? Neural network models provide a powerful framework for understanding this kind of learning. However, the (often surprising) predictions that they make have yet to be tested in humans. Furthermore, it is unclear when and how artificial neural networks and humans can generalise what they have learnt to novel situations (so-called out-of-distribution generalisation). During this PhD, you will examine the mechanisms which allow us to learn generalisable concepts that provide a basis for flexible decision-making. This work will involve a variety of techniques, including computational modelling, behavioural data analysis, and functional neuroimaging (fMRI).
Keywords: Learning, Memory, Generalisation, Inference.
Doctoral Tutor role
You will also be expected to take up Doctoral Tutoring during your 6 semesters (3 years) of funding. This work is paid at Grade 5.1 (currently £13.88 per hour), and covers contact time, preparation and marking. You will be expected to work approximately 165 hours per year, dependent on modules selected and availability.
Doctoral Tutors will be encouraged to study for a formal teaching accreditation (Associate of the Higher Education Academy), including enrolling on a ‘starting to teach’ module in the first term. Candidates who demonstrate interest in and suitability for the Doctoral Tutor role will be preferred.
For more information about funding and applying, please read the full advert, as well as our Psychology PhD FAQS and our Prospectus. Please submit your application online for 'PhD in Psychology' for entry in September 2023.
Deadline: Tuesday 17 January 2023 (23:59 GMT)
Interviews (on Zoom): February 2023
Type / Role: