|Funding for:||UK Students, EU Students, International Students|
|Funding amount:||Fully funded PhD position|
|Placed On:||20th March 2023|
|Closes:||1st June 2023|
The Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD) in London is offering a 3-year fully funded PhD position in developmental psychology. This project will make use of the newly developed Toddlerlab: a dedicated 5-story research facility developed for studying toddler and preschool development in naturalistic environments.
Supervisors : Dr. Ori Ossmy (www.oriossmy.com)
This project integrates developmental psychology, neuroscience, and computer science to determine developmental changes in how planning unfolds moment to moment (from gathering perceptual information, to neural processing, to action execution) and how the sensory modality affects those changes. Our key motivating hypothesis in this project is that changes in children's sensory modalities lead to developmental changes in action planning by calibrating a real-time interactive system of perceptual, neural, and motor processes, which in turn facilitates high-level planning at a later age.
(AIM1) Test changing relations longitudinally between information gathering and action planning. We hypothesize that efficient and adaptive planning emerges from developmental changes in when and how children gather sensory information. Specifically, we predict an earlier shift in information gathering with development that leads to better planning. For example, when using tools such as hammering a peg with a handle that points toward the non-dominant hand, children must plan a few steps ahead by grasping the hammer with a nonhabitual, underhand grip that allows for a smooth transition to an efficient, overhand grip to pound.
(AIM2) Test the relations between sensory modality and action planning. We hypothesize that the source of perceptual information determines the effects of information gathering on planning. Specifically, we will test two predictions which follow this hypothesis. First, we predict that eliminating haptic information will force children to use earlier visual\perceptual cues and will enhance planning; and second, we predict that adding predictive auditory information will lead to more planning ahead and less trial-and-error testing.
(AIM3) Test developmental relations between information gathering and high-level planning. We hypothesize that information gathering during action planning at an early age predicts high-level planning at a later age. Specifically, we predict that individual differences in the manner and timing of information gathering during action planning will correspond to individual differences in performance in high-level planning tasks.
We are looking for a highly-motivated candidate with strong experimental psychology and programming skills and a desire to make an impact in the intersection of cognitive neuroscience with developmental psychology.
The candidate must have evidence of outstanding undergraduate academic performance in either (developmental) cognitive science, psychology or computer science, artificial intelligence and ideally have (or be predicted to obtain) a strong Master’s degree in Cognitive/Developmental Neuroscience, or any cognate field.
Candidate must also demonstrate solid foundations in academic writing and presenting, in independently organising aspects of their research (e.g. through a previous dissertation if not publications) and experience of working with young children or infants.
Further details about the project may be obtained from:
Prof. Dr. Ori Ossmy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Further information about PhDs at BBK is available from:
Birkbeck Psychological Sciences: https://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/2022/phd/programmes/RMPPSYCH
Application are to be made through the standard MPhil/Phd application process describe in the weblink above. Candidates applying for this position must make it clear in their personal statement and answer to the “funding source” question on the form that they are applying for the Leverhulme funded studentship.
Closing date for applications is: June 1st 2023
Type / Role: