There is an opening for a fully-funded PhD position to work on the temporal dynamics of visual working memory at Attentionlab!
The HOMEOSTASIS project is motivated by the idea that visual working (VWM) should be studied in interaction with a dynamic outside world. Our environment challenges the visual memory system in many different ways Task goals can change within hundreds of milliseconds requiring a rapid shift in prioritisation from one internal representation to another; external distraction can affect specific cognitive systems or brain regions, and can be either predictable or not; etc. In light of these challenges, the brain had to develop a fast and dynamic mechanism to make working memory a responsive and reliable system in various contexts.
Attentional control is hypothesised to play a central role in the flexible adjustment of working memory representations to the situation at hand. VWM and (internal) attention hence need to be intricately linked, and jointly allow for generating the internal representations of the outside world that are currently most useful to behaviour. To gain a theoretical and mechanistic understanding of how these internal representations subserve goal directed behaviour, however, we need to take into account how situational demands vary over time, across multiple timescales.
For one of the work packages, we are looking for a PhD student with a background in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, or related. The PhD student will investigate the temporal dynamics of (internal) attention and the ensuing changes in internal memory representations using EEG. This will be done with the help of novel analysis techniques such as frequency tagging and time-resolved multivariate pattern analysis. The PhD student will become an integral part of Attentionlab in which a group of post-docs, PhD students, and research staff are working on related projects. The PhD student will participate in the education program of the Helmholtz research school.
Interested? Take a look at the Utrecht University page of the job to find out more.