PhD topic / position: Neurobiology of Attention in Functional Neurological Disorders

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 31 Oct 2021

Functional neurological disorders (FND, also known as dissociative disorders or hysteria) were of immense interest to early founders of modern-day neurology and psychiatry. Unfortunately, the divide that occurred between the both specialties throughout the midtwentieth
century placed FND at the borderland between the two disciplines. A renaissance has occurred in the last two decades, fostered by increased recognition that FND is prevalent and diagnosed using “rule-in” examination signs. Evidence suggests that the neuropsychological constructs of emotion processing, attention, interoception, and selfagency are important in the pathophysiology of FND. Crucially, recent research highlights the role of attention and expectation in FND symptom exacerbation. Furthermore, FND is a multinetwork
brain disorder, with evidence supporting roles for disturbances within and across the salience, limbic, multimodal integration, and sensorimotor networks. Following our previous work in interoception (Sojka, Diez, Bareš, & Perez, 2020), we are looking for a highly motivated student that would help us further elucidate a role of attentional mechanisms in the development of FND symptoms. The core of the PhD project is in conducting neuropsychological experiments with FND cohorts with an aid of structural and functional neuroimaging to characterize the brain correlates of attentional anomalies in FND.

Grant projects:

In 2021 the research team will apply for research support in the AZV ČR grant scheme.

Requirements:

  • MA/MSc./Mgr. degree in psychology or other field relevant to behavioral neuroscience
  • interest in working with clinical populations
  • background in statistics and methodology of experimental research
  • willingness to learn analysing neuroimaging data
  • Python, R or Matlab programming skills are beneficial but not required
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required at level B2
  • ability to work in a team and good communication skills

Supervisor: doc. MUDr. Robert Roman, Ph.D.
https://www.muni.cz/en/people/18403-robert-roman/cv

Consultant: Mgr. Petr Sojka, Ph.D.
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7594-7093

International collaboration: Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; St. George Hospital,
London, UK; Functional Neurological Disorder Society.

To apply please submit your CV to email: sojka@med.muni.cz


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