PhD Position (0.8 - 1.0 fte) in Cognitive Neuroscience

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 15 Jan 2024

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The Cognitive Psychology Unit of the Institute of Psychology at Leiden University and the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC) are looking for a highly talented student for a

PhD Position (0.8 - 1.0 fte) in Cognitive Neuroscience

Research project “The dynamic interaction between task and emotion in visual perception”

Does your engagement with the world drive your visual perception? And in what ways? In this project we want to unravel the interaction between cognition, emotion and perception by studying neural correlates of visual perception within different task-settings and emotional contexts. It is known that the first cortical stages of visual perception are already modulated based on task parameters. Given the broad and profound impact of emotions on perceptual, cognitive and physiological processes it is expected that task and emotion are closely connected in shaping perceptual processes. Partly, we want to approach this from a systems neuroscience perspective, by investing how functional control networks are modulated based on emotional context. For this, we will use multivariate analyses (pattern decoding; representational similarity analyses) on functional MRI data.

The planned research is expected to provide new theoretical insights on (emotion) perception, which in turn will foster the development of interventions applied in treatment for non-adaptive behaviour, e.g. anxiety disorders. The project is funded by a NWO Stimuleringsbeurs awarded to Manon Mulckhuyse and Sebo Uithol. The PhD student will participate in the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC), an interfaculty centre for interdisciplinary research on brain and cognition (

Key Responsibilities

  • Conducting a literature study
  • Development and execution of behavioural and neuroimaging (fMRI) studies;
  • Report results at conferences and in international journals, leading to a PhD dissertation;
  • Supervise BSc and MSc thesis projects;
  • Participate in the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC).

Selection Criteria

  • Master degree in cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, or closely related field;
  • Experience or affinity with functional MRI (acquiring and analysing data);
  • Excellent programming skills (e.g., Matlab; python);
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Excellent command of English.
  • Strong collaborative attitude.

Our faculty
The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences comprises five institutes: Education and Child Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies. The Faculty is home to 7,000 students and 1025 members of staff. Our teaching and research programmes cover diverse topics varying from adoption to political behaviour. For more information, see .

For research in our institute we offer an exciting research environment including EEG, fMRI, eye tracking, virtual reality, and brain stimulation. For more information see

Terms and conditions
We offer a four-year position conditional on a positive probation period of 12 months. Salary starting from € 2770.- gross per month, increasing to €3.539 gross per month (pay scale P) in the final year (based on a full-time employment), in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The preferred start date is between January and March 2024.

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3 %), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break. More at

Diversity and inclusion are core values of Leiden University. Leiden University is committed to becoming an inclusive community which enables all students and staff to feel valued and respected and to develop their full potential. Diversity in experiences and perspectives enriches our teaching and strengthens our research. High quality teaching and research is inclusive.

For inquiries, please contact Dr. Manon Mulckhuyse, email [email protected] ; or Dr. Sebo Uithol, email [email protected] .

Please submit your application online via the blue button of our application system. The final application deadline is Januari 15th, 2024. Applicants are asked to submit a letter of interest and a cv.

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