PhD position at the Center for Integrative Neuroscience at Maastricht University

Updated: 24 days ago
Deadline: 16 Oct 2021

Applications are invited for a 4-year PhD position at the Center for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN) at Maastricht University (starting date; before December 1st , 2021). Eligible candidates must have successfully completed a – preferably 2-year (120 ECTS) – quantitative (Research) Master’s degree (MSc) in Cognitive Neuroscience, Neuroeconomics or Psychology, and have an excellent command of the English language. The candidate is expected to possess basic programming skills (e.g. R, Matlab, Python), good social skills, and to have a keen interest in social/cognitive neuroscience and/or neuroeconomics.

The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Dr. Dennis Hernaus (Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences), prof. dr. Arno Riedl (Maastricht University – Center of Neuroeconomics) and dr. Federico de Martino (Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience) on an interdisciplinary project investigating how humans make prosocial decisions: decisions that could benefit themselves and others.

The broad aim of the project is to understand how socially-specific (e.g., trust) and domain-general (e.g., reward sensitivity and reinforcement learning) mechanisms contribute to prosocial decisions. This interdisciplinary project will combine concepts and methods from experimental economics, cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience (fMRI), and psychopharmacology. Specific aims of the project are: using experimental paradigms and computational models of learning and decision-making to disentangle social and non-social contributions to prosocial decisions; investigating how social information is represented in the brain. We expect these results to advance our understanding of fundamental mechanisms that underlie social inclinations in humans, which might be relevant to the study of psychiatric disorders

The candidate is expected to contribute to teaching activities at the department, taking max. 20% of her/his time.

CIN offers a dynamic and challenging multidisciplinary research environment with ample opportunities for training and collaboration. The center has access to excellent technical facilities including research-dedicated 3T, 7T, and 9.4T MRI scanners, as well as laboratories for brain stimulation (TMS, tCS), behavioral experiments, eye-tracking, and pharmacology. The candidate will be part of an international network of top universities and renowned scholars within the field.

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