[Eeglablist] Graduate opening, reinforcement learning & decision making, computational psychiatry, EEG & fMRI

Alec Solway asolway at umd.edu
Fri Sep 13 07:17:12 PDT 2019


The Computational Cognitive Neuroscience & Psychiatry Lab is planning to
recruit a Ph.D. student (pending funding approval) in the upcoming Fall
2019 application cycle. The lab’s research focuses on understanding
information processing in human learning, decision making, and episodic
memory, and how it is disrupted in psychiatric disorders (anxiety,
obsessive compulsive disorder, and depression) – an area recently dubbed
computational psychiatry. In carrying out this work, we leverage tools from
cognitive neuroscience, experimental and mathematical psychology, computer
science, and statistics. We work at the intersection of theory and
experiment, building computational models of information processing and
testing them using both behavioral data and neuroimaging (fMRI and scalp

Students may enter through either the CNS track in the Department of
Psychology or the Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science. The work
you do and your status in the lab will not be affected by which track you
choose, but these programs have different training requirements outside of
the lab so consider your choice carefully. If you are not sure which track
to pursue, contact Dr. Solway (asolway[at]umd.edu). Because the lab works
in an interdisciplinary field, no candidate will have all of the skills
necessary to complete the work we do upon joining the lab. The goal of
graduate school is to learn how to do research and fill in these gaps.
Nevertheless, some background is obviously necessary in order to succeed.
Successful candidates will have experience with some subset of the

* Programming experiments and performing data analysis with R, Python,
Matlab, and/or another programming language. Version control, e.g. with
Subversion, Git, or similar.
* Modern cognitive/experimental and/or mathematical/computational
approaches to psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Some exposure to ideas
and methods in clinical psychology and psychiatry.
* Analyzing fMRI and/or EEG data with FSL, SPM, AFNI, EEGLAB, and/or
another analysis package.
* Basic computer science/engineering math: calculus, linear algebra,
probability theory, frequentist and Bayesian statistics, time-frequency
analysis, basic machine learning techniques.

The list above is meant to be fairly general and should not discourage you
from applying, but you should be highly motivated to fill in any gaps in
knowledge during your time here. Candidates are expected to come from
psychology, neuroscience, computer science, statistics, or other scientific
and engineering disciplines. However, your exact undergraduate
concentration/major doesn’t matter contingent on having had exposure to
some of the above.

To apply, follow the instructions for the respective program, either
through the Department of Psychology or the Program in Neuroscience and
Cognitive Science. Be sure that your research statement addresses how your
research interests, experience, and skill set are aligned with the lab’s
research mission, as well as what your long term goals are and how you
think being a graduate student in the respective program will help you
achieve them.

The University of Maryland, College Park is located five miles from
Washington, D.C. and is metro accessible, with access to world class
museums, restaurants, and entertainment. We are close to three large
international airports, have access to other destinations on the eastern
seaboard and beyond via Amtrak, and are a short drive away from beautiful
landscapes and mountains in rural Maryland and Virginia.

The University of Maryland, College Park, an equal opportunity/affirmative
action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws and
regulations regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action; all
qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. UMD is
committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not
discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, pregnancy, gender identity
or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin,
political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected
veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other
legally protected status in all aspects of employment. UMD is actively
engaged in recruiting, hiring, and promoting underrepresented communities;
minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are
encouraged to apply.

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