Sunday, June 29, 2014

Call for papers (Deadline August 1 2014): Psychological perspectives on aesthetics


Call for papers (Deadline August 1 2014)
Psychological perspectives on aesthetics


December 11–13 2014, MPI for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt/M., Germany

Aesthetics, as a discipline, has evolved to deal primarily with the experience and evaluation of sensory perceptions, especially in relation to artworks. Traditionally a subfield of philosophy and a concern of the different disciplines related to the specific art forms, such as literary studies, musicology, and art history, the latter part of the 19th century witnessed the development of a new, empirical approach to the questions of aesthetics. This empirical approach originated out of the then emerging field of experimental psychology, and today psychological aesthetics still dominates the empirical branch of aesthetic research. However, an engagement of this psychological approach with the ongoing debates and research in the humanities is (unfortunately) rarely entertained.

The Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (founded in 2013) seeks to implement a genuinely interdisciplinary approach to the study of aesthetics with special emphasis on language/literature and music. Psychological findings, methods, and paradigms will play an important role in this context. In order to provide a forum where desiderata, promising topics, empirical and experimental methods and interdisciplinary perspectives can be identified and discussed, we are hosting a workshop to which we invite colleagues with a background in any relevant field of psychology (e.g. perception, emotion, cognition, development, social) and a serious interest in matters of aesthetics. We welcome short abstracts that either present ongoing research, evaluate and discuss certain research fields or outline ideas for possible future research. 

Please address your proposal to Mrs Myriam Mieles (assistent of the managing director): myriam.mieles@aesthetics.mpg.de 


Seeking post-doctoral fellows - neural bases of sound perception - U Penn

We are seeking highly motivated post-doctoral fellows to participate in a research program that tests the neural bases of sound perception. This research will be conducted at the University of Pennsylvania. The goals of these projects are to test the contribution of various regions of the auditory cortex and prefrontal cortex to sound perception in non-human primates.

Candidates should have a PhD. Those with an MD will be considered but only if the candidates have a strong scientific background. A strong candidate will have experience in systems and computational neuroscience; recording and analysis of single- and multi-unit activity and local-field potentials from awake, behaving animals (in particular non-human primates); experience in training animals on operant tasks; analysis of behavioral data and electrophysiological data; computational-analysis skills; and programming skills. We are interested in individuals who have a good personality and can interact well with other members of the laboratory.

The positions are funded through two new R01s and are available immediately. One of the grants is funded to Yale Cohen. The second is funded to both Yale Cohen and Yonatan Fishman.

Salary will be based on experience and the NIH post-doctoral scale.

The University of Pennsylvania has an outstanding environment for neuroscience; in particular, systems and computational neuroscience. The environment is further enriched by the PIs’ ongoing collaborations with other members of the Penn Neuroscience community.

For more information or to apply, contact Yale Cohen (YaleECohen@gmail.com) or Yon Fishman (yonatan.fishman@einstein.yu.edu). Interested applicants should send a CV; a brief statement of research interests; and names of 2-3 referees.



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Good quote on "direct matching"/"resonance"/"simulation" as a neural mechanism

The mirror neuron / embodied cognition camp promotes what appears to be a simple mechanism for aspects of neural processing, variously termed simulation, direct matching, direct perception, or resonance.  Oztop, Kawato, and & Arbib 2006 have an excellent comment on the use of such terms in the context of non-computationally explicit (i.e., verbal or conceptual) models.  Read it twice and let it sink in.  It's right on the mark.
A general pitfall in conceptual modeling is that an innocent looking phrase thrown in the description may render the model implausible or trivial from a computational perspective, hiding the real difficulty of the problem. For example, terms like “direct matching” and “resonance” are used as if they were atomic processes that allow one to build hypotheses about higher cognitive functions of mirror neurons.
Learn to detect and question these kinds of problem-obscuring terms.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Brown University, Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences Visiting Assistant Professor - Linguistics/Language Processing

Brown University, Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences
Visiting Assistant Professor - Linguistics/Language Processing
Location: Providence, RI USA

The Brown University Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences announces a 2 year Visiting position at the Assistant Professor level in Linguistics/Language Processing at or above the word level, beginning September 1, 2014 or January 1, 2015. This includes syntactic, lexical, semantic, and/or pragmatic (including discourse) processing.
Qualifications
Expertise at the intersection of theoretical and experimental approaches is expected, and the successful candidate will be able to teach, conduct and supervise experimental research engaging theoretical issues in linguistics and cognitive science of language. Applicants should be able to teach both introductory courses and advanced courses in language processing and psycholinguistics. While not required, ability and willingness to teach an introductory course in syntax is highly desirable.
Application Instructions
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, starting July 8, until the position is filled. 
Curriculum vitae, reprints and preprints of publications, a maximum two-page statement of research and teaching interests, and three letters of reference should be submitted at <http://apply.interfolio.com/25176>.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Two positions available in Stephen Wilson Lab, Univ of Arizona -- Post doc & Lab manager

Postdoctoral position, Language Neuroscience Laboratory, University of Arizona

A Postdoctoral position is available in the Language Neuroscience Laboratory (PI: Stephen M. Wilson) at the University of Arizona. The successful applicant will play a key role on an NIH-funded project investigating the neural correlates of recovery from aphasia after acute stroke.

A Ph.D. is required in a relevant field, such as Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Cognitive Neuroscience, or Psychology. The ideal candidate will have (1) experience working with individuals with acquired language impairments, and (2) experience in conducting neuroimaging studies (e.g. fMRI, DTI, VLSM). However candidates who are exceptionally strong in one of these two areas, and show potential to learn in the other, will be considered. Excellent interpersonal skills are critical, since the position will involve significant interaction with patients, family members, and health professionals. A record of research productivity is highly desirable. Programming skills are desirable but not essential.

Research in the Language Neuroscience Laboratory is focused on the neural basis of language function, how language breaks down in patients with different kinds of aphasia, and the neural changes that support recovery. Our approach combines multimodal neuroimaging with quantitative assessments of language function. We have access to two recently installed and fully equipped Siemens Skyra 3-Tesla scanners (one for inpatients and one dedicated to research). The UA Medical Center has a Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Center that sees approximately 300 stroke patients per year. The University of Arizona has a long history of leadership in aphasia research, and the successful candidate will have opportunities to collaborate with an interdisciplinary group of researchers from Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Neurology, and Medical Imaging. For more information about the lab and our collaborators, please visit http://neuroling.arizona.edu.

Salary will be commensurate with experience, and is expected to be consistent with NIH NRSA stipends. The anticipated start date is September 1, 2014, but is flexible. The position is open until filled.

To apply, please send a letter of interest, a CV, up to three representative publications, and contact information for two references, to Stephen M. Wilson .


Research Coordinator/Lab Manager, Language Neuroscience Laboratory, University of Arizona

A Research Coordinator/Lab Manager position is available in the Language Neuroscience Laboratory (PI: Stephen M. Wilson) at the University of Arizona. The successful applicant will work on an NIH-funded project investigating the neural correlates of recovery from aphasia after acute stroke, using multimodal neuroimaging and behavioral evaluations of language function. The position will involve significant interaction with patients, family members, and health professionals.

Required qualifications:
- A bachelors degree, ideally in a relevant field such as Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Neuroscience, Psychology, Linguistics or Physiology (other fields will also be considered)
- Experience working with individuals with neurological conditions in research or clinical contexts
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Excellent computer skills
- Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
- Willingness to work flexible hours

Desirable qualifications:
- Previous experience with neuroimaging data collection and/or analysis
- Strong academic record
- Programming skills

Research in the Language Neuroscience Laboratory is focused on the neural basis of language function, how language breaks down in patients with different kinds of aphasia, and the neural changes that support recovery. The University of Arizona has a long history of leadership in aphasia research, and the successful candidate will work with an interdisciplinary group of researchers from Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Neurology, and Medical Imaging. For more information about the lab and our collaborators, please visit http://neuroling.arizona.edu.

Salary will be commensurate with experience. Full benefits are included. The anticipated start date is September 1, 2014, but is flexible. The position is open until filled.


To apply, please send a letter of interest, a CV, and contact information for three references, to Stephen M. Wilson .

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review - Consider sending your next theory/review or punchy empirical paper here

On 1 January 2014, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review began a slow transition to a new editorial team.  It will take a full year to complete the transition and probably longer than that to start noticing differences in the content of the journal.  But keep on eye on PBR because we've got some interesting special issues in the works: one that presents a set of critical perspectives on embodied cognition, one on language evolution, another on perceptual interface theory, and lot's more in the planning stages.  Also look for a very interesting review paper on animal mind reading by Cecelia Heyes.

PBR is already a forum for strong, rigorous brief reports and theory/review papers.  The change involves broadening its scope and an emphasis on integrative approaches.  I personally believe that psychology (broadly construed) is too fractionated.  There are all kinds of potentially enlightening connections between areas that go unnoticed because we don't look across domains or methods often enough.  It's time to build a more integrated science of the mind.

So, here is a preview of the new scope statement for the journal and our editorial board.  The action editors are a fantastic group who put a lot of careful thought into each manuscript.  They've also worked hard to speed up review times, if that's important to you (of course it is!).  


Psychonomic Bulletin & Review scope statement: The journal provides coverage spanning a broad spectrum of topics in all areas of experimental psychology. The journal is primarily dedicated to the publication of theory and review articles and brief reports of outstanding experimental work. Areas of coverage include cognitive psychology broadly construed, including but not limited to action, perception, & attention, language, learning & memory, reasoning & decision making, and social cognition. We welcome submissions that approach these issues from a variety of perspectives such as behavioral measurements, comparative psychology, development, evolutionary psychology, genetics, neuroscience, and quantitative/computational modeling. We particularly encourage integrative research that crosses traditional content and methodological boundaries.

Editor-in-Chief
Gregory Hickok, University of California, Irvine

Associate Editors
Jessica Cantlon, University of Rochester 
Greig de Zubicaray, University of Queensland 
Stephen D. Goldinger, Arizona State University Antonia Hamilton, University College London 
Marc Howard, Boston University John Serences, University of California, San Diego 
Sarah Shomstein, George Washington University 
Mark Steyvers, University of California, Irvine


We've also brought in some new consulting editors to reflect our broadened scope including:
Richard Andersen (Cal Tech)
Gergly Csibra (Central European University)
Cecelia Heyes (All Souls College, Oxford)
Lori Hold (Carnegie Mellon)
Randy O'Reilly
Steve Pinker (Harvard)
Rebecca Saxe (MIT)
Ladan Shams (UCLA)

Friday, June 20, 2014

In honor of Rita Sloan Berndt

Rita Sloan Berndt passed away on Tuesday. Rita was an internationally recognized scholar and researcher, dedicated to the understanding of aphasia and its devastating effects on language communication. She was a true force in the field with a research program that was broad in scope. While she focused particularly on deficits in sentence comprehension and production in aphasia, she also examined impairments in reading, lexico-semantics, and category-specific naming. Although Rita published some of the first papers hypothesizing a general syntactic deficit in agrammatic Broca’s aphasia, she was also among the first to challenge this view through careful single case studies, buttressed by group studies, meta-analyses, and the implementation of treatment protocols focused on the processing of verbs and their arguments. Rita’s research was supported continuously for 22 years by the National Institutes of Health, testimony to its importance and high quality. She published extensively from the 1970’s until 2009 in top journals in the field, and edited or co-edited 4 books. She had collaborators world-wide and enriched many a meeting of the Academy of Aphasia with her thoughtful and intellectually rich presentations and with her provocative (in the best sense) comments and questions. Her working style was and is something to emulate: low-key, focused, curious, open to questions, and collegial. Rita was a great researcher, collaborator, colleague, and friend. She will be sorely missed.
Sheila E. Blumstein 

Brown University 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

2 Postdoctoral positions in Bilingualism in the BCBL (AThEME collaborative research project)


2 Postdoctoral positions in Bilingualism in the BCBL (AThEME collaborative research project)


The Basque Center on Cognition Brain and Language (San Sebasti├ín, Basque Country, Spain) offers 2 postdoctoral positions in Bilingualism to work on the collaborative research project AThEME - “Advancing the European Multilingual Experience” funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme that comprises 16 Research partners (universities, research centers and SMEs) located in 8 European countries.

The positions have a term of appointment of 2 years with a possible renewal.

The main objectives of the AThEME research programme are:

·       to investigate the outstanding cognitive, linguistic and sociological issues in multilingual Europe
·       to assess existing public policies and practices within the areas of education and health and their impact on multilingualism
·       to contribute to evidence-based policy-making


THE CENTER AND THE BENEFITS

The Fellows will join one of the AThEME partners, the BCBL (Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language – www.bcbl.eu) and will focus his/her research in WP 4 and WP5.

·       WP4 addresses the complex issues associated with multilingualism in acquired communicative disorders. In particular we will concentrate our efforts on the impact of bilingualism on the language learning performance of dyslexic children.

·       WP5 will investigate several factors that contribute to what it means to “Being Bilingual” and the BCBL will focus on the bilingual population in the Basque Country. In particular we will investigate (1) language attrition, that is, the impact of a second reading system on the first reading system, (2) the putative advantages of bilinguals on the cognitive system and (3) the potential benefits of multilingualism on the decline of the cognitive system during aging.

The Center promotes a rich research environment without teaching obligations. It provides access to the most advanced behavioral and neuroimaging techniques, including 3 Tesla MRI, a whole-head MEG system, four ERP labs, a NIRS lab, a baby lab including an eyetracker, two eyetracking labs, and several well-equipped behavioral labs.  There are excellent technical support staff and research personnel (PhD and postdoctoral students).


REQUIREMENTS

We are looking for cognitive neuroscientists or experimental psychologists with a background in Psycholinguistics, Linguistics, Psychology, or Cognitive Neuroscience, an excellent command of English. Advanced skills in neuroimaging methods are desirable. We expect a strong interest for and motivation to work on the interplay of language, language disorders, bilingualism and multilingualism, the willingness to invest in interdisciplinary collaboration, and the ability to work in teams. Candidates should have a strong publication track record.


HOW TO APPLY

Candidates should send their application by JUNE 30, 2014. To submit your application please sign into the system (http://www.bcbl.eu/login) and upload:

1.        Your curriculum vitae.
2.        A cover letter/statement describing your research interests (4000 characters maximun)
3.        The names of two referees who would be willing to write letters of recommendation

 For further information about the positions, please contact Manuel Carreiras (info@bcbl.eu)


AThEME - “Advancing the European Multilingual Experience” is a collaborative research project funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 613465, research area FP7-SSH-2013-1, topic SSH.2013.5.2-1: The multilingual challenge for the European citizen.

Postdoctoral position in Bilingualism in the BCBL


1 Postdoctoral position in Bilingualism in the BCBL to work on the project
Learning to read in two alphabets: typical development and reading disorders

The Basque Center on Cognition Brain and Language (San Sebasti├ín, Basque Country, Spain) offers 1 postdoctoral position in Bilingualism to work on the research project “Learning to read in two alphabets: typical development and reading disorders”

The position has a term of appointment of 3 years with a possible renewal.

This project addresses challenges related to the development of reading skills.  One general objective is to understand school failure when children have to face learning in two alphabets, and how this phenomenon can be linked to reading deficits. Equally important, we also seek to develop insight about the factors that help many children succeed. The main goal of the project is to study the mechanisms of literacy acquisition in two alphabets (Arabic and Roman) and investigate the relationships between reading difficulties (dyslexia) in two very different languages (Arabic, English) that employ different alphabets (Arabic, Roman).

THE CENTER AND THE BENEFITS

The Fellow will join the BCBL (Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language – www.bcbl.eu). The Center promotes a rich research environment without teaching obligations. It provides access to the most advanced behavioral and neuroimaging techniques, including 3 Tesla MRI, a whole-head MEG system, four ERP labs, a NIRS lab, a baby lab including an eyetracker, two eyetracking labs, and several well-equipped behavioral labs.  There are excellent technical support staff and research personnel (PhD and postdoctoral students).

REQUIREMENTS

We are looking for cognitive neuroscientists or experimental psychologists with a background in Psycholinguistics, Linguistics, Psychology, or Cognitive Neuroscience, an excellent command of English and Arabic. Advanced skills in neuroimaging methods are desirable (not mandatory). We expect a strong interest for and motivation to work on the interplay of language, language disorders, bilingualism and multilingualism, the willingness to invest in interdisciplinary collaboration, and the ability to work in teams. Candidates should have a strong publication track record.

HOW TO APPLY

Candidates should send their application by JUNE 15th, 2014. To submit your application please sign into the system and upload:

·       a letter of motivation detailing the candidate's particular scientific experience, knowledge, competencies and interests
·       a detailed curriculum vitae
·       two academic letters of recommendation.

For further information about the positions, please contact Manuel Carreiras (info@bcbl.eu)