Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Position Available: Wellcome Trust Supported Post-Doctoral Scientist

Supervisors: Professors Christopher Petkov, Matthew Howard III and Tim Griffiths  

Duration: The position is guaranteed funding for 3 years
Closing date: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled
A post-doctoral position is available for a Wellcome Trust funded project on “Direct intracranial recordings of fronto-temporal pathways in the human brain”. This project is a collaboration between the University of Iowa, USA (Department of Neurosurgery, led by Professor Matthew Howard III) and Newcastle University Medical School, UK (Professors Christopher Petkov and Tim Griffiths). The work will involve professionally conducted studies with neurosurgical patients at the University of Iowa. 

The work will focus on understanding the neurobiology of fronto-temporal brain regions supporting comprehension and cognition, such as how we identify individuals by hearing their voice or seeing their face and how we learn the rules of natural or artificial language. The studies will also inform us on the connectivity between frontal and temporal lobe regions, using innovative approaches being used by the clinical group in Iowa and in parallel in Newcastle with animal models. Our goal is to assist medical science by providing insights on neural mechanisms that support auditory or multisensory communication of relevance for understanding human disorders such as forms of aphasia and agnosia following stroke or brain degeneration.
The applicant will live and work near the University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA and support the collaboration with periodic visits to the laboratory of Prof. Christopher Petkov at Newcastle University Medical School in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The ideal candidate will possess a PhD in neurobiology, or a related field, have a strong publication track record and experience with electrophysiological methods (e.g., EEG, extracellular recordings), methods of stimulating the brain (TMS, DCS) and/or functional MRI. Financial support is available for 3 years and the successful applicant has the opportunity to receive training in state-of-the-art neurobiological technologies.

Applications will be reviewed from: 1 Oct. 2015 until the position has been filled.

Value of the Award: The salary is commensurate with post-doctoral experience. UK/US applicants are encouraged to apply. Applications from other international applicants will also be considered but the applicant may need to secure or have already obtained a permit to work in the US and necessary visas to travel to the UK several times a year.

How to Apply: Please submit a covering letter, full CV and the contact information of at least three individuals who can provide professional references. The covering letter should state how your interests and experience relate to the project. Send your application documents by email to, and please include Wellcome Trust Post-Doctoral Position Iowa’ in the subject field.

Further Information: To find out more about the position please contact or browse the laboratory website:
University of Iowa Human Brain Research Laboratory: neurosurgery/index.html. Website of Prof. Matthew Howard III, MD:

Part-time RA/Lab Manager Job Opportunity at NYU

Applications are invited for a half-time RA/Lab Manager position (NYU title: “junior research scientist”) as part of an NIH-funded research project in the Psycholinguistics and Aphasia Lab ( at NYU in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders. Research in the lab focuses on the neurocognitive mechanisms that underlie speech and language production, spanning normal processing as well as acquired impairment to these systems. The funded project explores the extent to which non-invasive neuromodulation – specifically transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) – can be used to enhance speech motor learning in unimpaired and impaired speakers.

The research scientist will work closely with the PI on a regular basis, but will also be required to work independently. The position involves a wide variety of responsibilities including subject running and recruitment, stimulus development, experiment implementation and execution, administration of standardized tests for language and non-verbal cognition, data analysis, preparing and renewing IRB protocols, and minor administrative work. The position will provide some interaction with both unimpaired adults as well as individuals with acquired speech and language impairment subsequent to neural injury. It will also provide training in some basic statistical analysis, speech recording, acoustic analysis, and tDCS.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, linguistics, speech & hearing sciences, or a related field, with a solid background (coursework or otherwise) in research methods, design, and testing.  The ideal candidate will be hardworking, reliable, and energetic, with excellent organizational and interpersonal skills. S/he must be able to work independently in a fast-paced environment, juggle and prioritize multiple tasks, seek assistance when appropriate, and be able to work with a diverse group of people. Prior experience with EPrime, Excel, and R is preferred, but not required. The candidate must be proficient in Windows based applications, with excellent written and oral communication skills are important assets.

A minimum one year commitment is required for this part-time (~20hr/week) position. The position is available starting ASAP. Interested candidates should email: (i) a letter outlining their background and interests, (ii) their CV/resume, and (iii) the names and contact information for three references to Dr. Adam Buchwald at Questions about the position are welcome. Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How physics is driving radical embodied cognition to extinction

Radical embodied cognition is committed to the idea that perception involves some form of "pick up" of information from the environment.  The mind constructs nothing.  Therefore the percepts we have must be direct reflections of information that is in the real world. For example, our percept of a cup is the direct result of light interacting with a unitary object that has a definite location in space.

If it turned out that in the actual world there was not unitary object corresponding to the cup and it had no definite location in space, there would be a significant mismatch between what exists in the world and what is perceived about the world.  Therefore our percepts of a unitary cup in a definite location must be a construction of the mind.

If the above assumptions about REC's claims are true and we indeed found that the world is such a weird place as in the example, then REC must be wrong.  REC is committed to a fairly standard view of a veridical space-time world.

Quantum physics has revealed that a standard space-time world does not hold at the particle level.  So if we lived in that world and took our perceptual measurements in it and if we perceived particles in definite locations (as seems to happen when we measure them with our instruments) then we would have to assume that perception is constructed and not just a direct pick up of information.  REC would not be a viable theory at the quantum level.

Recent work in physics has suggested that something like quantum weirdness applies also to the very large, that space-time doesn't exist at all.  If space-time doesn't exist then that cup is not a 3D object fixed in a particular location in space, despite the fact that my perception tells me it is.  And if this is true REC is a dead theory.

Put differently, if ecological psychology wants to be serious about the interaction of the physical world and the body giving rise to all things human, then it HAS to take discoveries in physics seriously because that is the means by which the true nature of the world can be revealed.  In this sense, REC can be falsified by developments in physics.


The Department of Speech and Hearing Science at Arizona State University, Tempe Campus, is expanding in the areas of hearing science and cognitive neuroscience and invites applicants with expertise in those disciplines to apply for two open-rank tenure-track or tenured faculty positions starting August, 2016.
For the first position, we are seeking candidates whose areas of expertise will complement and augment our current research strengths in psychoacoustics, cochlear implants, auditory neurophysiology and pediatrics. Applicants whose interests lie in the domain of auditory behavioral neuroscience in healthy and clinical populations are encouraged to apply.
For the second position, we are seeking candidates whose areas of expertise will complement and augment our current research strengths in neuroimaging and neuropsychology in healthy and clinical populations. Applicants whose interests lie in the domain of cognitive or computational neuroscience related to brain-based disorders of auditory perception, language, or cognition are encouraged to apply.
Responsibilities for both positions include research, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses, mentoring PhD students, and participating in the service of the department, college, and University.
Interested applicants should submit the following: 1) cover letter, 2) teaching statement, 3) research statement, 4) curriculum vita, and 5) three letters of reference, along with the names and contact information of the individuals writing the letters. These materials should be sent via email to Please include “Faculty Hire” and expected rank in the subject line (e.g., Faculty hire – associate). For complete qualifications and application information, go to The initial deadline for applications is November 15, 2015. Applications will be reviewed weekly thereafter until the position is closed.
The Department of Speech and Hearing Science is housed in the College of Health Solutions and offers undergraduate Major and Minor degrees in Speech and Hearing Science, a Certificate for Speech-Language Pathologist Assistants, a Master’s degree in Communication Disorders for SLPs, a clinical doctoral degree in Audiology (AuD), and a PhD degree in Speech and Hearing Science. The department also administers a large undergraduate program in American Sign Language.  The Phoenix area has numerous clinical and research facilities available for collaboration including Barrow Neurological Institute, Mayo Clinic and other hospital systems, and ASU research institutes. For more information please visit our website at

Questions about these positions and/or the application process may be directed to the Chair of the search committee, Dr. Michael Dorman at or to his administrative assistant Callen Shutters (

Monday, September 14, 2015

Can neuroscience inform cognitive theories?

I often get this question from cognitive scientists, usually coupled with a dubious attitude.  It seems worthwhile to build a collection of papers that represent success stories in the effort to use neuroscience to constrain cognitive theories. Send me your examples via email, Twitter @gregoryhickok, or as a comment to this post and I'll update this list.

How to test a cognitive theory with fMRI.
Chatham and Badre

Bridging computational approaches to speech production:...
Walker and Hickok

Greater neural pattern similarity across repetitions is associated with better memory.
Xue, et al.

What can functional imaging tell the experimental psychologist?

Amnesia and the distinction between long- and short-term memory.
Baddely & Warrington

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Two Post-doctoral Positions to Study the Electrophysiology of Language Networks (ECOG--I'm a collaborator!)

Two post-doctoral positions are available in the lab of Nitin Tandon at Houston (, to begin as soon as fall of 2015, for a duration of up to five years.

These positions will be supported by recent grants awarded to the PI from the National Science Foundation and the national Institutes of Health ( Candidates for this position should have a background in cognition/ cognitive neuroscience/ intracranial electrophysiology and be interested in understanding speech production in humans.

Interactions with our collaborators on these grants, particularly Greg Hickok at UCI, Bob Knight at UC Berkeley and Behnaam Aazhang at Rice University will be encouraged and facilitated. Both positions will involve state-of-the-art analysis of electro-corticographic signals in patients using stereo EEG and subdural grid electrodes and novel electrical stimulation approaches. Opportunities for inter-modal comparisons will also be provided. Candidates must have strong capabilities in one or more of the following disciplines – electrophysiology, signal processing, cognitive neuroscience or computational neuroscience. New members of the lab will benefit from the expertise of several other collaborators, post-docs and graduate students and a proven track record of expertise in intracranial electrophysiology.

Applications should consist of a cover letter describing research interests (and how those are a good fit for the position), a curriculum vitae, and contact information for three referees. Applicants will be evaluated on a first come first served basis and applications will be evaluated till the positions are filled, which we expect to happen by the end of this year.
Pay will be commensurate with NIH/NSF rates for post-doctoral fellows and full benefits will be provided via the University of Texas.
Please send completed applications to

Post-docs will analyze human electrocorticographic (ECoG) data collected using intracranial EEG (iEEG) - stereo EEG (sEEG) and subdural grid electrodes (SDE) during language production - and modulate these using novel electrical stimulation approaches.

Assistant Professor Job at NYU Linguistics

University or Organization: New York University 
Department: Department of Linguistics 
Job Location: New York, USA 
Job Rank: Assistant Professor 

Specialty Areas: First language acquisition


The Department of Linguistics at New York University seeks an
assistant professor to fill a tenure-track position in first language
acquisition, beginning September 1, 2016, pending administrative and
budgetary approval. We seek outstanding applicants whose research
addresses issues related to first language acquisition.
Responsibilities include teaching undergraduate and graduate courses,
and supervising student research.

Review of applications will begin on November 9, 2015. To apply, see
the NYU Department of Linguistics web site at the URL
below. Instructions for electronic submission of documents can be
found under the link 'Employment'. Applicants should submit an
application including a description of their research program; a
teaching statement; curriculum vitae; and work samples. Applicants
should also make arrangements for three letters of reference to be
submitted according to the instructions given on the website.

Linguists who work on endangered languages and/or under-researched
languages are encouraged to apply. We especially welcome applications
from linguists whose methods include quantitative studies of large
data sets.  For further information about this position, please
contact Professor Chris Barker <>.

New York University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. 

Application Deadline: (Open until filled) 

Web Address for Applications: