Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Sunday (school) reading list

Well, it's Sunday, and for the 2607th time I did not go to church... But I do feel like I should do something church-ish. So here's my attempt at a list. Of other foundational texts.

Everybody's making lists about what to read (see what my wife recommends in fiction:, so consider this my contribution. A Sunday list for cognitive science.

Cognitive scientists without whose work I could not/would not want to do my own job.

Noam Chomsky. Pick up anything. Read it. Then read some more. You'll see…Whether you agree or disagree, you cannot help but be moved by the force of argumentation and relevance of the ideas.

Susan Carey. The Origin of Concepts is a masterpiece ( And Susan's earlier book, Conceptual Change in Childhood (, is the book that got me excited to take very seriously developmental psychology, as an entirely non-developmental person.

Randy Gallistel. The Organization of Learning – wow! ( And his recent co-authored book, Memory and the Computational Brain - wow and ouch! (

Liz Spelke. Initial knowledge: six suggestions ( is another one of the pieces about one must just say: damn that's good.

Lila Gleitman. Pick any of Lila's papers. (e.g.,%20Gleitman,%20Gleitman%20-%201983%20-%20What%20some%20concepts%20might%20not%20be.pdf) Not only are they interesting, important, and elegantly structured, they reflect her sense of humor, grace, and intuition of how the whole thing works! Five stars all around.

I will have the good taste from not listing papers/books one should avoid at all costs. Maybe another Sunday ... 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Post doc opportunity: modeling speech production--Hickok and Neftci labs at UC Irvine


POSTDOCTORAL SCHOLAR – Sensorimotor Integration and Sensorimotor Learning for Speech Production (Professors G. Hickok and E. Neftci)
A Postdoctoral Scholar position in the areas of sensorimotor integration and sensorimotor learning for speech production is available in the Auditory & Language Neuroscience Lab (PI Greg Hickok; and the Neuromorphic Machine Intelligence Lab (PI Emre Neftci; in the Department of Cognitive Sciences at the University of California, Irvine.
Description of Duties: The research involves developing neurally feasible computational models of speech production that is integrated with and informed by ongoing work on speech production using a wide range of methods including functional imaging, lesion, and intracranial electrocorticography (ECoG) and stimulation mapping.
Salary and benefits: This position is full-time and includes benefits. Salary is commensurate with experience.
Qualifications: The successful candidate must possess a Ph.D. (by the start of the appointment) in Cognitive Sciences, Physics, Neuroscience, Computer Science, or Engineering, and must have expertise in computational neuroscience and/or machine learning. The position is anticipated to begin in late 2016 or early 2017 for one year with an additional one-year reappointment possible contingent upon satisfactory performance and productivity.
We seek a candidate with excellent verbal and written communication skills who is strongly motivated and has substantial computer programming experience – the labs rely heavily on MATLAB, R, Psyscope/Psychtoolbox and Python. Working knowledge of artificial and spiking neural networks is a plus.
Application Procedure: Interested candidates should submit a cover letter (describing their research experiences, interests, and goals,), a CV, and the names and contact information of three references at:
For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Greg Hickok ( or Dr. Emre Neftci (

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Senior Cognitive Scientist, Assoc. or Full Prof., Pomona College

The Department of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Pomona College invites applications for a senior cognitive scientist at the Associate or Full Professor level beginning AY 2017-2018. We seek candidates with broad expertise in cognitive psychology, cognitive science or cognitive neuroscience, who will act as Coordinator of the Cognitive Science section of the Department. Preferred areas of specialization within cognition include attention, perception, memory, language, reasoning, or decision making. Successful candidates will have a demonstrated commitment to excellence in teaching, a productive record of research, an ability to involve undergraduates in research, and must be able to strengthen the interdisciplinary undergraduate program in cognitive science. The teaching load is 2 courses per semester. Please upload to  a dossier including (a) letter of application, (b) curriculum vitae, (c) teaching evaluations, (d) three 1-2 page statements -- one describing teaching philosophy, one describing research, and one describing demonstrated ability to mentor a diverse student body (see, and (e) three letters of recommendation. Review of applications will begin on December 15, 2016. Pomona College, the founding member of the Claremont Colleges, is a highly selective liberal arts college attracting a diverse, national student body. The ideal candidate will have experience working with students from diverse backgrounds and a demonstrated commitment to improving higher education for underrepresented students

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Postdoctoral Fellow Positions in Neuroimaging of Speech Production

NIH-funded postdoctoral positions are available in the neuroimaging laboratory of Dr. Kristina Simonyan in the Department of Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. The research emphasis of the laboratory is on the understanding of brain mechanisms underlying normal and diseased organization of the central nervous system controlling speech production. We use a variety of neuroimaging methodologies, including fMRI, DTI, high-resolution MRI, iEEG, as well as incorporate clinico-behavioral testing and genetic/genomic approaches in our studies.

The specific projects involve understanding brain organization controlling speech production in healthy individuals and brain abnormalities associated with the genetic risk factors leading to the development of laryngeal dystonia (or spasmodic dysphonia). Another project deals with the investigation of the central effects of a novel treatment in patients with laryngeal dystonia using a combination of structural and functional neuroimaging techniques and clinico-behavioral measures. Another project examines brain abnormalities across different forms of task-specific focal dystonia using a combination of structural and functional neuroimaging techniques and clinico-behavioral neurotesting. The postdoctoral fellows will function as part of a multi-disciplinary team of neuroscientists, geneticists, and clinicians. Opportunities exist for excellent scientific interactions and collaborations with an extensive program of seminars, symposia and other organized meetings that are focused on a large array of topics in neuroscience and neuroimaging. More information about the Simonyan Laboratory can be found at the link

Qualifications and Skills:
• A PhD or MD/PhD degree in Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering, Communication Sciences,
Mathematics or related fields of biomedical sciences.
• Interest and expertise in human brain imaging, including but not limited to fMRI and DTI.
• At least basic knowledge of brain anatomy and neuroscience.
• Solid experience with scientific computing, including but not limited to computational (Linux, MATLAB)
and statistical (AFNI, FSL, SPM) methods.
• Ability to work effectively independetly and collaborate on projects with multiple investigators.
• Strong publication record and excellent academic credentials.
Salary: Commensurate with experience.
Deadline: The position is available immediately, and the applications will be considered on an ongoing basis
until the position is filled.

How to apply: The applications should be sent to Dr. Kristina Simonyan
at and should include the candidate’s CV with the list of publications, a statement of interest in the position, and the names and contact information of at least three professional referees.