Monday, September 9, 2013

[visionlist] Postdoc position in computational modeling/EEG/fMRI: Shortcuts in the brain's visual hierarchy

I have an opening for a postdoctoral fellow, starting immediately, to participate in a new NIH-funded research project that tests the hypothesis that the visual system can increase its processing speed on particular tasks by basing task-relevant decisions on signals that originate from intermediate processing levels, rather than requiring that stimuli are processed by the entire visual hierarchy. This hypothesis will be tested using a tightly integrated multidisciplinary approach consisting of behavioral studies using eye tracking to determine the capabilities of human ultra-rapid object detection, EEG and fMRI studies to determine when and where in the brain object-selective responses occur, and computational modeling studies to determine whether such multilevel object mechanisms can account for human performance levels. Instead of the classic hierarchical model, in which objects can only be coded at the very top of the system, this project will show how "objects" can be detected by neurons located in early visual areas – especially when those objects are behaviorally very important and need to be localized accurately – with fundamental implications for our understanding of the role of early and intermediate visual areas in object detection.

The postdoc will receive training in computational modeling, EEG and fMRI. The project is a collaboration between my group at Georgetown University and Simon Thorpe and Jacob Martin at the CerCo in southern France. The project provides funds to travel annually to the CerCo in Toulouse for further training in EEG and visual psychophysics as well as computational modeling.

A quantitative background is required. Experience with computational modeling is a strong plus, as is training in biological and/or machine vision. Experience with Mac OS X, Linux, MATLAB, and C++ is helpful. This position is also of interest for PhDs in computer science or engineering with an interest in moving into computational neuroscience.

Georgetown University has a vibrant neuroscience community with over fifty labs participating in the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience. Georgetown's scenic campus is located at the edge of Washington, DC, one of the most intellectual and culturally rich cities in the country.

Interested candidates should send a CV, a brief (1 page) statement of research interests, representative reprints, and the names and contact information of three references by email to Maximilian Riesenhuber ( Review of applications will begin immediately, and will continue until the position is filled. Informal inquiries are welcome.    

Maximilian Riesenhuber
Lab for Computational Cognitive Neuroscience                              
Department of Neuroscience
Georgetown University Medical Center
Research Building Room WP-12
3970 Reservoir Rd., NW
Washington, DC 20007
phone: 202-687-9198 * fax: 202-784-3562 * email:

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