Decoding the rhythms of cognition

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This joint PhD project will be based at the University of Melbourne, with a 12-month stay at the Hebrew University Jerusalem.

Project description:

Brain rhythms are implicated in attentional selection and perceptual processing. Although the presence of these rhythms has been amply demonstrated as oscillations in both behaviour and brain signals, and their function has also been shown in a  range of paradigms, the actual information represented by these rhythms remains largely unknown.

This research project will investigate the representational content of brain rhythms: the actual information contained in each of the cycles of cortical excitability that the brain produces during perception.

Better understanding the content of rhythmic fluctuations in physiology and behaviour will allow us to elucidate questions about the underlying neural architecture: Do rhythmic fluctuations form a single representation that is activated repeatedly?  Does it reflect a  feedback loop that alternates between two hierarchical stages? Or possibly each cycle of the rhythm reflects activity in a different neural population?

We will apply multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) techniques to time-resolved EEG recordings to investigate the contents of each cycle in a given oscillation.

Project goals

  • Training in neural oscillations, the possible neural mechanisms that might underlie them, and the psychophysical and neuroimaging paradigms that can be applied to study them.
  • Design and collect psychophysical and EEG data
  • MVPA analysis of EEG data
  • Integrate the experimental findings with state-of-the-art understanding of brain

Supervision team

Dr Hinze Hogendoorn (The University of Melbourne)

Associate Professor Ayelet Landau (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Skills and requirements:

  • Demonstrated experience in the field of psychology or cognitive neuroscience
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of the team
  • Demonstrated time and project management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to write research reports or other publications to a publishable standard (even if not published to date)

Further details:

The PhD candidate will benefit from the combined expertise of the project supervisors, and the embedding into two research environments.

Dr Hinze Hogendoorn at the University of Melbourne will contribute expertise in EEG data analysis. Associate Professor Ayelet Landau at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will contribute expertise in neural oscillations and rhythmic processing

The candidate will be enrolled in the PhD program at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne and in the PhD program at the Landau Lab at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

To apply for this joint PhD opportunity, and to view the entry requirements, visit How to apply.

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