The Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) in Leipzig and the Max Planck Research Group “Auditory Cognition” (headed by Jonas Obleser) are now offering a Postdoctoral researcher position, for initially 2 years, preferably starting by October 2013.
Successful candidates will have a PhD in cognitive neuroscience, psychology, or natural sciences. Prior experience with either fMRI or EEG/MEG methods is expected, and an interest in further applying and combining both domains in their research is highly desirable. Candidates with a background and/or interest in advanced fMRI methods are particularly encouraged to apply.
The successful candidate will share our enthusiasm in problems of auditory cognition and auditory neuroscience, and ideally has already demonstrated this by contributing to the field. However, researchers with a background in visual or other neuroscience are also encouraged to apply. He or she should have a solid methods background and strong methods interest, hands-on experience in problems of data and statistical analysis, and the interest to co-supervise the PhD and Master students in the group. The position offered does not include any teaching obligations.
Starting date is flexible. Salary is dependent on experience and based on MPI stipends or equivalent salary according to German Public service regulations.
The research will be conducted at the MPI CBS in Leipzig, Germany, an internationally leading centre for cognitive and imaging neuroscience equipped with a 7.0 T MRI scanner, three 3.0 T MRI scanners, a 306 channels MEG system, a TMS system and several EEG suites. All facilities are supported by experienced IT and physics staff. Our institute (just 190 km, or 70 minutes by train, south of Berlin) offers a very international environment, with English being the language spoken in the laboratory. It offers a friendly and generous environment of researchers with diverse backgrounds and with an excellent infrastructure.
In order to increase the proportion of female staff members, applications from female scientists are particularly encouraged. Preference will be given to disabled persons with the same qualification.
Applications should be kindly sent to firstname.lastname@example.org using the application code “PD 03÷2013” in the subject. Please send your application as a single pdf attachment, with the file name containing your surname. It should enclose a cover letter (max. 2 pages) that also specifies your future research interests; a CV; up to three representative reprints; and contact details of 2 personal references. This call remains open until the position is filled.
For further details please contact Dr Jonas Obleser, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany, email@example.com
German science magazine Spektrum published an article on our recent paper (see our post):
Frequency modulation entrains slow neural oscillations and optimizes human listening behavior
issued in PNAS here.
Illustrated with our nice group photo you can read the article: Mit Rhythmus geht auch Hören besser by Annegret Faber online.
In this study (available online)
Frequency-specific adaptation in human auditory cortex depends on the spectral variance in the acoustic stimulation
we show that adaptation of neural responses in human auditory cortex to acoustic stimulation is not fixed. Instead, the degree of co-adaptation in these tonotopically organized brain regions varies (widens/tightens) with the spectral properties of the acoustic stimulation. We relate this to sensory memory processes and short-term plasticity which allows for the neural system to adjust to the acoustic properties in the environment.
For normal-hearing humans, categorizing complex acoustic stimuli is a seemingly effortless process, even if one has never heard the particular sounds before. Nevertheless, prior experience with specific correlations between acoustic stimulus properties affects the categorization in a beneficial way, as we show in our paper:
Prior experience with negative spectral correlations promotes information-integration during auditory category learning (by Mathias Scharinger, Molly Henry, and Jonas Obleser).
The article is in press at Memory & Cognition (available online). Our main finding is that stimuli differing in the location of two spectral peaks were better categorized if there was a negative correlation between the two spectral peaks than if there was a positive correlation. Since negative spectral correlations characterize phonetic speech properties, our findings suggest that short-term auditory category learning is influenced by long-term representations of abstract acoustic-phonetic properties (here: spectral correlations).
Proud to announce that our postdocs Molly Henry and Björn just came out with a review/op piece in the Journal of Neuroscience “journal club” section, where only grad students or postdocs are allowed to author short review pieces.
The Journal of Neuroscience, 5 December 2012, 32(49): 17525–17527; doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4456–12.2012
Molly and Björn review (and comment on) an important paper by our friends and colleagues Christoph Kayser and Benedikt Ng in the same journal. Essentially, they argue for the distinction of a continuous from an oscillatory processing mode in listening, and provide tentative explanations of why sometimes misses might be more modulated by neural oscillatory phase than hits. Congrats, guys!