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Post doc position in virtual reality-based cognitive-computational neuroscience  

We are looking for a post doc to investigate human escape in Unity-based immersive VR at the University of Bonn.

The Hertz Chair for Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience at University of Bonn is looking to recruit postdoctoral fellows for an interdisciplinary neuroscience research program. This program brings together researchers with expertise in cognitive science, movement science, machine-learning, and software development. This provides an exciting opportunity for postdoctoral candidates to work at the cutting edge of human cognitive science and neuroscience research. Collaboration partners in this endeavour are based at Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen (Germany), University of Tübingen (Germany), Max-Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry (UK) and Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging (UK).

The aim of our research is to understand the cognitive neurobiology of human threat avoidance, in terms of acute escape behaviour as well as medium- and long-term threat forecasting. Our research strongly builds on computational modelling of behaviour and neural systems, theories of artificial agents, machine-learning methods such as pose estimation and motion sequencing, and research automation by software design and by self-learning data analysis methods. Our team culture is collaborative, agile, and shaped by technical sophistication. We believe in open, reproducible, and sustainable precision science. We host a state-of-the-art virtual reality and motion capture lab, and have access to human neuroimaging facilities (3 T and 7 T MRI, OPM-MEG).

The goal of this post doc position is to develop a cognitive-computational understanding of human decision-making under acute, immediate threat. We investigate this in an immersive virtual reality (VR) environment, in which people can move to avoid various threats. The candidate’s role will be to maintain and advance an existing Unity-based research platform, build specific suitable scenarios, conduct experimental studies with this setup, and analyse the data. See here an example of this research program.

Applicants should have (or be close to obtaining) a PhD in cognitive-computational (neuro)science, applied machine-learning, biomechanics, motor science, a quantitative field of psychology (e.g. decision-making, perception), or a related area by the agreed start date of the position. Experience with Unity and C# are essential, familiarity with R would be desirable. The successful candidate will have experience in programming is essential, solid knowledge of decision science, applied statistics and a good publication record.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Bonn, Campus Endenich, in direct vicinity to natural and computer science departments and other interdisciplinary Hertz Chairs. The University of Bonn is an internationally leading research university, providing an intellectually stimulating environment. At University of Bonn, postdoctoral salaries start at around 55’000 €/year depending on prior post-doctoral experience. The positions are available on or after 1 March 2023. An initial appointment for a two-year period will be made with potential for extension depending on successful performance of research and publications. University of Bonn is committed to diversity and encourages applications from underrepresented groups.

Qualified postdoctoral applicants should submit a current CV, a personal statement describing their experience and interests, and contact information for three references to a.menke@uni-bonn.de. Enquiries can be directed to Prof. Dominik Bach, d.bach@uni-bonn.de.