[FieldTrip] PhD position, Neurocomputational Linguistics, Uni Bham / Google Research London

David Meijer deefje.meijer at gmail.com
Mon Nov 14 12:35:05 CET 2016

On behalf of Prof Uta Noppeney.

*PhD position in Neurocomputational Linguistics*

*University of Birmingham in collaboration with Google Research London*

Language comprehension is critical for effective interactions in our social
world. In order to understand ‘who does what to whom’ in natural language
processing, the brain needs to assign a syntactic structure to every
sentence – a process coined ‘syntactic parsing’.

This interdisciplinary project will combine expertise from human
neuroscience (University of Birmingham) and computational linguistics
(Google Research London) to determine the neural mechanisms underlying
sentence comprehension in the human brain and advance parsing algorithms in
machines. To study natural language processing and the underlying neural
mechanisms in humans, we will measure eye movements, behavioural
(psychophysics) and electrophysiological responses (EEG/fMRI) in
participants reading natural sentences from syntactically annotated
corpora. We will employ advanced machine learning algorithms to
characterize the computational operations and neural mechanisms underlying
syntactic processing in the human brain. Conversely, the insights obtained
from human neuroimaging (EEG/fMRI) and eye tracking will provide critical
constraints on the parameters and algorithms used in machine.

The PhD position is designed to involve a 3 month internship at Google
Research London.

The Computational Cognitive Neuroimaging Group (Uta Noppeney) in
collaboration with Google Research London (Bernd Bohnet, Ryan McDonald) is
seeking an enthusiastic PhD candidate with strong analytical and
quantitative abilities. Applicants should have a background in
computational linguistics, neuroscience, computer science, psychology,
physics or related areas. Prior experience in statistical analysis and/or
machine learning would be an advantage.

The Computational Cognitive Neuroimaging Lab is based at the Department of
Psychology and the Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics Centre
of the University of Birmingham, UK. The centre provides an excellent
multidisciplinary, interactive and collaborative research environment
combining expertise in cognitive neuroimaging, psychophysics and
computational neuroscience. The psychology department was rated 5th in the
UK research assessment exercise.



Applications will be considered until 8th January 2017. The starting date
is Sept/Oct 2017. iCASE students must fulfil the MIBTP entry requirements
and will join the MIBTP cohort for the taught modules and masterclasses
during the first term. They will remain as an integral part of the MIBTP
cohort and take part in the core networking activities and transferable
skills training. For further information, please contact
u.noppeney at bham.ac.uk.

Check eligibility and apply here:

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