[FieldTrip] Phd position in Cognitive Neuroscience in UPF (Barcelona)

TORRALBA CUELLO, MIREIA mireia.torralba at upf.edu
Wed Nov 22 10:41:51 CET 2017

Please find attached information about a PhD position in Cognitive
Neuroscience at Multisensory Research Group (UPF, Barcelona)

Deadline: Feb 1st, 2018
Start date: May/June 2018
Gross salary: Approx 27.800€/year
Research money (travel etc...): 3.500€/year

Requirements*: Master's degree in the EU or equivalent (to be decided by
the host university at application), and have not worked/resided in Spain
for more than 12 months (within the last 3y).

*Phd position in Cognitive Neuroscience: Neural predictors of Memory
Perception and attention (Prof.Salvador Soto-Faraco)*


*-Research Project / Research Group Description:*

How “...the brain enables the mind...” is one of the core questions in
neuroscience. Understanding this relationship will lead to improvements in
the mitigation of brain disease. One of the major sources of evidence on
how neurophysiological activity relates to mental phenomena comes from the
realization that fluctuations in neural activity could be at the heart of
cognitive processes. In fact, it is well known that ongoing brain activity
itself is highly organized, so that neural communication (local, and long
range) seems to capitalize on the fine temporal structure of neural
activity. Consequently responses to sensory events depend strongly on the
momentary state of the system. The overarching goal of the research project
hosting the potential PhD candidate is to capitalize on the relationship
between brain oscillations, brain states and cognitive processes to
anticipate and be able to modulate the outcome of these processes via
real-time neurodevices based on Brain Computer Interfaces.

The research lines hosting the PhD candidate address the link between the
pattern of oscillatory brain activity and three sets of concrete cognitive
processes. (1) Memory encoding in healthy humans and/or patients with Mild
Cognitive Impairment. (2) Attention and perception in real-life scenarios.
And, (3) perceptual conflict and awareness. The overarching goal is to be
able to find predictors (biomarkers) for these processes and be able to
anticipate optimal brain states (windows of opportunity) for the success of
these behaviours. To this end, we use psychophysics, human
electroencephalography (EEG), and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).
Psychophysics is essential to measure the behavioural expression of
cognitive processes. EEG is sensitive to post-synaptic potentials of large
neuron populations, and is an indirect index of neural activity. In order
to infer brain states, we capitalize on a variety of measures from the EEG:
spectral power, instantaneous phase, and temporal/spatial coherence of
oscillatory activity. Neurostimulation (TMS) is used to probe causality.

The MRG is part of the CBC master, has 3 postdoc researchers (specialized
in signal processing, bioengineering, and neuropsychology) 3 Phds, and
support staff. Our research is supported by EU and local funding.

*-Job position description:*


The successful candidate will lead a research line which falls amongst the
overall projects of the MRG laboratory (described above). It is expected
that the candidate will have a prior motivation for cognitive neuroscience
and will contribute in an active way to define the particular project from
its inception, formulation of hypotheses, experimental designs, measurement
and analysis, and interpretation of the data. In order to accomplish these
tasks, the PhD candidate will of course count with the support of the MRG
staff and knowledge base, and the guidance of Prof Soto-Faraco as well as
senior members of the laboratory.

Dissemination of the research output, and networking with other local, or
external experts as well as advanced post-docs and phd students will be
encouraged and fostered.


The candidate will be mainly responsible for the implementation of the
assigned research tasks conducive toward the PhD project, the careful and
systematic carrying out of the experimental work.

Other responsibilities will be assigned commensurate with the PhD’s
capacity and level of seniority. Amongst them, like other members of the
team, the PhD student will contribute to the group activities (e.g.,
helping organize talks, group meetings, presenting the findings in
conferences) , and to the training and support of other junior members of
the laboratory (eventual supervision of master or degree students).

Finally, the Phd candidate will also be responsible to provide timely
responses to requests from the funding body, including progress reports, as
well as to attend the meetings s/he might be called to, from the funding


Background in Biology, Bioengineering, Experimental Psychology or other
fields related to Cognitive Neuroscience.

Prior experience or background in Brain Computer Interfaces.

Concrete experience with experimental work in the field of the cognitive
neurosciences, preferably with psychophysics and/or electrophysiology (EEG,

Knowledge of signal processing.


High motivation, proactivity and team work are very desirable.




Dept. of Information & Communication Technologies, DTIC-UPF



The Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC) of
Universitat Pompeu Fabra covers a broad range of research topics:
Computation and Intelligent Systems; Multimedia Technologies; Networks and
Communications; Computational Biology and Biomedical Systems; and the
Center of Brain and Cognition (CBC). This broad spectrum of topics reflects
the current interdisciplinary reality of cutting edge research in ICT. The
DTIC is now running a Maria de Maeztu Strategic Research Program on
data-driven knowledge extraction, boosting synergistic research initiatives
across our different research areas.

The DTIC consistently ranks among the top computer science departments in
Spain (e.g. the only computer science department from an Spanish university
that has even been included in the top 100 of the Shanghai Ranking).

Its PhD program offers advanced training in this interdisciplinary field,
becoming an innovative and unique program in Spain. The DTIC PhD program
has been growing steadily and currently hosts about 140 PhD students and 40
supervisors. The program received a Mention of Excellence award from the
Ministry of Science and Innovation in 2011.

The UPF university was awarded in 2010 the distinction of International
Excellence Campus by the Spanish Ministry of Education and it is widely
considered to be one of the best universities in Spain (e.g. is the top
Spanish university according to 2013 Times Higher Education Ranking).

The UPF is located in Barcelona. Its excellent location on the shores of
the Mediterranean, its gentle climate, its open, cosmopolitan character,
its gastronomy and architecture make Barcelona an extraordinary place to
live. The DTIC is sited in UPF's Communication Campus, which was opened in
2009 and is located within the vibrant 22@ technological district of

*Indicators:  *

   - Research incomes: 15.6 M€ / year
   - 67 FP7 projects participated and coordinated by 26 staff members (>
   60% UPF EU funds) including 13 prestigious ERC Grants, the Human Brain
   - Leader in Spain with  > 5% of all the competitive funds obtained by
   Spanish Universities, Maria de Maeztu Strategic Program.
   - Consolidated scientific productivity ~200 articles/year, > 75% Q1
   international journals
   - 50% scientific papers and articles with at least one international


Roc Boronat, 138 - edifici Tànger, 08018 Barcelona, Barcelona


Life Science Panel


Prof.Salvador Soto-Faraco

salvador.soto at upf.edu
www.mrg.upf.edu <https://hosts.lacaixafellowships.org/www.mrg.upf.edu>

Mireia Torralba Cuello
Multisensory Research Group
Center for Brain and Cognition, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Address: Edifici Mercè Rodoreda 24.313
        c\ Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
        08005 Barcelona
Tel +34 935422745
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