We are looking for one full-time PhD student position at Ghent University, and one full-time PhD student position based at Ghent University and at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Both are four-year positions (provided positive periodic evaluation), preferably starting Oct 2019 or earlier. Salary is according to standard Belgian regulations for PhD students (starting at around €2000 per month net salary).​ Candidates should have a Master’s degree in a relevant domain such as Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, or Computer Science.

  • The role of confidence and urgency in deciding to stop sampling information

Do I have enough information to decide, or should I sample more information to commit to a choice? This PhD project addresses such decisions, and how humans shift the point of commitment based on how sure they are (confidence) and how important it is to make a quick decision (urgency). This PhD project will investigate how confidence and sense of urgency influence these decisions, with a novel computational model and experimental task, using neuroimaging and neurostimulation techniques.

Candidates are expected to carry out empirical work combining EEG, TMS, and computational modeling. Expertise in these methods is not required, but strong interest in cognitive neuroscience, data analysis, and computer programming are. The main supervisor is Tom Verguts (UGent) and co-supervisors are Kobe Desender (UGent/UKE Hamburg) and Elise Lesage (UGent).

To apply, please send a CV (including two email addresses of academic referees) and motivation letter to Tom Verguts (tom.verguts@ugent.be). To sample more information about the project or details about the position, please also contact Tom Verguts. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

  • A model-based approach to study transfer in decision making and cognitive control

Many psychologists have wondered whether cognitive control can be trained, but several training studies have been unsuccessful. In this PhD project, we will develop a model-based cognitive training paradigm using a well-studied cognitive process model of learning and decision making. By manipulating specific model parameters while subjects perform cognitive control tasks, we will test whether training induces transfer of these parameter settings across tasks. Using this approach, we will also investigate whether similarities in neural pattern activation (i.e., voxel patterns) can predict transfer, to unravel the neural substrates of these potentially generalizable control processes.

Candidates are expected to carry out empirical work combining fMRI and computational modeling. Expertise in these methods is not required, but strong interest in cognitive neuroscience, data analysis, and computer programming are. This is a PhD project at Ghent University and at Vrije Universiteit Brussel; the supervisors are Tom Verguts (UGent) and Senne Braem (VUB).

To apply, please send a CV (including two email addresses of academic referees) and motivation letter to Tom Verguts (tom.verguts@ugent.be) or Senne Braem (senne.braem@vub.be), or let us know if you want any further information about the project or details about the position. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.