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A neuroeconomic map of the brain’s valuation centres. (SambrookTU20PSY2)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, November 28, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Decision-making in humans and other animals is heavily influenced by prior experience with the decision problem at hand. Behavioural scientists have traditionally assumed that positive and negative outcomes previously arising from an action are combined into a single valuation indicating that action’s likely profitability in the future (cost-benefit analysis), thus providing a basis for rational choice between actions. Behavioural economics suggests no such integration occurs and our behaviour is determined by competition between cognitive controllers sensitive to reward and punishment. For your PhD you will be a developing techniques to identify these controllers and profile them based on their neural activity in response to reward (e.g. money, tasty food, attractive images) and punishment (e.g. monetary loss, electric shock, bitter tastes). You should have programming experience, ideally in MATLAB or R.

“You should have either training in psychology research methods (e.g. an MSc Psychology) or a degree in computer science or related field and the willingness to undergo psychology research training while doing your Ph.D. Experience with EEG acquisition and analysis would be beneficial but not essential”

Applicants for this studentship must also apply for the .50fte EEG Technician position, which will be posted on 1st November 2019 and close on 28th November 2019.

See https://myview.uea.ac.uk/webrecruitment/pages/vacancy.jsf?latest=01007110 for further details.

Interested applicants should contact the supervisor named above to discuss preparing a specific proposal on this topic, which is required as part of the PhD application.

Inquiries regarding the structure of this project (PhD + Employment contract) should be directed to Dr. Natalie Wyer at .

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here: https://people.uea.ac.uk/t_sambrook?_ga=2.136545776.1929883747.1571662025-803291149.1554884023

This is a PhD programme.

The start date of this project is January 2020.

The mode of study is part-time. The studentship length is 6 years.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is in a School of Psychology competition for one funded studentship. This part-time studentship is funded for 6 years and comprises of home/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £7,589.

Entry requirements:

Acceptable first degree in Psychology or relevant other discipline.

The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.

Masters or equivalent experience.


i) Decision making

ii) Computational psychology

iii) Psychophysiology

iv) Reinforcement learning

v) Conditioning

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