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University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

Multi-modal neuroimaging of subcortical connectivity in flexible decision-making

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Research in our lab investigates the neurobiological mechanisms that support learning from experience and adjusting subsequent decisions. We are particularly interested in how cortico-striatal circuits underpin this process, how they develop, and how they interact with the limbic brain.
This project will expand on our current work by integrating structural and functional imaging of striatal connectivity to understand how we achieve behavioural flexibility when faced with environmental change. The work will involve haemodynamic, neurochemical and diffusion-weighted imaging of multi-alternative probabilistic learning. The project will most likely focus on the healthy adult brain, but there is a possibility of working on development during adolescence, depending on the skills and interests of the successful candidate.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Anastasia Christakou and will work closely with collaborators both in the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics, as well as elsewhere in the UK and internationally. They will have access to cutting-edge neuroimaging technology and analytics, including high-resolution structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, electroencephalography, transcranial magnetic and electrical stimulation, peripheral psychophysiology, and their multi-modal combinations. The studentship will offer training in neuroimaging techniques (MRI/MRS) and mathematical modelling , as well as a host of transferable skills delivered through the University’s Graduate School (

Funding Notes

We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated individual with an good undergraduate degree in psychology, biology, neuroscience, or physics/engineering/computer science and an MSc/MRes in Human Neuroscience or similar. Research experience in cognitive neuroscience methods and programming skills (Matlab, R) are highly desirable, and prior experience with human research is essential. The project will offer ample opportunity for innovation and collaboration, and the successful candidate will be able to demonstrate their ability to work in this context.

Details of the cost of study as well as potential sources of funding can be found on the University website (View Website).


How good is research at University of Reading in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 40.15

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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