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Predictive Processing in the Sensory Brain (SmithFU19PSY)


   School of Psychology

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  Dr FW Smith  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

How does the brain process sensory information? Does it merely register the sensory input originating from say the eyes? Or does it rather use our prior experience to actively predict what objects are present in the world? The current project will use behavioural and neuroimaging techniques (fMRI and EEG) to test whether Predictive Processing accounts for high-level effects occurring in early sensory brain areas (e.g. Primary Visual Cortex – V1) under conditions of visual occlusion (e.g. when viewing a face with the eyes hidden from view, early visual areas contain information about the hidden face region). There is also the potential to conduct layer-specific fMRI at 7T and/or MEG as part of the project through existing high-profile collaborations. The results of these studies will have significant implications both for our basic understanding of how the brain processes sensory information and also for a range of populations where Predictive Processing is thought to be impaired (e.g. Autism, Psychosis).

Project Start Date: Oct 2019
Mode of Study: Either full-time or part-time
Acceptable First Degree: Psychology or closely related field
Minimum Entry Requirements: UK 2:1; 60% in Masters in psychological research methods, or equivalent experience, required.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is in a School of Psychology competition for funded studentships. These studentships are funded for 3 years and comprise of home/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £14,777. Overseas applicants may apply but they are required to fund the difference between home/EU and overseas tuition fees (which for 2018-19 are detailed on the University’s fees pages at https://portal.uea.ac.uk/planningoffice/tuition-fees . Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual increase).

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