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  Quantum Theory and Cognition


   School of Mathematics and Physics

This project is no longer listed on FindAPhD.com and may not be available.

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  Prof D Brody, Prof J Al-Khalili  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

​​The work of cognitive psychologist Busemeyer and others have uncovered the astonishing fact that the probability rules underlying human cognitive behaviours are not those of classical probability, but rather their quantum counterparts. But how is it possible that our behaviours are dictated by quantum and not classical rules? Does it mean that the human mind works more like a quantum computer, or is there something else going on here? The answer to this question is not known. Yet, empirical evidence in support of the need to employ quantum probability rules to explain our behaviours is overwhelming. With these in mind, the aim of this project is to develop quantum models that more accurately describe experimental data found in cognitive psychology, and to arrive at a hypothesis that would convincingly explain why this is the case. A solid working knowledge in quantum theory will be required to undertake this project.  

Supervisors: Professor Dorje Brody and Professor Jim Al-Khalili.

Entry requirements

Open to any UK or international candidates. Up to 30% of our UKRI funded studentships can be awarded to candidates paying international rate fees. Find out more about eligibility. Starting in October 2024.

You will need to meet the minimum entry requirements for our Physics PhD programme.

Candidates need to have a good understanding of undergraduate quantum mechanics (essential). Some background in statistical mechanics and probability theory would also be helpful.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Physics PhD programme page. In place of a research proposal, you should upload a document stating the title of the project that you wish to apply for and the name of the relevant supervisor.


Mathematics (25) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

UKRI standard stipend (currently £18,622 p.a.) with an additional bursary of £1,700 p.a. (for the full 3.5 years) for exceptional candidates. Full home or overseas fees (as applicable) covered. A research, training and support grant of £3,000 over the project is offered. Open to any UK or international candidates. Up to 30% of our UKRI funded studentships can be awarded to candidates paying international rate fees.

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