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The role of prior expectations in auditory and visual processing

   Cardiff School of Psychology

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  Prof T Freeman, Dr C Teufel  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Perception is not exclusively driven by sensory input but is shaped by expectation, knowledge, and experience (so-called priors). Priors can lead to systematic biases in perception, such as distortions in where things are and how fast they are moving. Working with Tom Freeman and Christoph Teufel, the PhD will examine the degree to which priors are shared across vision and hearing. The project will make use of a state-of-the-art laboratory comprising arrays of speakers, LEDs, Virtual Reality headsets as well as eye- and head-trackers. Current projects in the lab include audiovisual cue combination and motion perception in active perceivers, funded by the Leverhulme Trust (go here for recent abstracts 

Freeman and Teufel have published widely on the interaction between sensory encoding and prior expectations e.g. Powell, al. 2016. Bayesian models of individual differences: combining autistic traits and sensory thresholds to predict motion perception. Psychological Science 27(12), pp. 1562-1572. (10.1177/0956797616665351). Teufel, C. and Fletcher, P. C. 2020. Forms of prediction in the nervous system. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 21, pp. 231-242. (10.1038/s41583-020-0275-5). 

For more detail, please contact [Email Address Removed] or [Email Address Removed])

Funding Notes

The studentship will commence in October 2022 and will cover your tuition fees (at UK/EU level) as well as a maintenance grant. In 2021/2022 the maintenance grant for full-time students was £15,609 per annum. As well as tuition fees and a maintenance grant, all School of Psychology students receive access to courses offered by the University’s Doctoral Academy and become members of the University Doctoral Academy


You can apply online - consideration is automatic on applying for a PhD in Psychology, with an October 2022 start date (programme code RFPDPSYA).
Please use our online application service at
and specify in the funding section that you wish to be considered for School funding.
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