Project: Neuromuscular-cognitive interactions in decision making

One 4-year PhD position (to start January or Septmeber 2023) is available to work on a project examining interactions between neuromuscular and cognitive processes in perceptual decision making using an innovative approach combining human neurophysiology and computational modelling. This project will be co-supervised by Elaine Corbett and Simon Kelly.

Successfully interacting with one’s environment requires a rich interplay of perceptual judgement and neuromuscular control, with each taking account of the other in real time. Miscalculations in this accounting, as happens in demanding sensorimotor tasks (e.g. sports), cognitive and motor disorders, or with age-related decline, can have serious consequences. In this project, we will develop a new decision paradigm to investigate how people adjust sensorimotor processes to meet changing neuromuscular demands. A recently developed computational framework for jointly modelling behavioural and neurophysiological signatures of sensorimotor decision formation [1-2] will allow us to parse the sensory, cognitive and motor processes involved at the cortical level. The project will involve EEG, EMG, and computational modelling.

The Corbett and Kelly labs are based in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in University College Dublin, Ireland, and are affiliated with the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. We have strong collaborative links to basic and clinical cognitive neuroscience research groups employing a range of methods, both locally and internationally. The successful candidate will have ample opportunities for wider collaborations and the learning of new skills.

Interested candidates should submit their CV and a brief research statement describing their background and research interests and how they align with the project and the broader interests of the Kelly/Corbett research group. We will continually accept applications until the position is filled. Please submit by email directly to Elaine (corbette@ucd.ie). Please feel free to get in touch in advance for more details or advice.

[1] Kelly, S.P., Corbett, E.A., & O’Connell, R.G. (2021). Neurocomputational mechanisms of prior-informed perceptual decision making in humans. Nature Human Behaviour. 5-4, 467-481.

[2] Corbett, E.A., Martinez-Rodriguez, L.A., Judd, C., O’Connell R.G., & Kelly, S.P (2021). Multiphasic value biases in fast-paced decisions. BioRxiv.