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Research Assistant (Fixed Term)


A position is available to study the neural mechanisms for food reward and reward-based decisions with functional MRI in humans and single-neuron recordings in animals (NHP) in the research group of Fabian Grabenhorst, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge.

Our work investigates neural signals underlying the processing of rewards, in particular sensory food components, and related behavioural processes, including value-based decision-making, reinforcement learning, and social interactions. We use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and quantitative behavioural testing in human volunteers. Our human imaging work is informed by closely related single-neuron recordings in behaving animals, which we conduct in parallel to the human work. We aim to relate fMRI and single-neuron data with biologically realistic computational models. Our projects benefit from collaborations with experimental and computational neuroscientists in Cambridge and abroad, in particular the associated group of Wolfram Schultz. Relevant recent publications include: Grabenhorst et al., eLife 2016; Zangemeister et al., Current Biology, 2016; Hernadi et al., Nature Neuroscience, 2015; Grabenhorst and Rolls, Human Brain Mapping 2014.

Candidates should have experience in independently conducting controlled behavioural experiments in human decision-making. Experience in advanced statistics (e.g. multiple regression, factor analysis) and computer programming are essential, as is a strong interest in neuroeconomics, reinforcement learning, game theory, social neuroscience. Additional experience in animal behavioural neurophysiology or computational neuroscience would be an asset. Training will be provided in all areas necessary for successful project completion.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload your full Curriculum Vitae (CV) including list of relevant publications and a covering letter in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Deadline for applications is Sunday 26 Novermber, 2017, although the search will continue until an appropriate candidate has been identified. Start date is from January 2017. Appointment will be initially for two years and extendable.

Please quote reference PM13715 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

Apply online