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PhD Position (f/m/d) in Structural and Functional MRI of Brain Plasticity in Second Language Acquisition
Published(91 days ago)
Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften (MPI CBS)Leipzig
The Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS, Leipzig, Germany) has an opening
PhD Position in Structural and Functional MRI
of Brain Plasticity in Second Language Acquisition
A doctoral position has become available in the Department of Neuropsychology, Director Prof. Angela
D. Friederici, at the MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, in a project led by Dr Alfred
Anwander and Dr Tomás Goucha. The department focuses on the functional architecture of language and its
neuroanatomical basis in the adult and developing brain.
The successful candidate will work in a multidisciplinary team studying multimodal plasticity of the adult
human brain during the acquisition of German as a second language using functional, structural, and diffusionweighted
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). By characterising the functional and structural reorganisation of
the brain networks, this large-scale longitudinal project aims at elucidating the neural mechanisms underlying
learning and their respective individual differences.
The PhD candidate will have the opportunity to work on functional and structural longitudinal changes in the
brain in a large cohort attending an intensive language training course, using quantitative MRI acquired in
several waves. The structural analysis is focused on cortical grey matter (cortical thickness and surface area)
as well as myelination. The longitudinal functional task fMRI experiment assesses grammatical and semantic
processing of German as a second language. The candidate is expected to integrate these results with measures
of language learning and cognitive function as a part of an extensive longitudinal behavioural assessment. This
implies acquiring more in-depth skills in modelling multidimensional data sets (e.g. using latent variables),
also integrating results from different imaging modalities.
The student will operate in a unique world-class research environment and have access to cutting-edge
hardware including 7T, 3T and Connectom MRI scanners, and EEG/MEG equipment. The candidate will
have the opportunity to cooperate with Institute members from different disciplines, including psychology,
engineering, medicine, and neuroscience.
Applicants must hold a Master‘s degree or equivalent in cognitive neuroscience or psychology, engineering,
or a related field. A background in human neuroscience, brain image or signal analysis, and programming
experience is expected. It would be advantageous if candidates are able to demonstrate their ability to conduct
scientific work, ideally with publications.
The position is available to start at the soonest possible date. It is funded for three years, and remuneration is
based on the pay scale of the Max Planck Society.
The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce
and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.
To apply, please include the following documents as a single PDF file: CV, contact information of two references,
academic certificates, a personal statement describing your qualifications and research interests, as well as your
reason for applying. Please submit your application via our online system at http://www.cbs.mpg.de/vacancies (using subject heading "PhD 05/19"). The
position will remain open until filled.