Postdoc or PhD Position in Decision Neuroscience

At the Erasmus Center for Neuroeconomics we are offering a PhD or Postdoc position. We seek outstanding applicants whose research interests lie at the intersection of psychology, economics, marketing and neuroscience and who are interested in studying the brain mechanisms that underlie judgement and decision-making. Particular interests of our group are the neural underpinnings of persuasive messaging, social influences on choice, dishonesty, emotion regulation and self-control, and the role of neurotransmitters and hormones in such decisions.

For the current project, we are especially looking for applicants who have experience with innovative fMRI methods, most notably multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA), or multivariate approaches to EEG data analyses, and who would be interested in applying these techniques to study (real-world) choice behaviour.

Candidates with a less technical focus and a more general interest in how neuroscience can inform decision-making are also invited to apply.

Keywords

Neuroeconomics, neuromarketing, neuroeconomics, consumer behaviour, fMRI, predictive modeling, MVPA, machine learning

Topic

We seek to understand and predict choice from neural activity in response to for example money, products, and persuasive messages. In particular, we focus on linking neural measures obtained from individuals to real market-level choice data. In general, however, candidates have a large say in the precise focus of their project.

Approach

The preferred methodology is fMRI, in particular applying innovative techniques such as multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) and representational similarity analysis (RSA), as well as neural reliability (inter-subject correlations in neural activity). Experience with and interest in applying these advanced techniques is a definite plus. In addition to fMRI, we use EEG, facial coding, eye-tracking and behavioural measures in our research. Experience with at least one of these methods is required.

Required Profile

Successful candidates must have a relevant Masters degree (and PhD degree for the postdoc position), either with a background in cognitive neuroscience/cognitive psychology/biological psychology, with a definite interest of applying their knowledge to the field of decision-making, or with a background in behavioural economics/econometrics/psychology, with a definitive interest in using neuroscience methods.

Candidates with a background in statistics or computer science, with a definitive interest in decision-making and neuroscience are also strongly invited to apply.

The Postdoc position is for a period of 3 years, the PhD position for a period of 4 years but can be extended to 5 years if budget allows.

How to Apply

Interested PhD candidates can apply through the ERIM website.

Interested Postdoc candidates can apply by sending their CV, motivation letter and names of three references to Annette Bartels (abartels@rsm.nl).

For more information about these positions, please contact Ale Smidts (asmidts@rsm.nl) or Maarten Boksem (mboksem@rsm.nl).

Cooperation

The PhD student/Postdoc will be a member of The Erasmus Center for Neuroeconomics (ECN), which is hosted by the Marketing Department of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. This position will be jointly supervised by Prof. Ale Smidts and Dr. Maarten Boksem.

The Erasmus Center for Neuroeconomics is dedicated to conducting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in decision neuroscience, and hosts the Erasmus Behavioural Lab which provides an excellent infrastructure for conducting behavioural, EEG/ERP, eye-tracking, facial coding and hormone-administration experiments. In addition, the Center has access to multiple MRI scanners located the Erasmus Medical Center. The Department of Marketing is home of leading researchers in consumer behaviour and judgment and decision making, and experts in marketing modelling, computer science and econometrics.

Opportunities exist for funding a research stay abroad at an excellent institute in the third year of the PhD.