The Consciousness, Cognition & Computation Group (CO3) of the Center for Research in Cognition & Neurosciences at the Université libre de Bruxelles seeks applicants for a two-years post-doc position funded under the ERC Advanced Grant awarded to Axel Cleeremans (project ‘RADICAL’).
This research project is focused on the development of a novel theory of consciousness based on the idea that consciousness is something that the brain learns to do rather than a static property of certain kinds of neural activity. Prediction-driven interactive loops thus enable the brain to learn about (1) the consequences of activity in one region on activity in other regions (the inner loop), (2) the consequences of action on perception (the perception-action loop), and (3) the consequences of action on the behaviour of other agents (the mind loop). The core idea is thus that a cognitive system becomes a conscious cognitive system in virtue of its ability to continuously learn to represent (and hence, predict) the consequences of its own activity. For further background on the ideas behind this project, applicants are invited to consult the following paper.
Successful candidates must hold a Ph.D. degree (or equivalent) in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Engineering, Informatics, or related disciplines. Experience with computational modelling methods, ranging from deep learning methods to predictive coding algorithms, is essential. Experience conducting behavioural research, including experimental design and data analysis skills, is a strong plus. The main goal of the post-doc appointment will be to contribute to theory development by combining theory-driven computational modelling with targeted experimentation dedicated to testing specific predictions. The appointee will be expected to collaborate closely with both the PI and the rest of the team.
The position will be funded for a minimum of one year (renewable) and will be remunerated according to Belgian standards for the appointment of post-docs in international mobility (approx. 28K+ € / year net, as well as social security benefits). Successful applicants will join the CO3 lab (about 12 members) and the extant RADICAL ERC team, which currently consists of post-doc Adélaïde de Heering and of Ph.D. students Dalila Achoui, Laurène Vuillaume, Santiago Muñoz Moldes and Arnaud Beauny.
Informal enquiries accompanied by a CV and a short statement of interest may be sent to Axel Cleeremans. Applications will continue to be examined until the position is filled.