Neuroscientist for Embodied Cognitive Science Unit (Froese Unit)
The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST; see www.oist.jp) is a dynamic new graduate university of science and technology in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The university is located on 85 hectares of protected forestland overlooking beautiful shoreline and coral reefs. The campus is striking architecturally, and the facilities are outstanding (OIST campus video tour). There are no academic departments, which facilitates multidisciplinary research. Outstanding resources and equipment are provided and managed to encourage easy access and collaboration. English is the official language of the University, and the university research community is fully international, with more than 50 countries represented. OIST is rapidly gaining recognition in the worldwide academic community as a model for excellence in education and research.
Postdoctoral scholar; note that applications for this role as Staff scientist or Unit technician are also welcome.
Our understanding of the human mind is undergoing a major shift: social interactions, the body, and technological coupling are increasingly revealed to play a constitutive role in even high-level human capacities. Understanding the mechanisms and role of real-time social interaction is particularly crucial for an embodied and empirically grounded theory of social cognition. Little is known about the extent of the underlying interpersonal neural couplings, the processes that enable them, the information flows with and their relationship to sensorimotor couplings, the structure of such neural- and sensorimotor-coupled social systems, or the precise roles that these components have for human capacities and their disorders.
We seek a highly motivated researcher or technician with thorough and hands-on experience in EEG setup and measurement, ideally with an interest in designing hyperscanning experiments, and possibly non-linear time series analyses, to join the Embodied Cognitive Science Unit (Froese Unit) at OIST <https://groups.oist.jp/ecsu/>, a highly interdisciplinary unit spanning philosophical, computational, and experimental approaches to cognitive science.
The successful applicant will work on a long-term project investigating the emergence and role of neural coupling and synchronization during minimal sensorimotor interactions such as those emerging in the Perceptual Crossing Paradigm with the aim of applying it to the early diagnosis of mental disorders.
The role involves the development of hyperscanning experiments, especially the practical setup and running of experiments, and analysis of resulting datasets. The project is developed by a small integrated team, and we seek for applicants capable of working well in this environment, using their specific skills to enrich and contribute to the group's dynamics.
We welcome applications for this position as postdoctoral researchers, staff scientists, or unit technicians; the position is for up to 3 years. Circumstances allowing, on-site interview visits may be possible. Applications for this position are open until the position is filled.
In this unit we pursue the implications of embodied cognitive science from the mind’s most basic expressions in adaptive behavior to its most complex manifestations in abstract thinking. Our interdisciplinary research is framed by a general interest in better understanding the major transitions from minimal cognition to human cognition, and our guiding insight is that changes in environmental mediation, especially sociocultural and technological mediation, have the potential to transform and potentiate the mind.
We employ a diversity of methods that are drawn from the intersection of computer science, complex systems theory: agent-based modeling, artificial neural networks, evolutionary robotics, time series analysis, virtual reality, sensory substitution interfaces, and human-computer interaction.
1. Guiding the design of valid, reliable and replicable experiments using EEG and Perceptual Crossing, in collaboration with the team
2. Operating and validating the practical setup of hyperscanning EEG measurement systems
3. More broadly, planning and executing experimental research independently and in collaboration with the team
4. Supervising junior members of the unit on relevant topics
1. For postdocs and staff scientists: A PhD in EEG analysis, experimental psychology, or related topics
2. Hands-on experience in the setup and operation of EEG measurement systems
3. Strong capabilities for designing valid and reliable experimental procedures
4. This project is a team endeavor, so the ability to work effectively in a group is a must; this could involve e.g. training other team members in EEG practice, or guiding diverse discussions of experimental designs.
1. Experience with hyperscanning EEG setups
2. Experience with detailed statistical analysis of psychology experiments
3. Knowledge of recent time-series analysis or graph signal analysis methods
Term & Working Hours
Working hours: 9:00-17:30 (Discretionary)
Term: Full-time, fixed-term appointment for 1 year, renewable for another two years upon mutual agreement.
Compensation & Benefits
Compensation in accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulations
Relocation, housing and commuting allowances
Annual paid leave and summer holidays
Health insurance (Private School Mutual Aid http://www.shigakukyosai.jp/ )
Welfare pension insurance (kousei-nenkin)
Worker's accident compensation insurance (roudousha-saigai-hoshou-hoken)
How To Apply
Apply by emailing your Submission Documents to:
sebastien.lerique[at]oist.jp (Please replace [at] with @ before using this email address)
Applicants should send a CV, a cover letter and a brief statement of research interests combined in a single PDF file to firstname.lastname@example.org and arrange for at least two recommendation letters to be sent.
*Inquiries about the position can also be sent to the same address.
Application Due Date
- OIST Graduate University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer and is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty, students and staff. The University strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups.
- Information provided by applicants or references will be kept confidential, documents will not be returned. All applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications.
- Please view OIST policy for rules on external professional activities
- Further details about the University can be viewed on the OIST website www.oist.jp.