Join the lab

MSense is a supportive and open lab. Our goal is to foster an open environment that helps every lab member to develop their research potential. 

Open positions

We have two PhD positions at the LMU-CSC joint program, one PhD position at doctoral training school RTG2175, and one postdoc position open.

1 Postdoc position in a Sino-German research project

The position details can be found here

One post-doctoral position is available at the Department of Psychology, LMU Munich, Germany. The position is funded by a Sino-German bilateral research collaborative project – Value-driven crossmodal attention, available for a period of 3 years.

The aim of the project is to uncover behavioural characteristics and the underlying neural signatures and brain networks of value-driven crossmodal attention, using EEG and fMRI. In this project, we will closely collaborate with our research partner from Peking University (Prof. Xiaolin Zhou and Prof. Lihan Chen) on various studies.

Requirements We are looking for a candidate with a PhD degree, or equivalent, in the field of cognitive neuroscience, psychology, or related fields who has expertise in psychophysical research of multisensory perception and attention. Further, you should demonstrate a solid interest in research on selective attention, crossmodal information processing, ideally documented by some publication(s). Advanced skills in experimental and data analysis programming with Python and R would be a plus for the postdoc position.

Your benefits. The salary will follow German salary scale TVL-E13. The chair of General and Experimental Psychology of LMU Munich is one of the largest psychological chairs in Germany. Currently, there are ca. 25-30 collaborators with backgrounds in different fields in cognitive neuroscience: behavioral techniques, mathematical modeling, biological psychology (i.e., EEG, TMS, tDCS, fMRI), and the experimental investigation of neuropsychological/ neuropsychiatric patients. Further, the chair hosts an international MSc program in “Neuro-Cognitive Psychology”, attracting some 20 highly motivated and clever (i.e., ‘elite’) students per annum. Thus, the scientific environment of the postdoc position is extremely international, methodologically-multifaceted, and stimulating. In addition, you have multiple opportunities to travel to Beijing, China, our research partner, for a short visiting.

How to apply Please send a completed application form: a cover letter detailing your research experience and interests, a C.V., and two academic references electronically to Dr. Zhuanghua Shi (strongway@psy.lmu.de; lab website: http://msense.de). The closing date for applications is Feb. 28th, 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview (early in March). LMU Munich is an equal opportunity employer. Given equivalent qualifications, applications by women and disabled persons will be preferred.

2 LMU-CSC Phd positions

The LMU-CSC open positions are very specific for Chinese students, who will be supported by Chinese Government Scholarship Coucil (CSC). You should only apply if you have already contacted us (PD Dr. Zhuanghua Shi or Prof. Hermann J. Müller) and we have confirmed your research proposals. For further information, please visit the official website here

  • LMU-CSC PhD position on distractor probability cueing

Often in everyday life, our attention is distracted, or ‘captured’, by salient stimuli that are completely irrelevant with regard to the action goals we pursue. Attentional capture is a major cause of action slips (such as when, as a result, we overlook some critical ‘target’ event), which can have grave consequences (e.g., accidents). The project is designed to study the mechanisms underlying attentional capture, in particular whether we can learn from experience where in the visual world and when distractors are likely to appear and, thus, develop effective (executive) strategies to minimize their interference. This work constitutes a new turn in attention research, complementing previous work on the probabilistic cueing of target locations. The project will build on prior work of the Chair demonstrating the operation of distractor location probability cueing in visual search. The aim is to behaviorally characterize the (development of) spatial and temporal distractor probability cueing and the memory mechanisms involved, and how distractor cueing interacts with target cueing to guide search performance; further, to understand the underlying brain mechanisms using a combination of EEG and fMRI methodologies.

LMU linked PDF

  • LMU-CSC PhD position on perceptual bias and sequential context

Our perception is strongly influenced by contextual information. A well-known example of this type perceptual bias has been documented in a Confucius story “Two Children arguing about the sun”(ca. 500 BC). In Western, Helmholtz (1867) proposed that perception is a process that constructs a hypothesis about what the world is like based on our sensory input and our implicit prior assumptions. Helmholtz’s idea has now been implemented in Bayesian frameworks (Knill & Richards, 1996). Yet, the dynamic influence of history-based sequential context on perceptual bias is less well understood. The aim of this project is to uncover how natural and unnatural sequences of stimuli influence perceptual judgments, and to use Bayesian inference to predict behavioural results. In addition, we aim to identify underlying neural mechanisms using EEG and fMRI methodologies.

LMU Linked PDF

3 PhD position on RTG doctoral training group RTG 2175

The RTG 2175 research doctoral position is co-supervised by Dr. Wachtler and Me. The project is on contextual biases in space and time. In this  tandem project, we aim to tackle this question by examining biases in spatial and temporal contexts. The project consists of three parts: In the first part of the project, we aim to identify contextual biases in the temporal domain, namely how time perception is influenced by properties of the stimulus sequence, by comparing different types of testing sequences (e.g., natural random-walk sequence vs arbitrary randomized sequence). In the second part of the project, we plan to investigate contextual biases in the spatial domain, particular in color perception, with different types of spatial structure (e.g., natural scene and objects vs arbitrary randomized scenes). This will enable to identify similarities between spatial and temporal biases. We have hypothesized that, given the natural spatio-temporal coupling imposed by eye movements in natural viewing, context-dependence in vision may constitute a predictive component of efficient saccadic remapping (Klauke & Wachtler, 2015). Therefore, in the third part we will examine how previously sampled scene statistics through eye movements influences perception, by investigating different types of spatio-temporal context (e.g., natural viewing statistics vs randomized stimulus sequences). We intend to use eye tracking methods (e.g., fixation duration, saccadic amplitude, scanpath) to determine viewing statistics and investigate saccade-dependent contextual modulation. In parallel, we will use EEG, fMRI methods to uncover underlying neural mechanisms of contextual dependence. Using statistical and mechanistic models, we will elucidate and describe common principles underlying spatial and temporal contextual biases in perception.

The RTG qualifying doctoral candidate will be recruited via, and enrolled within the graduate school of systemic neurosciences (GSN) at LMU. You need to apply the position at GSN at LMU here.