PhD Position and Postdoc Position in Cognitive Neuroscience Leiden University Netherlands

The Cognitive Psychology Unit of the Institute of Psychology at Leiden University and the Leiden
Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC) are looking for highly talented researchers for a

PhD Position and Postdoc Position in Cognitive Neuroscience

Vacancy numbers 6224 and 26225

Research project "The impact of arousal on cognitive function and cortical state"

The waking state is characterized by constant, sometimes large, fluctuations in arousal level. Recent
research suggests that such fluctuations in arousal account for a large proportion of the variability in
task performance and spontaneous patterns of cortical activity (cortical state). However, the exact ways
in which arousal affects the human brain, mind and behavior are still poorly understood. The major aim
of the proposed research is to characterize the computational and neural mechanisms by which momentto-moment fluctuations in arousal affect cognitive functions and cortical state.

We will manipulate arousal level (e.g., using pharmacology) or monitor spontaneous arousal fluctuations
in human subjects, during rest and during the performance of challenging cognitive tasks. We will
examine whether these changes in arousal are accompanied by activity changes in the tiny human
brainstem nuclei that regulate arousal. Furthermore, we will examine the impact of changes in arousal
on cognitive control, learning, and global patterns of cortical brain activity, as assessed with
neuroimaging methods. Finally, we will use computational models to examine the mechanisms by which
arousal impacts cognitive task performance and cortical state.

The project is part of a research program funded by a Vici grant of the Netherlands Organisation for
Scientific Research awarded to prof. Sander Nieuwenhuis. The abstract described above concerns the
entire research program. The PhD student and postdoc will be members of a team of six closely
collaborating researchers. The research group will participate in the Leiden Institute for Brain and
Cognition (LIBC), an interfaculty center for interdisciplinary research on brain and cognition (
For research in our institute we offer an exciting research environment including EEG, fMRI, eye
tracking, virtual reality, and brain stimulation. For more information see


For links to the advertisements, see
For inquiries, please contact professor Sander Nieuwenhuis, email


Please submit online your application no later than the 5th of May 2019 via the blue button of our
application system (from the 23rd of April;
Applicants should submit online a letter of interest and a cv with a list of publications.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Psychoneuroxy

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