PostDoc – Navigation, Learning, And Memory

Dr. Elizabeth Chrastil, PI of the Spatial Neuroscience Laboratory in the Department of Neurobiology & Behavior at the University of California, Irvine, is seeking one or more postdoctoral researchers for the coming year. The Spatial Neuroscience Lab uses dynamic and interdisciplinary research methods to answer questions about how the brain processes information to keep us oriented as we navigate through a complicated world.

In addition to navigation, our research is deeply connected to the fields of learning, memory, and decision making, with aging, clinical, and translational applications. Our primary techniques are fully immersive virtual reality and neuroscience brain imaging using multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (structural MRI, fMRI, diffusion imaging, resting state) and electroencephalography (EEG).

Postdoc positions are available in the following specific areas:

  • individual differences in navigational ability, with a focus on learning;
  • function and connectivity of the retrosplenial cortex;
  • cognitive aging, with consideration of navigation as an early clinical marker for dementia;
  • fMRI investigations of cognitive mapping compared to graph-like topologies;
  • distance processing in the hippocampus across spatial, temporal, and social domains.


Requirements for the position include:

  • a Ph.D. in neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, or related field.
  • Demonstrable skill in one or more programming languages (e.g. Matlab or Python) and exceptionally strong statistical skills are highly desired.
  • A strong background in MRI data analysis including multivariate methods (multivariate pattern analysis/representational similarity analysis) is highly preferred.
  • The successful applicant would have a strong first-author publication record and a demonstrable interest in navigation, learning, memory, or decision making.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, are a must.
  • A desire to mentor and teach graduate and undergraduate students in the lab is also a plus.
  • Beyond qualifications and skills, the successful applicant should be collaborative, resourceful, and productive and must be able to manage multiple research projects with ease and have an eye for common approaches and themes.

Numerous opportunities for exploration and the development of creative data science approaches are available. A very strong statistical background is highly desired. Lab and institutional resources include a new research-dedicated 3T Siemens Prisma scanner, a large ambulatory virtual reality space with wireless tracking, an active Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and a newly established sleep center. There are abundant opportunities for collaborative work with other researchers across the university. In addition to working on new projects, there are also opportunities to work with existing data across multiple research programs.

Please click here to apply:

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