Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig. PhD position for 3 years in a DFG-funded project

The Modulation of Language Networks Group at the Department of Neuropsychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany (MPI-CBS) offers a PhD position for 3 years in a DFG-funded project entitled: “Investigating the right and left temporo-parietal junction by system plasticity after virtual lesions”.

In an innovative combination of experimental and computational approaches, we will investigate the poorly understood difference between the left and right temporo-parietal junctions with its functional relation to the default mode network across a diverse set of psychological tasks (attention, social cognition and language). We will capitalize on data-driven methods that learn network patterns caused by temporary functional disruption of specific regions with a minimum of a-priori assumptions. The project is a joint endeavour between the Department of Neuropsychology at the MPI-CBS Leipzig, and the Department of Psychiatry of the RWTH Aachen University (Prof. Dr. Dr. Danilo Bzdok).

What you would work on: You will employ transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to address the functional relevance of the temporo-parietal junction across different domains. Plasticity-inducing TMS will be combined with functional neuroimaging to investigate short-term reorganization and changes in effective connectivity in different cognitive networks.

What we expect: The candidate must hold a master’s degree (or equivalent) in psychology, neuroscience, or a related field. She / he is expected to be a talented, enthusiastic, willing-to-learn researcher. The successful candidate will have a profound background in experimental psychology, solid programming skills, and experience in acquisition and analysis of neuroscientific or behavioural data.

What we provide: The project is conducted at the MPI-CBS in Leipzig, an internationally leading center for cognitive and imaging neuroscience equipped with a 7.0 T MRI scanner, several 3.0 T MRIs, a 306-channels MEG, several TMS laboratories, tDCS, and several EEG systems. All facilities are supported by experienced IT and physics staff. PhD students will have the opportunity to join the International Max-Planck Research School. The PhD student will be integrated in the international and interdisciplinary team of the Modulation of language networks group under the supervision of Dr. Gesa Hartwigsen.

Starting date is May 1st, 2017 or later. Salary is based on the funding guidelines of the Max Planck Society. The Max Planck society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.


Please use for applications our online application system (subject heading is “PhD 07/17”). The deadline for application submission is April 30th, 2017. Position will be filled at the earliest opportunity.

The application should include the following documents:

  • Cover letter describing personal qualifications and research interests
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Contact details of two personal references

For further details, please contact:

Dr. Gesa Hartwigsen:

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
Stephanstr. 1 a
04103 Leipzig

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