Month: February 2020

CogSci Major, Brandon Emerick, on curiosity and intrinsic motivation

Sophmore CogSci Major, Brandon Emerick, gave a TEDx talk entitled, “How the Science of Curiosity Can Crush Your Comfort Zone”

How can curiosity enhance our ability and drive to learn? In this talk, Brandon Emerick, a cognitive science student at the University of Connecticut, shares his research and personal journey into understanding the psychology behind curiosity, leaving us with ways we can all become life-long learners by improving our curiosity about the world around us. I am a Cognitive Science major at UConn, fascinated by how the mind works from multiple perspectives. It is extremely fun researching information about the brain, behavior, cognition, and emotion on Google Scholar. It is not only intrinsically fascinating, but also quite useful. Since Cognitive Science sweeps through neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, artificial intelligence, and anthropology, I am able to see education, relationships, business, health, and the self through a scholarly perspective. Rather than waiting until college is over to get a job, I founded my sole proprietor business Brain Spawners. To “brain spawn” (verb) means to create something using principles from Cognitive Science. Right now, I am working on a blog about productivity/motivation, mental health, learning, and more. After I graduate from UConn, I intend to get a PhD in Cognitive Science and do research in fields such as Autism, Self Determination Theory, and Artificial Intelligence. I really enjoy talking about my interests with other people and I believe that public speaking and debate are great ways of sharing and processing the newest insights. I am also interested in political satire, educational videos, hiking, health, and fine dining. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.


Post doctoral position, Lab for the Developing Mind at NYU

Dear CDS,

The Lab for the Developing Mind (, PI: Moira Dillon) in the Department of Psychology at New York University is seeking a full-time post doctoral researcher to begin in late spring or early summer 2020. Areas of investigation in the lab include mathematical cognition, spatial cognition, early emerging knowledge domains, symbolic and abstract thought and reasoning, and pictorial and mental imagery. The lab uses behavioral and computational approaches and tests participants ranging in age from infants through adults.
This post doctoral position is expected to focus on how early human intelligence might inform better common sense artificial intelligence. The post doctoral researcher will be expected to design and conduct studies on infant cognition about objects, agents, and places and collaborate with developmental and computational cognitive scientists. This position is ideal for any researcher interested in the foundations of intelligence who wants to grow an empirical research program with developmental populations while collaborating with state of the art computational scientists. Knowledge of the theories and methods of infancy research is required, and experience conducting infant research is preferred but not required. Priority will also be given to applicants who also have at least basic knowledge of computational cognitive science. Through its recent initiative on “Minds and Machines” and its state of the art Center for Data Science, New York University offers a rich intellectual community supporting research at the intersection of human and artificial intelligence.
Interested candidates should visit to submit a cover letter, CV, representative first-author publication, and contact information for three references. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applications submitted by March 23 will be prioritized.
Please share widely!
Moira R. Dillon, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
New York University
6 Washington Place
New York, NY 10003

Twitter: Moira_Dillon

postdoctoral opportunity

am hiring a postdoctoral fellow beginning in July, 2020.  Students with training in adversity exposure, memory development, narratives, maltreatment, or trauma could expand their expertise in exciting new directions in child and
adolescent development with our team. I targeted faculty who might have  someone who is interested. If so, please forward this note!

The fellow will collaborate on several projects concerning disclosure processes and narratives in victimized children and adolescents,  including those subjected to human trafficking (e.g., we are evaluating
how variations in questioning approaches affect trafficking victim disclosures, including the amount and type of information reported).

The fellow will be apart of a multi-disciplinary team at UC Irvine and University of Southern California, will be a member of UCI’s Center for Psychology and Law, and will be able to take part in activities in the aw school at USC. We have very strong connections to social services in the county and regularly work with them on child maltreatment
identification and intervention efforts. Thus, there are opportunities to pursue additional research with high-risk populations as well.

Please have interested students email me at



Jodi A. Quas
Professor of Psychological Science
University of California, Irvine

Post-baccalaureate and Post-doctoral Research Positions

 Post-baccalaureate and Post-doctoral Research Positions in Neurocognitive Development Lab

University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. Tracy Riggins and the Neurocognitive Development Lab ( in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park is hiring a full-time post-baccalaureate research assistant and a post-doctoral research associate for an NIH/NSF-funded research project examining sleep, memory, and brain development in early childhood ( 


Full-time post-baccalaureate research assistant (Faculty Specialist): The candidate must have or be in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree in a related scientific field (e.g., Psychology, Neuroscience, Human Development); previous research experience with human subjects (preferably using EEG or MRI); the ability to work independently; keen attention to detail; reliable transportation; and the ability to interact warmly and professionally with parents and children. Strong computational, organizational, managerial, problem-solving, and analytic skills are essential.  


Responsibilities will include: (1) conducting experiments with young children and adults (including: recruiting, scheduling, and data collection); (2) analyzing behavioral, electrophysiological and neuroimaging data; (3) training and supervising undergraduate research assistants; (4) performing general administrative duties, including data management and maintenance of budgets, lab web pages and participant recruiting systems; (5) programming scientific experiments and developing experimental stimuli, (6) assisting with IRB protocol creation and compliance, (7) conducting library searches and literature reviews to assist in manuscript preparation; and (8) providing general support for the PI and other researchers in the

laboratory including, but not limited to, purchasing and maintaining lab equipment.

Post-doctoral research associate: The candidate must have completed or be in the process of completing a PhD in Psychology, Neuroscience, Biology, or other related discipline.  Training in MRI and fMRI data analysis, programming experience and knowledge of advanced statistical method, mastery of English speaking and writing, reliable transportation, and experience working with human subjects are required. Successful candidates must have keen attention to detail; ability to work professionally with parents and children; and strong organization, problem solving, and analytic skills. Experience with preparation of scientific manuscripts or grant applications is strongly preferred.

We seek a post-doc who is motivated and ambitious, who is prepared for a hands-on research experience including the use of new tasks and techniques, and who is prepared to be an intellectual contributor to the research. Responsibilities will include: (1) conducting experiments in young children (behavioral, physiological and MRI data collection); (2) data processing and analysis; (3) training and supervising graduate students, undergraduate students, and project assistants; (4) contributing to administrative duties of the lab; (5) assisting with research protocols and compliance; and (6) contributing to data dissemination (poster presentations, manuscript submissions). positions will start in late spring/early summer 2020.  Review of applications will begin March 15, 2020 and continue until the positions are filled. Interested individuals should email a cover letter, CV, and names and contact information of 3 references to Arcadia Ewell at  Please include all documents in a single pdf file and include your last name in the file (i.e., “LASTNAME.pdf”).


The University of Maryland, College Park, an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. UMD is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected status in all aspects of employment. UMD is actively engaged in recruiting, hiring, and promoting underrepresented communities; minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Tracy Riggins, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Secretary, Cognitive Development Society
Department of Psychology
4094 Campus Drive
Biology/Psychology Building Room 2147J
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
(301) 405-5905
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Postdoctoral Research Scholar Position at Carnegie Mellon University

Postdoctoral Research Scholar Position at Carnegie Mellon University
The Cantlon Lab at Carnegie Mellon is hiring a Postdoctoral Fellow to study logical rules in primates, human children, and US and Tsimane people.
The position is part of a larger research program investigating the evolutionary, developmental, and cultural influences on fundamental cognitive processes. For the current project, the logical rules of interest include sequencing, hierarchical rules, patterns, and recursion with a focus on spatial and quantitative logic, and connections to language. The researcher will join a collaborative group between the Cantlon Lab at Carnegie Mellon University and the Piantadosi Lab at UC Berkeley. The position is to design nonverbal experiments to test in primates, conduct studies with humans and non-human primates, analyze data, and prepare manuscripts. Possible short data collection trips to the Amazon for testing Tsimane participants are part of this position, depending on interest. Experience programming behavioral tasks and statistics, and primate research is preferred. Salary is based on NIH postdoctoral standards. The position is for at least two years, ideally beginning this summer.
Please email CV and names of references to Jessica Cantlon:

T32 Post-doc Opportunity

UNC T32 Post-Doctoral Research Training Program – 2020 

The University of North Carolina is recruiting for a two-year post-doctoral fellowship position to conduct research on the early brain and behavior development in autism, Fragile X Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Angelman Syndrome, and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Prospective applicants would work with a collaborative team of faculty mentors at UNC that include Joe Piven, Heather Hazlett, Martin Styner, and Mark Shen. This research group is part of the Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) – Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS) Network. Extensive opportunities exist with IBIS Network collaborator sites around the United States. Competitive applicants will have a Ph.D. or M.D. and a background in at least one of the following: neuroimaging, neurodevelopmental disorders, and early development. Post-doctoral fellows will be part of an inter-disciplinary NIH T32 research training program in neurodevelopmental disorders at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. This T32 post-doctoral research training program begins in July 2020: positions are for two years (pending successful review during the first year), and stipend levels follow NIH guidelines. NIH-funded T32 postdoctoral positions are restricted to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only. 

How to Apply / Contact
Deadline for applications is April 1, 2020. Additional information on the program can be found at Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Joseph Piven, M.D. at

Postdoctoral Research Scholar Position at Rutgers University—Newark

Postdoctoral Research Scholar Position at Rutgers University—Newark

The Child Study Center at Rutgers University-Newark, ( directed by Dr. Vanessa LoBue seeks a Postdoctoral Scholar. Start date of June 2020 is highly desirable.  

The postdoctoral scholar will have the opportunity to work on a 5-year NIMH-funded study investigating the developmental trajectories of attention biases to emotional stimuli and negative affect in infancy, with a focus on risk for anxiety. The study has three data collection sites—Penn State, University Park (PI Koraly Perez-Edgar); Penn State-PACT in Harrisburg, PA (PI Kristin Buss); and the Child Study Center at Rutgers University, Newark led by Dr. Vanessa LoBue. The postdoctoral scholar will have his or her main hub at Rutgers-Newark, but will interact extensively with all three sites and all three PI’s. The study incorporates a number of techniques, including electrophysiology (EEG & ERP), psychophysiology (RSA), eye-tracking, direct behavioral observation, and questionnaires.

The postdoctoral scholar will primarily be responsible for collecting and analyzing electrophysiological and behavioral data and writing scientific papers and presentations. Other duties will include working with research assistants and graduate and undergraduate students.

Position qualifications include a Ph.D. in psychology, neuroscience, or a related field; experience with EEG acquisition and analysis; strong experimental and statistical skills; ability to work independently and in a team environment on multiple tasks and projects and to share one’s expertise with others. Experience with data collection platforms (e.g., BrainVision, Mindware, SMI), programming tasks (E-prime, Presentation), statistical analysis (R, SPSS, SAS) and general computing (MATLAB, Unix, Python) is highly desired. Excellent scientific writing skills are also desired.

Submit a letter of research interests, a CV, and contact information for three references to Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Salary will conform to NIH guidelines. This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from date of hire with possibility of re-funding.

Vanessa LoBue, Associate Professor
Graduate Program Director
Department of Psychology
Rutgers University
Smith Hall, Room 341
101 Warren Street, Newark, NJ 07102
Office: 973-353-3950
Lab: 973-353-3938

Postdoc position at Harvard Music Lab

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Postdoc at Harvard Music Lab
The Harvard Music Lab (PI Samuel Mehr) is hiring a postdoctoral fellow to lead and collaborate on studies of music perception and cognition via a range of methods, including web-based citizen science; developmental, cross-cultural, and cognitive psychology; data science; and computational modeling. Candidates can learn more about our research at
Applicants should have a strong publication record in any area of the cognitive sciences; experience in the psychology or neuroscience of music, audition, perception, and so on is strongly preferred. Advanced analytic skills are essential (R, Stata, Python preferred) and web development experience, or a demonstrated ability to learn new development skills quickly, is a priority (javascript, React, CSS, AWS, SQL). Applicants should provide concrete examples of their technical skills.

This is a one-year NIH-funded position with the potential for renewal. Dedicated funds for research and conference travel are available. Please see NIH policy for salary guidelines. The planned start date is 1 August 2020. Please apply by 15 March at We will review applications until the position is filled.

Harvard University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions or any other characteristic protected by law.

Postdoc: Social Communication in Toddlers with Autism

Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Social Communication in Toddlers with Autism

Postdoctoral research fellow position in the Vanderbilt Music Cognition Lab ( for projects into social engagement and social communication in young children with and without ASD. The fellow will develop and carryout federally-funded research assessing rhythm of social interaction and communication in young children and parents. Candidates should be interested in social or language development and have strong data analysis and organizational skills. Ongoing studies use a variety of behavioral and social neuroscience methods (e.g., eye-tracking, acoustics, movement coordination, standardized assessments, behavior/language coding).  Training opportunities and projects will be individualized to fellow’s career goals. Candidates may come from a variety of disciplines including but not limited to psychology, speech sciences, or neuroscience.

For applicants with clinically-oriented backgrounds/interests (e.g., clinical psychology, speech-language pathology), optional opportunities available to conduct clinical assessments or evidence-based interventions for toddlers with ASD participating in the research studies.

Candidates should send a CV, cover letter, references, and sample publication reprint(s) to Dr. Miriam Lense ( Applications considered on a rolling basis.

The Vanderbilt Music Cognition Lab is an interdisciplinary team including clinical psychologists, speech-language pathologists, neuroscientists, and speech scientists. The candidate will work with Research Analysts, graduate, and undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines. Our collaborative relationships on campus include partnerships with Vanderbilt Kennedy Center/Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorder; Vanderbilt Brain Institute; and The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt. We are a diverse lab and welcome applications from all individuals, including those from underrepresented groups in science. 

Post-doctoral Research Position – Development of Communication

Job Advertisement: Post-doctoral Research Position available in Development of Communication

A Post-doctoral research position is available for two years (extension negotiable) in the Comparative BioCognition (CBC) Research Group at the University of Osnabrück, Germany. The project will investigate the development of turn-taking in human children (0-6 years) with a special focus on production and comprehension.  The project is funded by the European Research Council and involves both primary research to be conducted in the child lab at the CBC,  as well as the opportunity to work along side the PI in larger-scale project management (with planned comparisons in other primate species).  Primary research will involve conducting and coordinating research involving naturalistic observations and behavioural experiments (eyetracking, pupillometry) and the use of statistical modelling (LMM and GLMM).
I would be very grateful if you can please share widely.
Please contact me if you have any questions:
Thanks a lot,
Prof. Dr. Simone Pika
room: 68/E02
phone: +49 (0) 541 969- 2721 

Co-director, Loango Chimpanzee Project, Gabon

Comparative BioCognition (CBC)
Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Osnabrück
Artilleriestrasse 34, 49076 Osnabrück, Germany