Author: Crystal Mills

COGS, IBACS & BIRC Colloquium: Dr. John Hale on 2/18

Please join us virtually on 2/18 for John Hale’s talk co-sponsored by the Cognitive Science Program. IBACS, and BIRC. Registration in advance is required. Details are below: 

Speaker: John Hale, Department of Linguistics, University of Georgia 

Time: 4pm, Friday, February 18, 2022 

Talk Title: Grammar, Incrementality and fMRI Timecourse 

Abstract: What is the physical basis of human language comprehension? What sort of computation makes a stream of words come together, one after another, to yield a communicative or literary experience? This question sets up a scientific challenge for the brain and cognitive sciences. With functional neuroimaging, it is possible to extract a timecourse of brain activity from particular regions and ask how well alternative (psycho)linguistic theories account for the measured signal. This can be done over prolonged periods of time, for instance during the spoken recitation of a literary text. On the basis of such timecourses, this talk argues that our conceptualization of grammar should go beyond simple word-sequences and naive phrase structure. It presents an incremental parsing strategy that is more consistent with neuroimaging data than the simple ones presented in books like Hale (2014). The overall methodology can serve as a positive example of how brain data, syntactic theory and parsing algorithms may productively co-constrain one another.


Bio: John Hale, the Arch Professor of World Languages and Cultures at the University of Georgia, is a professor in the Department of Linguistics at UGA. A computational linguist, he has made significant contributions to the theory of sentence processing over the past two decades and is the author of a valued textbook in the field (Automaton Theories of Human Sentence Comprehension, 2014). Strongly committed to cultivating the vital and also changing character of intellectual pursuit in current times, Professor Hale collaborates with DeepMind and has been active in promoting interaction between industry and academia as a way of getting to the bottom of questions about the nature of mind. 

Zoom Registration Link: 

Meeting opportunities: John will be available during the day of his talk (Feb 18) and also during part of the preceding day for individual or small-group meetings on Zoom. Please contact if you are interested in meeting with John. 

Announcing the CogSci Study Abroad Travel Award Program

The Cognitive Science Program’s mission is to prepare students to tackle global and multicultural challenges. A study abroad experience is vital to this preparation. Yet students majoring in Cognitive Science and related-STEM fields are generally less likely to participate in study abroad programs than other students.

With this in mind, the Cognitive Science Program is excited to launch the Cognitive Science Study Abroad Travel Award Program. We will fund up to three, $2000 awards, to be used towards airfare costs associated with a UConn study abroad program.  Any travel costs in excess of the $2000 allotment would be responsibility of the recipient.

These awards are available to UConn undergraduate students majoring or minoring in Cognitive Science who have been accepted into a study abroad program. Priority will be given to students attending the Interdisciplinary Ethnography Field Summer School in Mauritius or the Neuroscience Study Abroad Summer Program in Salamanca, Spain. (Courses taken through these two summer programs can be counted towards the Cognitive Science degree).

This funding scheme operates with a rolling deadline. Once funds are exhausted, the application will close.

Priority consideration will be given to students who (1) are members of a group that is underrepresented at the University of Connecticut; or (2) have overcome obstacles such as socioeconomic, educational, or other societal disadvantages (arising, for example, through prejudice and/or discrimination); or (3) have worked with such groups to help overcome these or other obstacles.

The Cognitive Science program is willing to review other travel abroad scenarios on a case-by-case basis. Questions regarding the Cognitive Science Study Abroad Travel Award Program may be sent to the Cognitive Science Director,

Please visit the Study Abroad Travel Award webpage for more information, including eligibility requirements and how to apply. 

Postdoc and Research Coordinator Positions at UConn

Dr. Ido Davidesco at UConn’s Learning Sciences Program is recruiting a postdoc and a research coordinator for a recently funded NSF project on the role of internal attention in STEM learning. The project involves EEG and eye-tracking in both laboratory and classroom settings. 

For more information:
Please share this opportunity with colleagues and students in your network.
Contact Dr. Davidesco ( for additional information. 

COGS & ECOM: Ani Patel 2/11

Please mark your calendars for our next talk as we will be hosting Prof. Aniruddh Patel (Dept. of Psychology, Tufts Univ.) on Feb 11 (Friday) between 4-5:30 pm (EST) via Zoom as part of our ECOM Speaker Series. The title of his talk is “The speech-to-song illusion: acoustic foundations and individual differences.” Prof. Patel’s talk is co-sponsored by The Cognitive Science Program. Below, you can find the abstract of his talk, along with the event link.
Prof. Patel told us he’d be happy to meet virtually to discuss issues related to his research. There are a couple of slots available to meet with him on Feb 11, Friday, between 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm, and on Feb 14, Monday, between 10:30 am – 11:30 am, and 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm. If you’d like to meet with him, please let me know, and I’ll be happy to make the necessary arrangements. 
Abstract: Music often has salient acoustic differences from spoken and environmental sounds, especially with respect to patterns of pitch and timing. Research has shown humans can discriminate spoken and musical sounds within a fraction of second, and neuroimaging research has found distinct neural populations that respond to speech and music. These findings support the notion that music is a kind of sound, with distinct acoustic features and modes of neural processing. In this presentation I explore a phenomenon which challenges this view, and which suggests that music is a kind of perceptual experience, not a kind of sound. In the “speech to song illusion” certain spoken phrases, when played repeatedly, begin to vividly sound like song. Crucially, not all phrases transform in this way, and there are substantial individual differences in how strongly people experience the illusion. I will present research addressing why certain phrases transform more than others and why some listeners hear the illusion more strongly than others. While we have made some progress in answering these questions, much about this illusion remains mysterious, raising questions about why certain sounds are experienced as music.

COGS & IBACS Colloquium: Dr. John Hale on 2/18

The CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences and The Cognitive Science Program are excited to jointly host a talk by Dr. John Hale, professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Georgia.
Details can be found below but please note that the choice between an in-person or online talk online has not yet been made so please look out for further details. 
Time: 4pm, Friday, February 18
Talk Title: “Grammar, Incrementality and fMRI Timecourse”
If you have any questions or would like to meet with Dr. Hale, please contact Whit Tabor at 

Call for IBACS Graduate Student Fellowship Applications

The Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences (CT IBACS) is inviting applications to its Graduate Fellowship Program.

These summer fellowships are intended for graduate students working on topics with relevance (broadly construed) to the Brain and Cognitive Sciences. IBACS Graduate Fellows attend a short grant-writing workshop and will be expected to submit an application to the NSF GRFP, NRSA (pre- or post-doctoral fellowship), or equivalent, in the Fall.

Deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, December 3rd, 2021.

Graduate students who are not US citizens are eligible to apply and are expected to work with their advisor to develop an external research proposal if they are not eligible for graduate fellowships. Students who were fellows in summer 2020 may apply if they submitted the external grant proposal they developed last year and it was not funded, with the expectation that they will revise their previous grant or develop a new one.

Please refer to the full details here.

Harvard University Postdoctoral Position in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience/Educational Neuroscience

Harvard University Graduate School of Education
Postdoctoral Position in
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience/Educational Neuroscience
The Harvard University Graduate School of Education seeks to fill a NICHD funded postdoctoral fellowship in The GaabLab ( in the areas of developmental cognitive neuroscience/pediatric (f)MRI and Educational Neuroscience. The NICHD funded project aims to examine the neurocognitive links between reading and arithmetic ability as well as high co-occurrence rates of reading and arithmetical learning difficulties. Using a longitudinal design, we will compare typical and atypical developmental trajectories of reading and arithmetic from kindergarten to third grade, and identify a set of predictors in kindergarten of arithmetic and reading outcomes after four years of formal instruction.
Candidates must have earned a doctoral degree in a field related to developmental cognitive neuroscience (e.g., cognitive neuroscience, neuroscience, psychology, developmental psychology, medicine) or have a background in electrical engineering, biomedical engineering or computer science. The responsibilities of the position include overseeing the design and execution of pediatric and infant (f)MRI experiments, analyze behavioral and (f)MRI data, develop new analysis tools, prepare manuscripts for publication, and participate in conferences.
The successful applicant must possess excellent English verbal and written communication skills. Applicants are expected to have a very strong research background in the design and analysis of functional brain-imaging experiments. Experience with (f)MRI analysis programs (e.g., SPM, FSL, Freesurfer, BrainVoyager, AFNI) is required. Programming skills (MATLAB, C++; Python) are desirable and experience with MVPA or connectivity analyses is a plus. Experience with the analysis of pediatric neuroimaging data sets and language and reading research are useful.
This appointment is anticipated to begin in fall/winter 2021. Application review will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Prospective applicants should submit a CV, statement of interest, and a list of three potential refers via email to:
Nadine Gaab, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Education
For information about the Harvard Graduate School of Education, please visit our web site: 
We are 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 at University of Maryland Child Development Lab

Child Development Lab
University of Maryland

The Child Development Laboratory at the University of Maryland, College Park, ( is searching for a postdoctoral fellow to work on ongoing fMRI research related to the neural correlates of temperament risk for anxiety. The position could begin immediately. This position is for up to two years, with the possibility of an extension depending on grant funding.

The postdoc will work on an existing longitudinal infant fMRI study investigating brain networks associated with temperamental risk for anxiety. This study draws on multiple methods of inquiry including direct-observation, questionnaires, electrophysiology, and fMRI. The successful candidate will primarily be responsible for developing fMRI protocols/tasks for assessing infant brain networks as well as analyzing fMRI data, writing scientific papers, and participating in the intellectual life of the lab. Other duties will include working with research assistants and graduate and undergraduate students.

Position qualifications include a PhD in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, or a related field; experience with fMRI acquisition and analysis; strong programming, 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 and train others. Experience with Linux, software programs (AFNI, FSL, MATLAB or other relevant programs), programming tasks (e.g., E-prime), and statistical analysis (R, MPlus, SPSS) is highly desired. Excellent scientific writing skills and experience working with children in an research setting are also desired.

Please address questions or send a letter of research interests, a CV, and contact information for three references to Nathan Fox ( Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Postdoctoral Fellowship at University of South Carolina

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

The Early Social Development and Intervention (ESDI) Lab at the University of South Carolina is seeking a postdoctoral research fellow to assist with several NIH-funded research studies related to infant development and early identification of autism spectrum disorder. Our longitudinal research focuses on quantifying the emergence of, and interrelations between, social behavior, visual attention, and motor skills in neonates, infants, and toddlers at elevated likelihood of ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders (learn more at The postdoctoral fellow will contribute to ongoing data collection and processing efforts, possibly including clinical characterization, as well as publication of manuscripts. The applicant should have a PhD in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Human Development, Communication Sciences and Disorders, or related field. Applied clinical and/or research experience focused on infants is required. Knowledge of developmental research methods, such as eye tracking, physiology (e.g., heart rate), and behavioral coding is highly desired.


  • PhD in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Human Development, Communication Sciences and Disorders, or related field
  • Applied experience with infants in clinical or research settings
  • Knowledge of developmental research methods
  • Interest in developmental science and neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills

Additional Preferred Skills

  • Training and experience in infant developmental assessment measures (language, cognitive, motor)
  • Excellent computational, statistical, and technical skills
  • Experience with eye tracking, physiology, and/or behavioral coding

To apply, please send a resume or CV and Cover Letter to

Postdoc Position in Child Neuroscience at Wash U

Postdoctoral Research Associate Position in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Laboratory for Child Brain Development

Department of Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Division, Washington University- St. Louis


The Laboratory for Child Brain Development (LCBD-PI: Dr. Susan Perlman) has an immediate opening for a postdoctoral training position to collaborate on several NIH funded studies.

The applicant’s main appointment will be in the Laboratory for Child Brain Development ( in the Washington University- St. Louis, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, William Greenleaf Elliot Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (  The LCBD is dedicated to using multi-modal methodology to understand the trajectories of emotional development from infancy to middle childhood (with a strong preschool focus) in order to predict the onset of mental disorder.

The postdoc will have the opportunity to train in multi-modal neuroimaging methods including MRI, NIRS, EEG.  Behavioral (Eye-tracking, clinical interview), physiology (RSA), and immunology measures (hair and salivary cortisol, inflammatory markers) and also included in our research program.  Opportunities for publication include four main studies:

  1. The EmoGrow Project: This study followed 4-5 year old children for two years to examine how early temperament predicts the onset of psychopathology and how the parent-child relationship can buffer these negative outcomes.  Data collection has finished in the complete sample of 151 children and includes MRI, NIRS, and behavioral methods (parent-child) interaction.
  2. Parent and Me PCIT: This completed study examined parent-child interaction using interacting fNIRS in a sample of families seeking PCIT treatment.
  3. The CARE Study: This project, which began data collection in winter 2021 is designed to study the biological unfolding of early-life stress as a precursor to psychopathology.  We will employ intensive, state-of-the-art, multi-modal, neurodevelopmental measurement in a sample of 225 4-6 year-old children and their parent, including fMRI, interpersonal neural synchronization between parent and child using fNIRS, facial expression and behavioral coding, hair and salivary cortisol, and measurement of inflammatory markers.  The CARE study recruits children experiencing attachment-related stress as a model for the biological unfolding of stress, while also examining external stressors and those that occur throughout the course of the study.  In this longitudinal study, families will be followed every 6 months across a 1.5 year time period.
  4. Parent-to-Child Anxiety Transmission: A new project, expected to begin in Fall 2021, will examine parental transmission of anxiety to preschool children.  This project includes fNIRS, EEG, and behavioral coding and will focus on parent-child interaction and socialization of anxious behaviors through child observation.  A subaim of the study focuses on anxiety transmission in fathers.

The postdoctoral fellow will be an integral member of the scientific team at the Laboratory for Child Brain Development and will have rich opportunities to publish and present at conferences using all available laboratory data.  The fellow will also be encouraged and supported to develop supplementary studies via the NIH NRSA and/or K Award mechanisms in addition to smaller foundation grants.  The postdoctoral fellow will develop, implement, and disseminate cutting-edge fMRI and fNIRS analysis tools through Dr. Perlman’s Laboratory for Child Brain Development and in collaboration with local and national collaborators.

The Washington University-St. Louis, Department of Psychiatry provides an ideal training environment for postdoctoral fellows, including the Career and Research Development Seminars designed to promote the professional, career development, and grantsmanship skills necessary to launch an independent career through the NIH K Award mechanism.  Wash U is home to a thriving neuroimaging community and is a leader in developmental psychopathology research.  St. Louis and the local surrounding areas offer an affordable, diverse, and family-friendly community with rich university resources.

Position requires a PhD or MD/PhD in a neuroscience, psychology, computer science, or engineering related field.  The ideal candidate will have fluency in MATLAB, Python, or related language and expertise in fMRI, fNIRS, or EEG and will be able to implement cutting-edge neuroimaging analysis techniques such as network analyses, Multi-Variate Pattern Analysis, or hyperscanning.  The successful candidate will have an excellent publication record with demonstrated interest in developmental cognitive neuroscience and will combine a collaborative orientation with the ability to function well independently.

The postdoctoral fellowship is open immediately, however, the position will remain open until filled.  The LCBD is willing to hold the position for availability of the ideal candidate.  The fellow will be asked to commit to a minimum of 2 years on the project, however, the position may be extended up to 4 years contingent upon progress.  Applicants will be considered until the position is filled.  To apply please send a cover letter, C.V., and names and contact information of three references to: Susan Perlman, Ph.D. at  Questions can be addressed to Dr. Perlman directly.