School of Psychology PhD Studentship: Getting the gist: Investigating episodic memory processes (2012)

Project title: Getting the gist: Investigating episodic memory processes

Supervisors: Dr Chris Bird and Prof Jennifer Rusted

Visual illusions occur because we do not "see" what is physically present, but we construct our perceptions based on expectations and assumptions about the world. Similarly, memory does not work like a video record of our experiences. We encode the gist of what is happening, and when we retrieve a memory, we reconstruct the event in our mind, based on what we think must have happened. As a result of this, memory too is subject to illusions and distortions. Nevertheless, the processes that lead to these effects are poorly understood.

This PhD will investigate how episodic memories are encoded and retrieved from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. The successful candidate will (1) use behavioural techniques to investigate memory distortions in healthy adults, (2) use functional MRI to identify brain regions associated with different mnemonic processes, and (3) use neuropsychology to investigate how such processes may be affected by particular neurological conditions (such as Alzheimer's disease). Full support will be provided, although a familiarity with one or more of these techniques would be advantageous.

Type of award

PhD Studentship

Award amount

£13,590 per annum (funded for the duration of three years)

Eligibility

Eligibility requirements for potential candidates:

  • UK and EU candidates are eligible to apply. Candidates may not be eligible for the full award if they do not meet UK residency requirements.
  • Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, a First or a high Upper Second Class Honours undergraduate degree, or equivalent qualification, and/or a Masters degree in Psychology or a related discipline.

Application procedure

Guidance for applicants:

Please send your initial enquires by email: For the attention of 'Postgraduate Coordinator' to: psychology@sussex.ac.uk

If you wish to discuss the details of this PhD project further, please contact Dr Chris Bird chris.bird@sussex.ac.uk

Details of application procedures can be found at: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/pg/applying/

Candidates should provide:

* A personal statement detailing why you wish to carry out doctoral research (up to 1500 words). This should include a discussion of your specific research interests within the scope of the advertised area.

* A teaching-related statement that addresses the normal expectation that you contribute to teaching of statistics and research methods (up to 300 words).

* A current transcript with full details of performance on all completed courses.

Timetable

PhD Studentship available for October 2012

Further information

Applications for this full-time studentship (funded for the duration of three years) should be made by 5.00pm, on 16th February 2012.

The studentship pays the tuition fee, and a maintenance allowance. The maintenance allowance is currently £13,590 per annum (this includes a teaching commitment).

Contact details

Please send your initial enquires by email:

For the attention of 'Postgraduate Coordinator' to: psychology@sussex.ac.uk

If you wish to discuss the details of this PhD project further, please contact Dr Chris Bird chris.bird@sussex.ac.uk

Availability

Available to:
UK, Europe (Non-UK)

At level(s):
PG (research)

Application deadline:
16 May 2012
the deadline has now expired