You will be one of three PhD students in a multidisciplinary team that will do a large scale comparative study on the mechanisms involved in learning about vocal structures in human infants and songbirds (zebra finches). The study is funded by NWO-GW. Together, the three PhD-projects will test how factors such as perceptual biases, computational constraints, memory limitations, etc. influence vocal learning. They will provide insight into whether the mechanisms implied in language learning are linked to more general cognitive mechanisms that may also be present in non-human animals. In this specific PhD-project you will examine the perceptual learning biases in zebra finches by carefully constructed experiments using Go-NoGo, habituation or other experimental procedures.
The candidate should have a Master’s degree in biology, or a BSc in biology with an MSc in cognitive neuroscience or equivalent and have a strong interest in interdisciplinary work. You should preferably have experience in research on animal cognition, animal behaviour or cognitive neuroscience. You must be proficient in spoken and written English, have good communication skills and a strong interest in a scientific career.