We are looking for a for a Research Fellow in human motion sequencing, for an ERC-funded research project "Action selection under threat - the complex control of human defence" led by Dr Dominik Bach (bachlab.org).

The overarching goal of the project is to understand the cognitive-computational control of human motor behaviour under acute, immediate threat. We investigate this in an immersive virtual reality (VR) environment, in which people can move to avoid a large number of different threats. As part of this project, the candidate will conduct full-body motion capture recordings, recover kinematics and dynamics, and structure the ensuing trajectories using hierarchical statistical models incorporating movement mechanics. We want to find out how motor primitives and their sequences are shaped by threat features and by the cognitive mechanisms that they engage. For the cognitive neuroscience background, see references below.

The post is based in London UK, at the Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research (www.mps-ucl-centre.mpg.de), which is part of the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging (fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk) at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, a world-class research environment. Experiments are done at the Department for Clinical and Movement Neuroscience (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ion/research/d...-neurosciences).

Applicants should have (or be close to obtaining) a PhD in machine-learning, robotics, computer science, motor science, biomechanics, computational neuroscience, or a related area, by the agreed start date of the position. Experience with motion capture, inverse kinematics and dynamics (in humans or robots), movement trajectory analysis and structuring are essential. Strong background in contemporary machine-learning and applied statistics is essential, as are solid mathematical skills and good general IT and software development knowledge. Familiarity with virtual reality and/or human/animal defensive behaviour would be desirable.

The post is funded from Autumn 2020 for 3 years in the first instance. Starting salary on the UCL salary scale, £35,328 - £42,701 per annum, inclusive of London Allowance, superannuable. Closing date is 8. July 2020. You should apply for this post through UCL's online recruitment system – bit.ly/2LYRH64. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed remotely in mid-end July.

Applicants may contact Dr Dominik Bach directly (email: d.bach@ucl.ac.uk) for further information.

Neuroscience background references:
Bach & Dayan (2017) Nature Reviews Neurosciences
Korn & Bach (2019) Nature Human Behaviour