PhD in Adult Development of Human Movement Control at K.U.Leuven

Sensorimotor control, aging and expertise

The Center for Developmental Psychology (CDP) at K. U. Leuven, Belgium has a
vacancy for a full-time PhD position to conduct research with young and
older adults on action control. This position involves 10% of teaching.

The research group consists of a multidisciplinary team involved in the
behavioral and neural study of age-differences in movement control and

Focus of the vacancy

The project focuses on the way individuals adapt their cognitive and
sensorimotor performances to age-related changes during adulthood and older
age. Such adaptations comprise the development of everyday cognitive- motor
functions (e.g. maintaining postural stability) as well as the acquisition
and maintenance of real-life skills or professional expertise (e.g. becoming
a concert pianist and staying active at older ages). We use behavioral and
neuropsychological paradigms to study the mechanisms underlying performance
in different age groups, and in individuals who have developed high levels
of skill in specific domains.

Specifically, in this project a multidisciplinary research strategy is
implemented, consisting of the application of psychological test batteries
to screen participants on cognitive and motor abilities, and the use of
kinetic, kinematic and neurophysiological research techniques to study the
neural correlates of behavior. The laboratory comprises a recently acquired
Neurocom balance system, with AMTI force platform, and devices for the
acquisition of kinetic and kinematic data. We have access to several MRI
scanners (1.5, 3 T) via collaboration with the Department of Radiology (UZ
Gasthuisberg, university hospital). The project will be conducted under the
supervision of Prof. R. Krampe.

Qualifications and Attributes

Candidates with a degree in psychology, cognitive neuroscience,
neuropsychology, kinesiology, physical therapy, or biomedical sciences are
considered. A good command of Dutch and English are required. Candidates are
expected to report research output in high quality international journals.
Programming skills (Matlab) is considered a distinct advantage and
familiarity with the use of SPM to analyze brain activations is an


Situated at the heart of Western Europe, K.U.Leuven has been a centre of
learning for almost six centuries. Founded in 1425 by Pope Martin V,
K.U.Leuven bears the honour of being the oldest Catholic university in the
world still in existence and the oldest university in the Low Countries.

In its early days this university was modelled on the universities of Paris,
Cologne and Vienna. In a short time it grew into one of the largest and most
renowned universities in Europe. Its academic fame attracted numerous
scholars who made valuable contributions to European culture.

Allow us to enumerate a few renowned names. In the 16th century the
humanist, Desiderius Erasmus, lectured here. He founded the Collegium
Trilingue in 1517 for the study of Hebrew, Latin and Greek - the first of
its kind. The tutor of the young emperor Charles V, Adriaan Cardinal
Florensz of Utrecht, was a professor here before being elected in 1522 as
the last non-Italian Pope before Pope John Paul II. The philologist, legal
scholar and historian, Justus Lipsius, taught here for many years.

Application and further information

This position is available starting Nov 2006 for a period of 4 years.

Please send one copy of your curriculum vitae and the names and addresses of
3 referees to the address below (submission via electronic mail is

Information about the job can be obtained from

Prof. Dr. Ralf T. Krampe

Department of Psychology

K.U. Leuven

Tiensestraat 102, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium

Phone: +32 16 326104 (office) +32 16 326003 (secretary)

Fax: +32 16 326144