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Exploring individual differences in learning

University of Geneva

1 or 2 semesters

The human brain is endowed with outstanding learning abilities that are crucial to our everyday lives. One of these is the capacity to detect and extract statistical regularities from the environment (statistical learning).

Project description

The human brain is endowed with outstanding learning abilities that are crucial to our everyday lives. One of these is the capacity to detect and extract statistical regularities from the environment (statistical learning). This can be useful in a variety of contexts, such as identifying words when listening to a foreign language, or guiding the visual search of objects in a given space. Differences between individuals exist in statistical learning capacity, yet little is known as to their origins. The present project proposes to investigate the cognitive and brain sources of these differences, with the mid-term goal of evaluating what their impact might be on the acquisition of foundational skills for education, such as reading. The project will include the analysis of both behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. Therefore, the successful applicant should have good knowledge of statistics and show a strong motivation for learning behavioral and MRI data analysis. Programming skills or prior experience with MRI data analysis will be considered a plus. 

The project is available in the Fall and Spring semester and is also open for recently graduated undergraduate and graduate students.

Number of places available: 1 per semester

Minimum lenght of research abroad stay: 6 months

Pre requisites

  • The project will include the analysis of both behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data.
  • Therefore, the successful applicant should have good knowledge of statistics and show a strong motivation for learning behavioral and MRI data analysis.
  • Programming skills or prior experience with MRI data analysis will be considered a plus. 

Faculty Department

Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Section of psychology.

The department of psychology of the University of Geneva is situated close to downtown Geneva. It's located in a splendid building that hosts lecture halls, library, offices, labs and a cafeteria. The department accepts about 200 students per year and has Masters Programs in clinical, developmental, affective, social, and cognitive psychology. All classes are taught in French but the language in the lab is English.
 

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