MODELING LANGUAGE IN THE HUMAN BRAIN USING ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORKS
The goal of this project is to use state-of-the-art artificial neural networks to understand the mechanisms and architectures that enable the human brain to integrate linguistic information at the levels of syllables, words and sentences. For this purpose, the project lead will have access to high-fidelity intracranial recordings from the surface of the human brain, as people process sentences and narratives. In parallel, this project is expected to generate new computational models and analytic methods for natural language processing (NLP), informed and constrained by human data.
Johns Hopkins is home to a large and vibrant community in neuroscience and computational linguistics, and the training environment will span the Departments of Cognitive Science, Psychological & Brain Sciences, and Computer Science. The postdoctoral researcher will be affiliated with the Center for Language and Speech Processing, one of the world’s largest centers for computational linguistics.
For candidates who wish to collect new datasets, Hopkins provides a top-notch neuroimaging center, including 3T and 7T scanners; new TMS and EEG facilities housed in the PBS department; and access to human intracranial experiments via neurology collaborators in Baltimore and Toronto. The postdoctoral researcher will have access to a large number of GPUs for training neural networks and other computational models through the Maryland Advanced Research Computing Center.
The position is available immediately, though start date is somewhat flexible. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The initial appointment is for one year, with the opportunity for renewal thereafter. We especially encourage applications from women and members of minorities that are underrepresented in science.
Qualifications: Candidates should have (i) a PhD in a relevant field (e.g., linguistics, cognitive science, neuroscience, physics, psychology, mathematics, or computer science) by the start date; (ii) a publication record that includes computational modeling and empirical data analysis. The ideal candidate will have a combined background in computational linguistics, machine learning and neuroscience.
Application Instructions: To apply, please email a cover letter (including a brief summary of previous research accomplishments and future plans), a current CV, and a relevant publication to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the CV or cover letter, please include contact information for three references. For any questions, feel free to email Chris Honey (email@example.com) and Tal Linzen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Admission to the graduate program is administered through the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. Applications are accepted annually with a deadline in December and recruitment decisions are typically made by March. Interested candidates are welcome to notify us of their intention to apply.
Undergraduates interested in gaining research experience may apply at any time for volunteer research assistant (RA) positions. Roles in the lab depend on skills and experience, but may include: participant recruitment, running behavioural and neuroimaging experiments, performing literature searches, presenting in lab meetings, and analyzing data. If you are interested, please send us:
- your CV, emphasizing research experience and technical skills
- a brief statement of why you are interested
- your academic transcript (a screenshot is fine)
- your weekly availability
In general, undergraduate RAs are expected to contribute at least 6 hours per week to the lab, and preference will be given to applicants who intend to develop research skills over a longer period.