14 PhD positions within our Marie Curie FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN: HealthPAC



HealthPAC (Acronym for: Perception and Action in Health and Disease) is our Innovative Doctoral Programme (IDP), granted in 2013 by the EU FP7 Marie Curie programme to a renowned research team of 12 top PIs at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

HealthPAC project abstract:
With the strong growth of the aging population, sensory-motor loss and neurodegenerative disorders will affect an increasing number of Europeans, which will have huge impact on society. HealthPAC is an integrated, international and interdisciplinary network of renowned perception-action (PAC) research labs, clinical departments, and industry. Its mission is to understand the neural mechanisms of sensory-motor control and its disorders, and to utilize this knowledge to enhance the quality of life.

Our network trains ESRs to become excellent PAC-scientists who: (i) set up and perform high-quality research in sensory-motor neuroscience, (ii) can translate and apply their knowledge to clinics and rehabilitation centers, and (iii) understand the processes to develop innovative products that improve the quality of life in health and disease.

Students participate in research training programs, tailored to their individual interests, and are brought in intensive contact with European companies and institutes to improve and extend their future career prospects. The PAC team of the Donders Institute is particularly suited to organize this training program. It studies sensory-motor integration in an interdisciplinary setting with unique state-of-the-art methodologies in research labs and clinical departments of eleven established neuroscientists. Moreover, the DI has a dedicated Graduate Program in which ESRs are trained in advanced research and analysis techniques, and acquire an academic and ethical attitude towards applying systems neuroscience.

Associate Partners contribute relevant knowledge from the private sector by teaching HealthPAC students about sensory-motor related product development, legal issues, management and marketing, and offer well-defined research secondments. Students are intensively mentored and prepared for their future careers, either as a PAC-scientist in an academic or clinical setting, or as innovative researcher in the private sector.


  Project coordinator: John van Opstal

  HealthPAC's Program Steering Committee:     General contact: dr Marc van Wanrooij:
          m.vanwanrooij [at] donders.ru.nl

    How to apply? See here, for details.


Brief project descriptions and E-mail contacts
ESR PI Project titleContact E-mail
1.
Bahram YoosefiZonooz (IRN)
John van Opstal
(Coordinator)
Gaze orienting in complex audio-visual environments.
2.
Jose Garcia Uceda Calvo (ESP)
John van Opstal Dissociating active from passive self-motion from sound-source motion.
3.
Ahmed Hisham Gardoh (EGT)
Richard van Wezel Experience-driven plasticity for decision making in optic-flow stimuli.
4.
Elahe Arani (IRN)
Richard van Wezel/
Raymond van Ee
Early visual attention: a diagnostic measure for deficits after brain injuries. or
5.
Leslie Guadron (USA)
Jeroen Goossens Cognitive assessment and rehabilitation of visual-impaired patients.
6.
Anna Geuzebroek (NED)
Bert van den Berg Visual rehabilitation after stroke.
7.
STILL OPEN
Bas Bloem/
Peter Praamstra
Visual-vestibular integration in Parkinson's disease. or
8.
Sigrid Dupan (BEL)
Dick Stegeman Muscle mechanics and neural control in fine hand-motor tasks in the elderly.
9.
Carmen Kohl (DLD)
Ad Snik Bimodal hearing in the hearing-impaired.
10.
Lynn Ongena (BEL)
Emmanuel Mylanus Effectiveness of bilateral cochlear implants.
11.
Andrea Bertana (ITA)
Janneke Jehee Top-down attention in health and disease.
12.
Antonella Pomante (ITA)
Pieter Medendorp Spatial orientation in health and disease.
13.
Johannes Keyser (DLD)
Pieter Medendorp Integrating ego-motion in eye-hand coordination.
14.
Alessia Longo (ITA)
Ruud Meulenbroek Approximate entropy-based risk assessment of repetitive strain injury.

















Project 1 (John van Opstal): Gaze orienting in complex audio-visual environments.
Objectives: ESR01 performs four subprojects (indicated by SP1-SP4)
  1. SP1: Audiovisual eye-head search behaviour in cluttered environments (10 m; with E(y)eBrain)
  2. SP2: Spectral-temporal encoding of visual images: sparse-coding approaches (4 m)
  3. SP3: Visual-vestibular integration in vestibular patients (7 m, with Univ Zuerich)
  4. SP4: Bayesian search strategies to optimize parameter search of different types of hearing aids (9 months, including 3m at Advanced Bionics and Oticon).
Tasks and methodology:
  1. Develop psychometric techniques to measure detection and decision thresholds.
  2. Set up computational modeling of statistical inference mechanisms in search.
  3. Perform eye-head coordination measurements over the full gaze-motor range.
  4. Design advanced sensory stimulation of visual and auditory scenes.
  5. Perform three-dimensional rotational and translational vestibular stimulation paradigms.
Planned secondments:
  1. Research secondment at University of Zuerich (CH) (neurolgy, vestibular lab) (5 m) to study vestibular patients ( at month 20)
  2. Two 1.5 month private sector secondments at Oticon (SWE) (bone-anchored hearing aids, m. 28) and Advanced Bionics (GER) (cochlear implants and hearing devices, m. 32).
Required ESR background, level, and skills:
  1. Master: Neurophysics, Computational Neuroscience, Neurobiology, Neuroinformatics, Cognitive Neuroscience, or equivalent
  2. Conceptual level: Neuroscience books of Trappenberg and Purves
  3. Math: Calculus, Fourier analysis, Systems analysis, Statistics, Linear Algebra, (linear) Differential equations
  4. Other skills: Psychophysics, Computer programming (e.g., MatLab, or comparable), Team player, Good (oral and written) communication skills


Back to top
Back to the HealthPAC Job announcement

















Project 2 (John van Opstal): Dissociating active from passive self-motion from sound-source motion.
Objectives: ESR02 performs four subprojects (indicated by SP5-SP8)
  1. SP5: Dissociation object motion from self motion (10 m, with Philips)
  2. SP6: Psychophysical testing of audio-glasses (5 m, with MetaModal and E(y)eBrain)
  3. SP7: Audio-vestibular integration: static tilt and whole-body rotation (8 m, incl. 4 m secondment Univ. Zuerich (vestibular lab))
  4. SP8: Perturbation of neck-proprioception: effects on sound localization (7 m, including 4 m secondment at Univ. College London and Philips Eindhoven)
Tasks and methodology:
  1. Psychophysical stimulation techniques for dissociating object vs. self-motion percepts.
  2. Psychophysical vestibular paradigms for tilt-rotation experiments with auditory stimuli.
  3. Implement visual-audio stimulation in the lab for testing the MetaModal audio-glass system.
  4. Design tactile neck vibrator for neck proprioceptive perturbations.
Planned secondments:
  1. Research secondment at Univ. Zuerich (CH) (Vestibular lab) (4 months) to study vestibular patients ( month 22)
  2. Research secondment at Univ College London (UK) to perform neck vibration (3 months, month 30)
  3. Private sector secondment at Philips (Eindhoven) (1 month, m. 33).
Required ESR background, level, and skills:
  1. Master: Neurophysics, Computational Neuroscience, Neurobiology, Neuroinformatics, Cognitive Neuroscience, or equivalent
  2. Conceptual level: Neuroscience books of Trappenberg and Purves
  3. Math: Calculus, Fourier analysis, Statistics, Systems analysis, Linear Algebra, (linear) Differential equations
  4. Other skills: Psychophysics, Computer programming (e.g., MatLab, or comparable), Team player, Good (oral and written) communication skills


Back to top
Back to the HealthPAC Job announcement

















Project 3 (Richard van Wezel): Experience-driven plasticity for decision making in optic-flow stimuli.
Objectives: ESR03 performs three subprojects (indicated by SP9-SP11)
  1. SP9: Retinal effects of self motion and experience-dependent plasticity: role of eye movements (14 m, with E(ye)eBrain, Van Opstal, and Philips)
  2. SP10: Design of optic-flow stimulation patterns for retinal implant (8 m, with NanoRetina/Bert vd Berg)
  3. SP11: Testing visual stimulation paradigms on retinal implant patients (8 m, with Bert vd Berg, incl. 4 m secondment at NanoRetina)
Tasks and methodology:
  1. Develop psychophysical stimulation techniques for dissociating object vs. self motion percepts of dynamic retinal optic-flow stimuli.
  2. Develop psychophysical testing paradigms for visual decision-making.
  3. Design specific paramtric stimulation patterns for real and simulated retinal implant
  4. Design experimental protocols to measure visual percepts in retinal implant patients
Planned secondments:
  1. Private sector secondment at Philips (Eindhoven) (4 months) to test optic flow ( month 14)
  2. Private sector secondment at NanoRetina (ISR) (4 months, m. 24 ) to test retinal implant patients.
Required ESR background, level, and skills:
  1. Master: Neuroscience, Neurobiology, Biophysics, Psychology, Neuroinformatics, Cognitive Neuroscience, or equivalent
  2. Conceptual level: Neuroscience books of Purves and Kandel
  3. Math: Statistics, (linear) Differential equations
  4. Other skills: Psychophysics, Computer programming (e.g., MatLab, or comparable), Team player, Proficiency in oral and written English


Back to top
Back to the HealthPAC Job announcement

















Project 4 (Richard van Wezel and Raymond van Ee): Early visual attention: a diagnostic measure for deficits after brain injuries.
Objectives: ESR04 performs three subprojects (indicated by SP12-SP14)
  1. SP12: Visual attention deficits after brain injuries to trauma: psychophysics (12 m, with E(y)eBrain, Philips, Maartenskliniek and Van den Berg; including 4 months secondment at Philips)
  2. SP13: Visual-vestibular integration in patients with cortical visual impairments (8 m, including 4 m secondment in Univ. Zuerich (Vestibular lab)).
  3. SP14: Visual attention deficits to cortical trauma: fMRI/MEG (10 m, Philips and E(y)eBrain).
Tasks and methodology:
  1. Develop objective psychophysical tests of visual attention deficits in patients.
  2. Develop psychophysical testing for visual-vestibular integration in patients.
  3. Develop psychophysical protocols for fMRI and MEG scanning
Planned secondments:
  1. Private sector secondment at Philips (Eindhoven) (4 months, m. 6) to test cortical patients.
  2. Private sector secondment at Univ Zuerich (4 months, m. 18) to test visual-cortical patients.
Required ESR background, level, and skills:
  1. Master: Neuroscience, Neurobiology, Biophysics, Psychology, Medicine, Neuroinformatics, Cognitive Neuroscience, or equivalent
  2. Conceptual level: Neuroscience books of Purves and Kandel
  3. Math: Statistics, (linear) Differential equations
  4. Other skills: Psychophysics, Computer programming (e.g., MatLab, or comparable), Team player, Proficiency in oral and written English


Back to top
Back to the HealthPAC Job announcement

















Project 5 (Jeroen Goossens): Cognitive assessment and rehabilitation of visual-impaired patients.
Objectives: ESR05 performs three subprojects (indicated by SP15-SP17)
  1. SP15: Visual-motor performance of visual-impaired patients in novel decision tasks: psychophysics (14 m, with NanoRetina, E(y)eBrain, Philips, including 4 m secondment at Philips).
  2. SP16: Neural basis of decision making in visual impaired: fMRI and MEG (8 m, E(y)eBrain/Van den Berg)
  3. SP17: Apply visual decision tasks to retinal implant patients (8 m, incl. 4 m second. NanoRetina).
Tasks and methodology:
  1. Develop psychophysical testing for visual decision making in visual patients.
  2. Develop psychophysical protocols for fMRI and MEG scanning
Planned secondments:
  1. Private sector secondment at Philips (Eindhoven) (4 months, m. 10) to test cortical patients.
  2. Private sector secondment at NanoRetina (ISR) (4 months, m. 25) to test visual-cortical patients.


Back to top
Back to the HealthPAC Job announcement

















Project 6 (Bert van den Berg): Visual rehabilitation after stroke.
Objectives: ESR06 performs four subprojects (indicated by SP18-SP21)
  1. SP18: Assessing improved diagnostic measures for hemianopia (8 m; with E(y)eBrain, Van Wezel and Goossens, and 4 m secondment at Philips)
  2. SP19: Mechanisms of oculomotor integration in hemianopia (fMRI/MEG) (8m, E(y)eBrain and Goossens)
  3. SP20: Test retinal implant performance in visuomotor tasks (6m; E(ye)eBrain, NanoRetina and Goossens)
  4. SP21: Test oculomotor performance in retinal implant patients (8m, incl. 4 m second. NanoRetina)
Tasks and methodology:
  1. Psychophysics for oculomotor testing with E(y)eBrain in retinal implant patients.
  2. Develop psychophysical protocols for fMRI and MEG scanning of hemianoptics.
  3. Develop objective clinical diagnostic measures for hemianopia.
Planned secondments:
  1. Private sector second. at Philips (Eindhoven) (4 m, at m. 10): test hemianopia patients.
  2. Private sector second. at NanoRetina (ISR) (4 m, at m. 25): test oculomotor function of retinal implant


Back to top
Back to the HealthPAC Job announcement

















Project 7 (Bastiaan Bloem): Visual-vestibular integration in Parkinson's disease.
Objectives: ESR07 performs four subprojects (indicated by SP22-SP25)
  1. SP22: Eye-head coordination in Parkinsons disease (12 m; with Van Opstal, E(y)eBrain and XSense)
  2. SP23: Visual-vestibular integration in Parkinsons disease (6 m; with Van Opstal, Medendorp, E(y)eBrain)
  3. SP24: Balance control in Parkinsons disease: role of otoliths (5 m; Medendiorp, Maartenskliniek, XSense)
  4. SP25: Walking rehabilitation in CVA patients with exoskeletal robotic leg (7m, incl. secondment at Maartenskliniek and XSense)
Tasks and methodology:
  1. Measure eye-head responses with E(y)eBrain monitor and XSense accelerometer in PD patients
  2. Rotational vestibular stimulation and linear accelerator systems, made suitable for PD.
  3. Treadmill testing and kinematic analysis of CVA patient walking behaviour.
Planned secondments:
  1. Private sector secondment at Maartenskliniek (Nijmegen) (5 months, m. 20) to test exoskeletal walking.
  2. Private sector secondment at XSense (Enschede) (2 months, m. 28) to learn about accelerator devices.


Back to top
Back to the HealthPAC Job announcement

















Project 8 (Dick Stegeman): Muscle mechanics and neural control in fine hand-motor tasks in the elderly.
Objectives: ESR08 performs four subprojects (indicated by SP26-SP29)
  1. SP26: Fine-motor control by the elderly: psychophysics and EMG (13 m; with Maartenskliniek and XSense)
  2. SP27: Modeling of the hand-motor system (6 m; incl. 3m secondment at Univ College London)
  3. SP28: TMS perturbation of fine-motor control in the elderly (4 m; with Maartenskliniek, Univ College London, and XSense)
  4. SP29: Rehabilite eye-hand coordination with an exoskeletal hand (7m, incl. 4m second. Maartenskliniek)
Tasks and methodology:
  1. Develop protocols for fine-hand motor control psychophysical studies.
  2. Develop EMG measurement protocols for fine-hand motor control
  3. Computational modeling of the hand-motor system
Planned secondments:
  1. Research secondment at Univ College London (UK) (3 months, m. 26): develop computational model.
  2. Private sector secondment at Maartenskliniek (Nijmegen) (4 months, m. 30): test exoskeletal hand.


Back to top
Back to the HealthPAC Job announcement

















Project 9 (Ad Snik): Bimodal hearing in the hearing-impaired.
Objectives: ESR09 performs four subprojects (indicated by SP30-SP33)
  1. SP30: Bone-conductive hearing of monaural impaired and single-sided deaf (12 m, incl. 1 m secondment at Oticon; with Van Opstal).
  2. SP31: Modeling acoustic aspects of bone-conductive hearing (6m; with Oticon and Van Opstal)
  3. SP32: Audio-vestibular integration hearing impaired (6 m, incl. 4 m second. Univ Zuerich and Van Opstal)
  4. SP33: Fit bimodal devices in hearing impaired (6 m, incl. 2 m second. at Advanced Bionics and Van Opstal)
Tasks and methodology:
  1. Develop a computational finite element acoustic model of the skull.
  2. Measure spectral-temporal perception thresholds in monaural impaired.
  3. Measure sound processing during vestibular stimulation in monaural impaired
Planned secondments:
  1. Research secondment Univ Zuerich (CH) (4 months, m. 18): test audio-vestibular integration.
  2. Private sector secondment Oticon (SWE) (1 month, m. 12): learn about manufacturing BAHA.
  3. Private sector secondment Advanced Bionics (GER) (2 monthts, m. 31): learn about binaural fitting.


Back to top
Back to the HealthPAC Job announcement

















Project 10 (Emmanuel Mylanus): Effectiveness of bilateral cochlear implants.
Objectives: ESR10 performs three subprojects (indicated by SP34-SP36)
  1. SP34: bilateral cochlear implant fitting: sound localisation (12 months; with Advandec Bionics (2 m secondment), Van Opstal and Snik)
  2. SP35: Bilateral cochlear implant fitting: spectral-temporal optimisation with Bayesian search (10m; with Advanced Bionics and Van Opstal)
  3. SP36: Bilateral cochlear implant fitting: device coupling (8m; with 4 m second. Advancec Bionics and Van Opstal).
Tasks and methodology:
  1. Develop bilateral fitting protocols and efficient psychophysical tests for bilateral patients
  2. Develop Bayesian search paradigm in collaboration with ESR01.
  3. Measure head-orienting localisation responses, and spectral-temporal thresholds for complex sounds
Planned secondments:
  1. Private sector second. at Advanced Bionics (GER) (2 months, m. 6): learn to develop bilateral fit algorithms.
  2. Private sector second. at Advanced Biuonics (GER) (4 months, m. 18): learn about CI device coupling.


Back to top
Back to the HealthPAC Job announcement

















Project 11 (Janneke Jehee): Top-down attention in health and disease.
Objectives: ESR11 performs four subprojects (indicated by SP37-SP40)
  1. SP37: Top-down attentional control: feature binding or object? Psychophysics (9m, with Philips, E(ye)eBrain, Van Wezel and Goossens).
  2. SP38: Psychophysics of top-down attentional control in CVA patients (7m, with 3 m secondment at Maartenskliniek and with Bloem)
  3. SP39: Mechanisms of top-down attentional control: fMRI and MEG (7m, with Van Wezel and Goossens).
  4. SP40: Top-down attentional control in health and disease: computational modeling (7m, incl. 4 m secondment at Univ College London).
Tasks and methodology:
  1. Develop psychophysical testing for top-down attentional control in CVA patients.
  2. Develop psychophysical protocols attentional control for fMRI and MEG scanning.
  3. Develop computational model of attentional control in collaboration with AP at Univ College London
Planned secondments:
  1. Research second. at Maartenskliniek (Nijmegen) (3 m, m. 18): test CVA patients in rehabilitation environment.
  2. Research second. at University College London (UK) (4 m, m. 30): collaborate on computational model.
Required ESR background, level, and skills:
As a candidate for this position you will have a Master degree (or equivalent) in Neuroscience, Computer science, Psychology, Math, or related fields. Previous experience with computer programming, or other quantitative experience, is highly preferred. Experience with visual psychophysics, fMRI, cognitive research, eye-tracking, and/or data analysis is a plus. Proficiency in oral and written English is required.


Back to top
Back to the HealthPAC Job announcement

















Project 12 (Pieter Medendorp): Spatial orientation in health and disease.
Objectives: ESR12 performs four subprojects (indicated by SP41-SP44)
  1. SP41: Using statistical approaches to establish diagnostic and prognostic markers for vestibular impairments (14m; with Van Opstal, E(y)eBrain, Univ Zuerich, XSense; includes 2 m secondment at XSense).
  2. SP42: Visual-vestibular integration in vestibular patients (8m, incl. 4 m second. at Univ Zuerich).
  3. SP43: Optimising the EYE monitor for motor-feedback paradigms (4m, with 1 m sec. E(y)eBrain).
  4. SP44: Objective test vestibular implant: modelling/stimulation protocols (4m, with Univ College London).
Tasks and methodology:
  1. Develop objective diagnostic tools for vestibular disorders.
  2. Measure visual-vestibular integration in linear and rotational vestibular stimulation.
  3. Perform computational modeling and work on improving the E(y)eBrain monitor technology.
Planned secondments:
  1. Research secondment at Univ Zuerich (CH) (Vestibular lab) (4 months, m. 16) to test vestibular patients.
  2. Secondment at E(y)eBrain (France) (1 m, m. 32) to develop feedback protocols.
  3. Private sector secondment at XSense (Enschede) (2 m, m. 25): learn acceleration measurement technology.
Required ESR background, level, and skills:
  1. Master: Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology, Biophysics, Biomedical Science, Engineering, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence
  2. Conceptual level: Neuroscience books of Purves or Kandel
  3. Math: Calculus, Statistics, Linear Algebra
  4. Other skills: Psychophysics, Computer programming (e.g., MatLab, or comparable), Good (oral and written) communication skills, Team player


Back to top
Back to the HealthPAC Job announcement

















Project 13 (Pieter Medendorp): Integrating ego-motion in eye-hand coordination.
Objectives: ESR13 performs three subprojects (indicated by SP45-SP47)
  1. SP45: Eye-hand coordination during whole-body translations (12m; with Maartenskliniek).
  2. SP46: Rehabilitation of eye-hand coordination with exoskeletal robot arm in cerebellar patients (14 m, incl. 7 m secondments at Maartenskliniek (5m) and XSense (2m)).
  3. SP47: Testing E(y)eBrain monitor in eye-head pointing under linear accelerations (4m; with E(y)eBrain).
Tasks and methodology:
  1. Design protocols and measure linear acceleration paradigms in eye-hand coordination.
  2. Translate the protocols to the rehabilitation clinical environment.
Planned secondments:
  1. Private sector secondment at XSense (Enschede) (2 months, m. 20): learn about hand accelerometry.
  2. Research secondment at Maartenskliniek (Nijmegen) (5 months, m. 24): test cerebellar patients.
Required ESR background, level, and skills:
  1. Master: Movement Sciences, Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology, Biophysics, Biomedical Science
  2. Conceptual level: Neuroscience books of Purves or Kandel
  3. Math: Calculus, Statistics, Linear Algebra
  4. Other skills: Psychophysics, Computer programming (e.g., MatLab, or comparable), Good (oral and written) communication skills, Team player


Back to top
Back to the HealthPAC Job announcement

















Project 14 (Ruud Meulenbroek): Approximate entropy-based risk assessment of repetitive strain injury.
Objectives: ESR14 performs three subprojects (indicated by SP48-SP50)
  1. SP48: Using entropy-based time-series analysis to study RSI (12m, with Maartenskliniek and XSense).
  2. SP49: Development of a valid clinical test for RSI (10m, with Maartenskliniek, XSense and E(y)eBrain).
  3. SP50: Application of a clinical test of RSI in the industrial environment (8m, incl 4 secondment at Philips, 2 m secondment at XSense, and 2 m secondment at Oticon)
Tasks and methodology:
  1. Develop entropy-based analysis algorithms of long time series.
  2. Develop hand-motor paradigms to mimic RSI
  3. Measure healthy subjects and RSI patients.
Planned secondments:
  1. Private sector secondment at Philips (Eindhoven) (4 months, m. 25): test RSI.
  2. Private sector second. at XSense (Enschede)/Oticon (SWE) (each 2 m, m. 30): test RSI/learn about accelerometry.


Back to top
Back to the HealthPAC Job announcement