Fully-funded PhD position in “Handedness and brain asymmetries: neuroimaging and behaviour”

Bangor University, School of Psychology

Qualification type: PhD

Location: Bangor, Wales, UK

Closing date: March 1st, 2020

Funding amount: Tax-free stipend of approximately £15,009 per annum plus tuition fees and a research allowance.

Hours: Full Time

­Applications are invited for a three-year fully funded PhD studentship in the School of Psychology, Bangor University. No coursework is required but neuroimaging methods modules are available as optional.

Supervisor: Dr. David Carey

Project rationale and description: My team work on the relationships between handedness and brain symmetry. Our recent work has capitalised on an easy to use neuroimaging toolbox that lets us quantify multiple brain asymmetries in individual people, thanks in part to the availability of a research-only Phillips Ingenia Eliton 3.0 magnet in our School. One line of research relates perceptual and behavioural measures of asymmetry (like handedness, chimeric face bias, footedness) to asymmetries quantified in the magnet. Possible projects include looking at right hemispheric specialisation in scene processing, examining usefulness of Resting State fMRI for predicting functional asymmetries, tractography of lateralised brain connectivity, and/or higher level sensorimotor control of oral and manual musculature in people with left and right hemispheric language dominance.  

We are hoping to recruit a skilled and motivated student with shared interests to jointly develop and carry out a series of studies within this exciting and fast-moving area.

Recent relevant papers:

Carey, D.P. & Johnstone LT (2014). Quantifying cerebral asymmetries for language in dextrals and adextrals with random-effects meta analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 5:1128. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01128/full

Karlsson, E. M., Johnstone, L. T., & Carey, D. P. (2019). The depth and breadth of multiple perceptual asymmetries in right handers and non-right handers. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, 1-33. https://doi.org/10.1080/1357650X.2019.1652308

Carey, D. P., & Karlsson, E. M. (2019). A bright future for the study of multiple cerebral asymmetries?: Comment on" Phenotypes in hemispheric functional segregation? Perspectives and challenges" by Guy Vingerhoets. Physics of Llife Reviews. doi: 10.1016/j.plrev.2019.08.009

Johnstone, L.T., Karlsson, E.M., & Carey, D.P. (submitted). The validity and reliability of quantifying hemispheric specialisation using fMRI: evidence from a large sample of left and right handers on three different cerebral asymmetries. Neuropsychologia.  (email DPC).  

Requirements: We are looking for excellent candidates with shared interests and some relevant experience in neuropsychology, laterality, or handedness research. Experience with MR methods is desirable but we have excellent in-house training via the team behind our MSC in Neuroimaging. Essential criteria include excellent communication skills, a strong grasp of experimental psychology and/or cognitive neuroscience, and a good MSc degree (or in exceptional cases a 4 year undergraduate degree) in Psychology or a related discipline. Some programming skills are desirable, especially if your interests are in MRI.

In your application, please include your CV and a brief (1-2 pages) description of your research interests related to handedness and cerebral asymmetry.

Further information: Informal enquiries about the studentship and more guidance should you want to prepare a more detailed proposal should be directed to d.carey@bangor.ac.uk or e.karlsson@bangor.ac.uk

General enquiries: For general advice about how to apply and eligibility please contact psychology@bangor.ac.uk

Apply Now: The online application form is available here.

Bangor Doctoral School website.