The Department of Informatics and the Department of Philosophy are recruiting two Doctoral Researchers for a studentship in Mind and Material Culture under the supervision of Professor Andy Clark.
The studentships are linked to a large Synergy Grant project funded by the European Research Council (ERC). entitled Material Minds: Exploring the Interactions between Predictive Brains, Cultural Artefacts, and Embodied Visual Search.
The Sussex wing of the project is led by Professor Andy Clark, and investigates the various ways the material structures of our settlements, buildings, roads, and artefacts (from pottery to smartphones) actively changed patterns of thought and attention, thereby shaping the mind. Bridging Informatics and Philosophy, we will use the emerging computational neuroscience paradigm known as Predictive Processing as a principled means of linking perception, attention, and action (including eye-movements) with cognitive change and learning. The aim is to deliver insights into fundamental principles linking cognitive change to interactions involving material culture and social practices. The PhD project will be supervised by Professor Clark and will contribute to the overarching aims and goals of the project.
The successful applicant’s primary research focus is expected to be Cognitive Science or Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Experience with programming, and/or with research on predictive processing and active inference is not required but would be an advantage. Successful applicants will be expected to participate fully in the project, gaining experience of workshop organization, paper presentations, and academic writing. Limited amounts of project-relevant teaching may also be undertaken. Project partners are based in Spain and Germany, and there will be opportunities for travel and exchange during the course of the project. There may also be opportunities to take a hands-on role in field work and visual neuroscience experiments though no experience or expertise in these areas is required.
Successful candidates may be based in either the Informatics or Philosophy Department according to skill set and interests.