UMass Amherst Ph.D. Student Position in Psycholinguistics

Ph.D. student position in Psycholinguistics (Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences), University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Division of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is recruiting students interested in pursuing a Ph.D., starting in Fall 2017. With this ad, we are specifically encouraging students to apply with an interest in Psycholinguistics. The following faculty members work in this area:

Alexandra Jesse’s lab studies auditory and audiovisual speech perception and spoken word recognition, and changes in these processes across the lifespan (with a special emphasis on aging). Using both behavioral (e.g., eye tracking) and neuropsychological methods, her work concentrates on the temporal dynamics of processing and binding speech within and across modalities, perceptual learning (e.g., about speaker idiosyncrasies), and on perceptual and cognitive influences on speech recognition. For more information on the UMass Language, Intersensory Perception, & Speech (LIPS) lab, please see

Lisa Sanders’ lab is focused on 1) understanding the neurocognitive mechanisms of basic auditory perception, speech perception, and selective attention across the lifespan, and 2) determining how attentional control and perceptual learning can lead to better perceptual outcomes, including understanding speech in background noise. To accomplish these goals, the lab uses behavioral, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging measures in listeners ranging from 20 months to 85 years of age. More information about her research and lab team can be found here:

Adrian Staub studies syntactic parsing and word recognition, and the interface between these things, often by tracking readers’ eye movements. He is interested in details models of the relationship between eye movements in reading and language comprehension. In collaboration with colleagues, he also use eye movements to investigate spoken language comprehension, as well as other aspects of cognition like memory and reasoning. Finally, he studies aspects of language production, specifically, how speakers compute agreement. More information about his research can be found here: More information about the UMass Eyetracking Lab can be found here:

Applicants should have a strong background in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Linguistics, and/or another related discipline (e.g., Communication Disorders, Speech Sciences). Experience with experimental research is preferred; a strong interest in experimental methods is required.

Our program offers training in a variety of behavioral and neuropsychological methods (e.g., eye tracking, imaging) and in statistical methods (e.g., computational modeling, Bayesian statistics). We also strongly encourage students to collaborate with other faculty members within the Cognitive Division, who focus on memory, visual and auditory cognition, decision making, attention, and sleep, and we maintain a rich tradition of collaborations with colleagues from other disciplines, such as Linguistics and Communication Disorders, both here at UMass as well as nationally and internationally.

Applications should be submitted through the University of Massachusetts’ general application process. Application guidelines can be found at the UMass PBS Cognitive Division website and at the UMass Graduate School website. The application deadline for entry next Fall is January 2, 2017.

UMass Amherst, located in Amherst, Massachusetts, sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, 90 miles from Boston and 175 miles from New York City. The campus provides a rich cultural environment in a beautiful rural setting close to major urban centers.

The University of Massachusetts is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and members of minority groups are encouraged to apply.

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