Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Online Database Project

 

Faculty Member: Sam Gershman

Our research aims to understand how richly structured knowledge about the environment is acquired, and how this knowledge aids adaptive behavior. We use a combination of behavioral, neuroimaging and computational techniques to pursue these questions. One prong of this research focuses on how humans and animals discover the hidden states underlying their observations, and how they represent these states. In some cases, these states correspond to complex data structures, like graphs, grammars or programs. These data structures strongly constrain how agents infer which actions will lead to reward. A second prong of our research is teasing apart the interactions between different learning systems. Evidence suggests the existence of at least two systems: a "goal-directed" system that builds an explicit model of the environment, and a "habitual" system that learns state-action response rules. These two systems are subserved by separate neural pathways that compete for control of behavior, but the systems may also cooperate with one another. We are looking for a part-time research assistant to help create an online, open-source database for our lab. This database would store behavioral tasks and subject data, and would include functionality to host online experiments and interface with other online platforms. Requirements: Some past programming experience is necessary for this position. In particular, competency with Javascript, HTML, CSS and some form of database (MySQL, Mongo, etc) is desired as well as some basic proficiency with Unix. Applicants who are familiar with Rails, PhP, Node.js, or Django are preferred.

RA duties:

We are looking for a part-time research assistant to help create an online, open-source database for our lab. This database would store behavioral tasks and subject data, and would include functionality to host online experiments and interface with other online platforms. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of the research process, including experimental design, data collection and analys is .

 

Requirements:

Some past programming experience is necessary for this position. In particular, competency with Javascript, HTML, CSS and some form of database (MySQL, Mongo, etc) is desired as well as some basic proficiency with Unix. Applicants who are familiar with Rails, PhP, Node.js, or Django are preferred.

Please email Sam Gershman (gershman@fas.harvard.edu) with your resume.

This position is part of the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URS) in the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. If hired, students will participate in the IQSS URS program. Scholars must be current Harvard College undergraduates.