Post-doctoral cognitive neuroscientist

Investigating the representation of temporal predictions and their functional consequences for audition


Hosting Team & Institution: Cognition & Brain Dynamics Team [website]

UNICOG INSERM Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit [website]

CEA Saclay, NeuroSpin [website]

Supervision: Sophie Herbst, PhD
Expected Starting date: Nov 2024 ­­– Feb. 2025
Duration: 2 years, full time
Salary: Fixed according to CEA scheme, commensurate with experience
Application deadline: Sept 20 2024, and further until the position is filled
Keywords: Temporal cognition, auditory perception, psychophysics, M/EEG


Applications are invited for a full-time post-doctoral cognitive neuroscientist in the ANR-funded project WHEN: Investigating the representation of temporal predictions and their functional consequences for audition, in the Cognition & Brain Dynamics Team at Neurospin under the supervision of Sophie Herbst.
The project focuses on the interplay between timing and audition: In a continuous stream of auditory signals, naturally characterized by temporal regularities, predicting the occurrence of events is essential for adaptive listening. Extracting temporal regularities from auditory inputs allows the listener to form temporal predictions, that is to predict when a relevant event will occur, and focus capacity-limited resources on the predicted moments in time. Contrary to sensory predictions (‘what’), temporal predictions (‘when’) cannot draw on a dedicated sensory system, but interact with the respective sensory analysis to enhance perceptual processing at the most relevant moments (Arnal & Giraud, 2012; Feldman & Friston, 2010): temporal predictions thus guide the orienting of attention in time (Jones, 1976; Nobre et al., 2007). Despite their relevance and ubiquity for the interaction with sensory environments, the cognitive and neural representations of temporal predictions derived from sensory inputs, and their functional consequences in particular for audition are not yet well understood.
The postdoctoral researcher will develop Workpackage 2, aiming to understand how temporal orienting of attention derived from temporal predictions interacts with the auditory sensory analysis by addressing the functional consequences of probabilistic temporal predictions for audition, in an extensive psychophysical approach. To gain insights on the underlying neural dynamics, dedicated EEG or MEG experiments will be implemented.
The ideal candidate will have a background in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, or audiology, and demonstrated experience with (auditory) psychophysics and/or behavioural timing paradigms. Prior experience with magneto- or electroencephalography is a plus, but not mandatory. They will be responsible for the development of a concise research plan and management of the scientific project including data acquisition, supervision of master students, publication, and knowledge transfer.
NeuroSpin provides neuroimaging facilities of the highest technical standard, including using an ANT-Neuro 64 channels EEG system, an Electa 306 sensors MEG system with combined EEG acquisition, as well 3T and 7T human MRI, and behavioral testing facilities. The Cognition and Brain Dynamics team, directed by Virginie van Wassenhove, is a vibrant international group of junior and senior scientists, dedicated to the understanding of temporal cognition and neural dynamics, and entertains close collaborations with other teams at Neurospin and in the Parisian area, as well as national and international teams.
All scientific aims will be implemented in accordance with FAIR science principles (Poline et al., 2022), to provide the best chances for replicability and allow all implemented tools to directly benefit the research community.



  • PhD in cognitive neurosciences, psychology, audiology, or related fields
  • solid record of internationally peer-reviewed scientific work
  • expertise or strong interest in temporal cognition and auditory perception
  • capacity to develop and take responsibility of the scientific approach of the dedicated work package
  • collegial attitude and willingness to work and collaborate in a international research team
  • fluid mastery of oral and written English (French is not a requirement)


Application package:

  • letter of intent with a statement of research interests
  • CV (incl. a list of publications)
  • reprint of your strongest (according to your own judgement) publication / preprint / written work
  • two letters of recommendation or contacts from whom references can be obtained


Informal inquiries can be directed to


Please specify which the project in the email subject line “Postdoc WHEN project” and send your application package to Vanna Santoro:





Arnal, L. H., & Giraud, A.-L. (2012). Cortical oscillations and sensory predictions. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16(7), 390–398.

Feldman, H., & Friston, K. J. (2010). Attention, Uncertainty, and Free-Energy. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 4.

Jones, M. R. (1976). Time, our lost dimension: Toward a new theory of perception, attention, and memory. Psychological Review, 83(5), 323–355.

Nobre, Anna. C., Correa, A., & Coull, J. T. (2007). The hazards of time. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 17(4), 465–470.

Poline, J.-B., Kennedy, D. N., Sommer, F. T., Ascoli, G. A., Van Essen, D. C., Ferguson, A. R., Grethe, J. S., Hawrylycz, M. J., Thompson, P. M., Poldrack, R. A., Ghosh, S. S., Keator, D. B., Athey, T. L., Vogelstein, J. T., Mayberg, H. S., & Martone, M. E. (2022). Is Neuroscience FAIR? A Call for Collaborative Standardisation of Neuroscience Data. Neuroinformatics, 20(2), 507–512.