Postdoctoral researcher Meditation and the Predictive Brain

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Department of Psychology

Publication date
1 May 2018
Level of education
Salary indication
€3,475 to €4,747 gross per month
Closing date
7 June 2018
38 hours per week
Vacancy number

The postdoc project will be conducted within the Department of Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. Our Department is one of the leading psychology departments in the world, currently ranked nr. 1 in mainland Europe and 17th in the world the QS World Universities Rankings (Subject Psychology). Our researchers have access to a wide array of state-of-the-art research facilities, including an onsite 3T MRI Scanner and an offsite 7T MRI scanner, EEG and sleep labs, TMS, and a knowledgeable and experienced technical staff to support psychological research (SPINOZA Centre for Neuroimaging). The University of Amsterdam is an internationally renowned university located in Amsterdam, a major cultural center and a hub for corporations and research institutes.

The project is part of a larger research program lead by Dr Heleen Slagter and funded by the European Research Council.

Project description

Overturning the classical notion of perception as a largely bottom-up process, the idea that our brain is a prediction machine, continually trying to predict what is ‘out there’ based on past experience, is quickly growing in stature and influence. Yet, to what extent expectation formation occurs automatically is currently unknown. Perceptual inference can certainly occur subconsciously, but does this mean that we have little control over our own experience? The goal of this postdoc project is to enhance our understanding of the automaticity of predictive processing machinery. To this end, it will examine the effects of different styles of meditation on expectation formation in the brain in meditation experts using different neuroimaging methods (EEG/fMRI) and analysis techniques (uni- and multivariate (e.g., ERPs, MVPA), Bayesian modeling).

You will develop and execute experimental studies in the context of the research project, write a review paper, and report results at conferences and in international journals. You may also provide teaching assistance and co-supervise PhD students. The position offers excellent training opportunities in (advanced) EEG data analysis and (7T) MRI.


We are looking for highly motivated candidates with a PhD in human Cognitive Neuroscience, and with demonstrable interest in the topic of project. To be considered, you must have knowledge about, and experience with meditation (research) and human brain imaging techniques (EEG and/or fMRI), as well as proven experience with designing cognitive (neuroscience) experiments. You should also possess strong writing skills, and have an excellent command of English and a proven track record of publishing in international peer-reviewed journals.

Further information

You may send requests for further information by email to:

For more information about the larger research program lead by Dr Heleen Slagter, you may want to check:


The postdoctoral position is for two and a half years (initial employment is 24 months with a possible extension of 6 months). The preferred start date is as soon as possible, although there is some flexibility. Based on a full-time appointment the gross monthly salary will be between €3,475 and € 4,757 (scale 11, Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Job application

The UvA is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We value a spirit of enquiry and endurance, provide the space to keep asking questions and cherish a diverse atmosphere of curiosity and creativity.

Are you interested? For full consideration, you may send your application before 7 June 2018 to  Your application should contain one pdf document that includes a CV, a letter of motivation, one representative research paper, and the names and contact information of 2 references. Please put 'ERC Slagter postdoc application 18-235' in the subject line. #LI-DNP

No agencies please

Published by  University of Amsterdam