The EAGER project unites members from the Learning and Experimental Psychopathology group (CLEP) and the Laboratory of Biological Psychology (LBP) at KU Leuven.
Collectively, the consortium offers an internationally oriented, productive, collaborative, and multi-disciplinary environment involving 4 PIs (Prof.
Dirk Hermans, Prof. Tom Beckers, Dr. Laura Luyten and Prof. Bram Vervliet) and over 20 other research staff. Research at CLEP and LBP is characterized by a translational perspective (rodents, healthy humans, clinical populations) and aims to unravel behavioral and brain mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal psychological functioning.
Of relevance for the current project, the consortium disposes of state-of-the-art facilities for behavioral neuroscience investigations of learning and memory in rodents and humans.
Expertise in the consortium provides for a unique combination of conceptual, methodological and clinical skills in the area of affective behavioral (neuro)science.
The project is based at KU Leuven, a research-oriented institution that is consistently ranked among the top research universities in Europe.
It is located in the center of the historic town of Leuven, home to the university since 1425. About 30 km from Brussels and two hours away from Paris, London and Amsterdam, it has a strong international appeal.
It also has a rich history and a unique friendly atmosphere, with a great range of museums, concert halls and other cultural hot spots.
The cost of living in Leuven is moderate by international standards; the quality of living is excellent. For more information, visit http : / / www.kuleuven.be / english / .
The student to be hired for the present position will be investigating the EAGER framework through experimental studies in humans with an emphasis on psychophysiological measurements and psychobiological manipulations.
If you tick most of the following boxes, we hope you'll apply :
You are a science enthusiast who obtained (or is on the verge of obtaining) a master's degree in psychology, (behavioural or cognitive) neuroscience, or a related discipline (ultimate date of graduation : October 1st, 2021)
In the past decades, considerable research effort has been devoted to documenting and understanding elementary features of fear learning and how they might might be involved in the development of anxiety, through research in animals, healthy humans and patients.
This work has revealed the critical roles of extinction deficits, excessive generalization and persistent avoidance in anxious psychopathology.
So far, however, extinction, avoidance and generalization have been studied mostly in isolation. In the EAGER project, we aim to chart the interaction and causal interdependence of these three phenomena and the factors that cause their dysregulation.
Through concerted studies in animals, healthy human volunteers and clinical populations, we hope to achieve a more thorough understanding of the development and treatment of anxiety and mood disorders.