The Research Assistant Application Program (RAAP) provides first-hand experience with serious psychological research in a host of exciting research projects. Students can research factors that influence human behavior at every point in the life span, from prenatal to old age. Students in good academic standing are encouraged to become involved in research as early as possible in their academic program, preferably during the sophomore year. This kind of opportunity will be invaluable for students who are thinking about pursuing graduate work in psychology or related areas. It will help them decide whether they have the interest and aptitude for research and will help them become competitive for admission to a graduate program.
Research Lab Openings
These openings are also posted on Blackboard “Homeroom” under the “Research 499” tab at the beginning of each semester.
Research Assistant Position – Brain Development Imaging Lab (BDIL)
We are looking for a Research Assistant with strong interests in cognitive/social neuroscience and developmental psychology. Our research efforts focus on understanding how the brain is organized – functionally and structurally – in typical and atypical development; namely, we investigate how different parts of the brain are connected and how they work together in the course of human development. We work with typically developing children and adolescents, as well as with children with autism, trying to understand what happens to the brain when typical developmental processes are disturbed. Dr. Fishman, who is going to be a primary mentor for the RA, is specifically focusing on investigating social brain circuits, that is, those brain networks that help us navigate – and thrive – in complex social situations as we grow and mature. Our chief research tools for examining those questions are neuroimaging techniques (including functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging) combined with comprehensive neuropsychological and behavioral testing.
The person in this position will be responsible for database maintenance, assistance with subject recruitment and fMRI data acquisition and, most importantly, for fMRI data analysis. The ideal candidate for this position will have at least moderate comfort level / previous experience with brain data analysis (e.g., EEG, fMRI) and familiarity with computational techniques, including programming and scripting (e.g., some knowledge of Matlab is very helpful). However, these are not requirements, as we have had many capable students who were able to acquire and profess the necessary skills while working in our lab. Please contact Dr. Fishman (see below) if you have any questions about the scope of the duties and your fit for the position. A long-term commitment (at least two semesters) would be ideal, as the above analytic techniques require extensive training and involve a relatively prolonged learning curve. That being said, a motivated student will have an opportunity to carve out her/his own research project and to carry it to fruition, including publishing a manuscript.
Position is available immediately. To apply, please contact Inna Fishman at 619-574-2299 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
See more information regarding specific research interests of the Psychology Department faculty.