Richard Ivry, Professor

Open (1) Sensorimotor coordination in healthy and neurologically impaired humans

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

Research in our laboratory addresses how people perform coordinated actions. We study this topic using behavioral methods with healthy and neurologically impaired humans. The neurological studies examine the contribution of different brain structures to coordination and seek to develop functional hypotheses regarding the coordination problems faced by patients with disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Current research projects include: 1) What makes some people more coordinated than others? How do we coordinate the movements of the different limbs in order to accomplish an action? 2) How people select one possible action among the many alternatives that exist at any one point in time. 3) Characterizing the psychological and neural bases of our sense of time. For example, is there a common internal clock that is invoked by both auditory and visual stimuli and that can be used to produce rhythmic movements?



Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Ludovica Labruna, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: Duties: Responsibilities will include conducting experiments with college students examining various aspects of human performance and multi-task coordination. The apprentice will be working in the lab between 8-10 hours per week. Of that time, approximately 75% would be devoted to coordinating the testing sessions. The rest of the time will be devoted to organizing and analyzing the data, and participating in discussions related to interpreting the results and planning the subsequent studies. These experiments are designed to address questions regarding cognition and will serve as pilot studies for research with neurological patients. The experimental work and data analysis will require proficiency with PC-based computers and various software packages. The apprentice will be required to maintain a regular reading program. S/he will also be expected to attend weekly lab meetings at which we will discuss papers and the results of ongoing experiments. At the end of the term, the apprentice will complete a a final report as described in the URAP contract and an 8-10 page term paper if the URAP program is completed for credit. Qualifications: Intended major in Psychology, Cognitive Science, or Biology (MCB or IB). Minimum of introductory course in there fields.

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Related website: http://ivrylab.berkeley.edu

Open (2) Developing new technologies and games to study sensorimotor coordination and learning

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

Research in our laboratory addresses how people perform coordinated actions and learn new motor skills. We are looking for an apprentice who could help with programming experiments for Mechanical Turk, an online platform that is used to collect data. See www.mturk.com

The online experiment will examine how people plan and perform reaching movements in novel environments (collecting movement data via user mouse or trackpad). The apprentice will work with a team of lab members and Prof. Ivry in planning the studies and analyzing the data. There is also the opportunity to be involved in development of computational models of the experimental results. This is an excellent opportunity for someone interested in cognitive science research who also wants to exercise their web development skills.


Lead role in developing MTurk platform for conducting experiments on sensorimotor learning.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Darius Parvin, Graduate Student

Qualifications: An ideal candidate would have a computer science background with past experience in web development. More specifically, an ideal candidate would have experience with all of the following: - Javascript, HTML, and CSS. The experiments would be programmed to run in the browser. - Unix or Mac OS. Should be comfortable with terminal. - Some knowledge of server and database configuration/management. RA would be responsible for configuring database and server to collect experiment data and interface with Amazon's Mechanical Turk service. Would be using psiturk (link to it) to help with this process. The candidate should also be interested in Cognitive Neuroscience, since this project will be focused on Motor Control - understanding how the brain controls and learns new movements.

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Related website: http://ivrylab.berkeley.edu