The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development is seeking to appoint an outstanding and innovative scholar to work on a new ARC Discovery Grant “Origins of Phonology and Lexicon (OPAL): Abstract representations before 6 months”. The successful applicant will work with project investigators – Denis Burnham, Catherine Best, Anne Cutler (MARCS Institute); Elizabeth Johnson (U Toronto Mississauga); Marina Kalashnikova (Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language). The project is fuelled by recent evidence that phonological abstraction begins before 3 months, and that carer-infant conversations are vital to development. The main study is a longitudinal experiment on the relationship between infants’ early (1-7 months) phonological abstraction, their later phonological abstraction (7-18 months), their later language skills, and how these relate to properties of the speech directed to them (infant-directed speech, IDS). Other spin-off longitudinal and cross-sectional studies are encouraged.

The Fellow will work with the OPAL team in the MARCS BabyLab (in the Speech and Language research program) to develop, apply, and analyse the results of new tests of early, and established tests of later phonological abstraction using behavioural (habituation, eye-movement (TOBII)) and neurophysiological (EEG) methods; oversee collection and analysis of IDS (vowel hyperarticulation, vowel dispersion, words spoken, conversational turns); work with and co-supervise a PhD student, research assistants, and Honours students and research interns.

The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development is an interdisciplinary research institute of Western Sydney University. The Institute’s vision is to optimise human interaction and wellbeing across the lifespan by addressing problems in sensing and perceiving, interacting with each other, and technologies for humans. Researchers in MARCS come from many disciplines including cognitive science, developmental psychology, language science, music science, cognitive neuroscience, and biomedical, electrical, electronic, neuromorphic, and software engineering. The Institute consists of three Research Areas: Brain Sciences (Speech & Language; Multisensory Communication; Music Cognition & Action research programs), Biomedical and Human Technologies (Biomedical Engineering; Human Machine Interaction research programs), and The International Centre for Neuromorphic Systems.

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Further information is available from our website

This is a full-time, fixed-term position for 3 years based at our BabyLabs at Bankstown and Westmead Campuses.

Remuneration Package: Academic Level A $96,777 to $116,921 (comprising salary $81,778 to $98,800 p.a., plus Superannuation and Leave Loading).

Position Enquiries: Professor Denis Burnham, + 61 2 9772 6681 or via email .

Closing Date: 8:30pm, 31 May 2020.

Click here to view Position Description

For further information and details on how to apply, please visit the University vacancies page.