PhD Program at Univ. of South Florida

The Psychology Department at the University of South Florida is recruiting students for its PhD program this year. There are three areas, but this is on behalf of the Cognitive Neuroscience group of researchers in the experimental psychology area (called Cognitive, Neuroscience & Social-- CNS).

The Cognitive group in the CNS area of the Department of Psychology invites highly-qualified applicants to apply to our Ph.D. program starting in the 2017-2018 academic year.  We offer world-class, multidisciplinary training in cognitive research spanning several fields, including perception, attention, memory, language, and decision making. Our program offers training in a variety of empirical methods (e.g., behavioral, eye tracking, EEG/ERPs) and statistical methods (e.g., hierarchical regression, computational modeling, Bayesian analysis), as well as opportunities to collaborate with researchers in all areas of the Department of Psychology, other departments and schools at USF, as well as internationally. Students typically receive full funding, and enjoy a low cost of living in the beautiful, warm city of Tampa-- the fastest growing city in the country!.

The following laboratory groups are accepting new members for the upcoming year:

A brand new Eye Tracking Lab, directed by Dr. Elizabeth Schotter, equipped with two state-of-the-art Eyelink 1000plus systems (and soon a system to co-register eye movements and ERPs simultaneously). Research in the lab applies advanced methods in eye tracking, statistical analysis and computational modeling to study a range of cognitive science questions, in particular understanding the component processes involved in reading and language processing, visual cognition and decision making, and attention. Lab

The Judgment & Decision Making Lab, directed by Dr. Sandra Schneider, includes a 15-seat computer lab with access to multiple statistical and survey software packages.  We study cognitive and motivational influences on decision making, with a focus on learning more about how people come to understand and react to risk and uncertainty.  Our recent studies evaluate how problem representation, including context, can assist or undermine people’s understanding and choices in both good and bad situations. Lab

The Memory Modeling Lab is co-directed by Dr. Kenneth Malmberg and Dr. Chad Dubé
Dr. Dubé conducts research on recognition memory and decision-making, using a variety of methods including behavioral experiments, computational modeling, psychophysics, and EEG. His aim is to understand the basic processes involved in recognition, and our approach borrows from principles discovered by computational neuroscientists in combination with ideas developed in the cognitive modeling literature. He takes a broad and comprehensive approach to recognition, stressing the importance of attention and perception in memory encoding and retrieval.

Dr. Malmberg has extensive experience developing and testing formal models of human memory. His current research interests concern understanding the relationship between memory and perception, Bayesian artificial intelligence approaches to autobiographical memory, and developing more efficient neuropsychological tests.

The Visual Cognition Lab of Dr. Thomas Sanocki studies processes related to everyday scene perception. This includes object perception, influences of attention and especially attentional sets, and the process of scene understanding. We use a range of cognitive methods. 


For more information about applying go here, for admission requirements go here, to start your application go here and complete your application before December 1st 2016. Any general questions about applying to USF’s Psychology Department graduate program can be directed to Laura Pierce at or 813-974-0497.

For those interested in the Psychology of Language, the department also has ties to the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, located in a building connected to Psychology. Dr. Schotter is currently developing collaborations with the following faculty members. 

Betancourt, Kyna, Ph.D., CCC-SLP studies vocabulary acquisition in sequential bilingual children with an emphasis on the role of phonotactic probability and statistical learning. Recently she has been studying the effects of phonotactic probability on young bilingual children's ability to sort non-words by language.

Nathan Maxfield, Ph.D., CCC-SLP studies cognitive neuroscience investigations of speech, language and hearing processing, focusing on language and cognitive processing in people who stutter.

Frisch, Stefan, Ph.D. studies the processes of speech production, speech perception, and metalinguistic language processing in order to better understand the ways in which language sound structure is organized in the mind/brain.