10 July 2018

5 Research Positions for doctoral program RTG 2386 "Extrospection"

Application period 2018 ended 19 July 2018, 11:59:59 a.m. CEST

Research Training Group (RTG) 2386 “Extrospection. External access to higher cognitive processes”

Read more about the research projects and research positions advertised:

What is the RTG 2386 “Extrospection” ?

The DFG Research Training Group (RTG) 2386 "Extrospection. External
access to higher cognitive processes" will offer an interdisciplinary
structured doctoral program including a fast-track option for Master's
students. During the first funding period 2018–2023, a sophisticated
admission process will select three cohorts of doctoral researchers and
two cohorts of fast-track students. Doctoral candidates will apply with
the proposal for an interdisciplinary doctoral project devoted to the
problem of extrospection. When applying, applicants should also explain
why they wish to conduct their doctoral research in an interdisciplinary
and structured doctoral program. Upon admission, each doctoral candidate
will be assigned two experts from different disciplines who will act as
their primary and secondary advisors.

The core of the RTG’s curriculum will consist of specific research
seminars devoted to extrospection and a series of workshops and
academic retreats. Moreover, the RTG will offer basic and advanced
courses tailored to each individual student’s specific needs.

The RTG 2386 will be based at and administered by the Berlin School of
Mind and Brain, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

What is Extrospection?

While introspection means first-person access to one’s own conscious
states, extrospection stands for third-person access to another person’s
conscious experience, e.g. with scientific methods or by way of mind
reading. Recognizing that another person feels pain, or investigating
the conscious perceptual experience of an experimental subject with an
fMRI scanner are typical cases of extrospection.

What are the research goals of the Research Training Group 2386

Conscious processes like states of emotion, perception, belief
formation, or mind-reading, are of essential importance in philosophy,
psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatry. It is quite controversial,
though, to what extent these processes can be captured adequately by
means of extrospection. The reason for this controversy is that
extrospective methods are restricted to indirect external evidence.
Introspection, by contrast, has long been treated as privileged, given
its direct first-person access to these processes.

The present project aims at a comprehensive epistemological, historical
and empirical assessment of extrospection. As a working hypothesis, we
assume that there is an epistemic symmetry between extrospection and
introspection: What can be known by way of first-person methods can be
known by way of third-person methods as well, at least in principle.
While we do not deny the obvious insufficiencies of current
extrospective methods, we hypothesize that they can be overcome by
future scientific, methodological, and technological developments.

What is a Research Training Group?

Research Training Groups (RTG) are established by universities to
promote young researchers. They are funded by the DFG for a period of up
to nine years. Their key emphasis is on the qualification of doctoral
researchers within the framework of a focused research programme and a
structured training strategy. RTGs often have an interdisciplinary
approach. The aim of RTGs is to prepare doctoral researchers for the
complexities of the job market in science and academics and
simultaneously encourage early scientific independence.

Principal investigators and research topics

The DFG Research Training Group 2386 "Extrospection. External access to
higher cognitive processes" consists of 10 different research topics.
Each topic contributes to the overall research focus on extrospection,
i.e. third-person access to higher cognitive processes resp.
third-person access to first-person conscious experience.

Read more: