General Information


The International Research Training Group Adaptive Minds: Neural and Environmental Constraints on Learning and Memory is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

The IRTG is hosted by research groups from the Departments of Psychology and Neuroradiology at Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany, and from the Institute of Psychology from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. The IRTG aims at enhancing our understanding of learning and memory processes and their neural basis by examining how environmental constraints within and across cultures shape these processes and their underlying neural organisation.

The doctoral researchers work on specific research projects under the supervision of the IRTG’s principal investigators. A multidisciplinary study program, including courses on the theoretical background of the research projects and practical training in behavioural and neuroscientific research tools complements the research program.

The doctoral positions are recompensed by salaries according to the regulations of the German public service. Separate funding in addition to the salary will offer the unique opportunity of participating in a stimulating foreign cultural and scientific context via research visits of up to several months at the Chinese partner institute. Moreover, additional funding is provided to attend several national and international conferences.

The doctoral theses are related to one of several research topics that aim at resolving basic learning and memory processes, the plasticity of learning and memory processes during maturational development, and the effects of training on cognitive behaviour in the intact and lesioned brain. State-of-the art methodological tools such as EEG/ERP, fMRI, behavioural measures and observation methods are used. See Projects for an overview of the research projects.

The Department of Psychology at Saarland University and the Department of Neuroradiology are the main research and teaching environments. The Department of Psychology is equipped with four high density EEG recoding laboratories, several behavioral and electrophysiological testing chambers, and state-of-the-art multimodal stimulus presentation software.

The Department of Neuroradiology houses MR facilities (a 3 T and a 1.5 T MR scanner) including state-of-the-art brain imaging software. Saarland University provides an appropriate academic environment that additionally includes E-learning facilities, office, and lab space as well as seminar rooms for all students of the IRTG.