4 ofertas de master en cognición animal (UK) ~ Bioblogia.net

23 de junio de 2019

4 ofertas de master en cognición animal (UK)

4 MRes Positions available in Large Animal Cognition (Aberystwyth University)

Starting September 2019

MRes Projects 1-2 – Factors affecting goal-directed motivation in sheep.

MRes Projects 3-4 – Establishing cognitive markers of equine depression.

MRes Projects 1-2 – Factors affecting goal-directed motivation in sheep

The mechanisms responsible for animal motivation are regulated by specific neurotransmitter pathways in the brain and these are highly upregulated and downregulated by internal (e.g. nutrition) and external (e.g. stressors) factors that the animal is exposed to. This is important because increasing motivation for behaviours that the animal cannot perform in a restricted environment may lead to a reduction in its welfare. Changes in goal-directed motivation can be indirectly measured via performance within specific cognitive tasks and the aim of this project is to investigate factors that affect motivational systems using measures of cognition and sheep as a animal model species.

Course Details and Application: See details below and https://courses.aber.ac.uk/postgraduate/biosciences-masters-research/

Applicants should have at least a 2:1 in a relevant subject (e.g. behavioural biology, zoology, psychology, cognitive neuroscience).

Start date: end of Sept 2019. Finish date: end of Sept 2020

Informal enquiries: Dr Sebastian McBride sdm@aber.ac.uk

Further reading:

Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (2016). Liking, wanting, and the incentive-sensitization theory of addiction. The American psychologist, 71(8), 670-679.

McBride, S. D., Perentos, N., & Morton, A. J. (2015). A mobile, high throughput semi-automated system for testing cognition in large non-primate animals models of Huntington's disease. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 265, 25-33.

MRes Projects 3-4 – Establishing cognitive markers of equine depression

Restrictive environments can lead to abnormal behaviour but they can also lead to states of behavioural depression. Abnormal behaviour in horses is well documented but there is less understanding about whether some of these animals are responding to chronically stressful situations by entering into depressed states. The aim of this project is to use cognitive tests that are sensitive to changes in behavioural depression to establish the normal population distribution of motivated/depressed state in the context of factors such as the age, sex and breed of the horse.

Course Details and Application: See below and https://courses.aber.ac.uk/postgraduate/biosciences-masters-research/

Applicants should have at least a 2:1 in a relevant subject (e.g. behavioural biology, zoology, psychology, equine science) and have experience of handling horses.

Start date: end of Sept 2019. Finish date: end of Sept 2020

Informal enquiries: Dr Sebastian McBride sdm@aber.ac.uk

Further reading:

Roberts, K., Hemmings, A. J., McBride, S. D., & Parker, M. O. (2017). Developing a 3-choice serial reaction time task for examining neural and cognitive function in an equine model. Journal of neuroscience methods, 292, 45-52.

Wang, Q., Timberlake, M. A., 2nd, Prall, K., & Dwivedi, Y. (2017). The recent progress in animal models of depression. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry, 77, 99-109.

Aberystwyth University MRes Bioscience (Large Animal Cognition)

About the Course

This 1 year course leads to an internationally recognised MRes qualification that provides training in transferable skills essential for those wishing to pursue post-graduate PhD, commercial or industrial research opportunities in animal cognition/ cognitive neuroscience. Focusing on large animal cognition, you will gain expert knowledge on learning theory, brain systems of action selection, learning and memory. The course (via seminars) will also explore the relationship between cognitive and emotional systems and how this is currently being used to assess animal welfare. Through the process of an investigative project (equine or ovine), you will be trained in methods of developing cognitive paradigms for animals, designing operant systems and training animals to use them, coding Matlab to control operant paradigms and fitting cognitive data sets to learning algorithm models.

At the end of the course you will have a range of interdisciplinary skills that will allow you to progress into the emerging and exciting areas of animal cognition and cognitive neuroscience, either within industry (pharmaceutical) or academia.

Why study Large Animal Cognition at Aberystwyth?

IBERS is a multidisciplinary department that contains international expertise ranging from molecular to large animal specialisms. This means that the department has a full range of facilities (from stables to laboratories) to house and study a range of large animal species. In addition to this, we have a dedicated operant research facility with large scale specialist equipment for the cognitive testing of horses and sheep. Undertaking an MRes in Aberystwyth University will allow you to carry out a 12 month investigative project in to large animal cognition using either horses or sheep as a model.

Why study at Aberystwyth?

With 360 members of staff (principle investigators, technicians and post-doctoral fellows), 1350 undergraduate students and more than 150 postgraduate students, IBERS is the largest research and teaching institute within Aberystwyth University. Excellence in teaching was recognised by outstanding scores in the National Student Satisfaction Survey (NSS 2017) and being awarded University of the Year for Teaching Quality by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. Employability data from the Recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE, 2017) shows that 97% of IBERS graduates were in work or further study six months after leaving Aberystwyth University. The economic and social impact of IBERS research was recognised in 2011 when IBERS won the national BBSRC Excellence with Impact Award.

Course Details

An aspect of this course that uniquely positions itself from other Masters level courses in the UK is the 12-month dissertation project (Semesters 1-3). Working under the supervision of Dr Sebastian McBride, you will collaboratively develop a research project on a topic of animal cognition such as the delayed match to sample paradigm, mechanisms of learning interference, developing cognitive tasks to measure animal depression and modelling learning strategies. Your supervisor will mentor you in hypothesis and experimental design, provide training in lab-based and computer-assisted methodologies, arrange instruction in analytical techniques, aid in the trouble-shooting of experimental challenges, assist you in the interpretation of results and prepare you for successful oral presentations. You will also be guided in how to most efficiently communicate your results during the dissertation write-up. It is expected that during this year long research project you will become an expert in your topic.

Please refer to our course web pages for full details of course modules.



This course is an ideal training programme for those wishing to:

- Pursue PhD studies;

- Work in industry, charities or funding bodies;

- Improve animal and human health;

- Influence governmental policies.


Throughout this course you will:

· Develop strong data collection/analysis, fieldwork and laboratory skills;

· Enhance your scientific communication and team work skills;

· Write for a range of audiences including academics and the wider public;

· Enhance your analytical abilities, critical thinking and problem solving skills;

· Develop study and research skills;

· Direct and sustain a self-initiated programme of study underpinned by good time management skills;

· Work effectively and independently;

· Hone your project management skills to deliver a demanding combination of research, analysis, communication and presentation

How will I learn?

Students on this course complete 40 credits of core modules centred on research and laboratory techniques, and 20 credits giving them an insight into themes/approaches to the biosciences with a specific emphasis on animal cognition. These modules are delivered via fieldtrips, practicals, lectures, workshops and tutorials. The taught modules are assessed by scientific writing assignments (such as reports, critical reviews, essays and journalistic articles), presentations, contribution to group discussions in seminars and online assignments. The core element of this course is the 120 credit MRes Dissertation, during which students will have supervision meetings to give them guidance before undertaking a prolonged period of experimental work/data gathering, research, and writing up of the dissertation. All postgraduate students in IBERS also have a named personal tutor, with whom they can discuss personal or domestic concerns that impact on their studies. Subsequent successful submission of your dissertation leads to the award of an MRes.

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