Research Project for Master Student

Optimal and near-optimal decision making

We are looking for a highly motivated Master student who is interested in working in an interdisciplinary team at the Chair of Neuroimaging, Dept of Psychology, Technische Universit├Ąt Dresden. The goal of the project is to derive novel methods and investigate existing, optimal and near-optimal, algorithms for decision making in the simple noisy and changing environments. An experienced post-doc will closely supervise the thesis work.


  • Familiarize with existing models of value-based decision making in noisy and changing environments.
  • Implement the models in matlab/python and test their performance in a simulated environment.
  • Derive experimental predictions from these models, based on their performance and neurophysiological plausibility.
  • Design a behavioral experiment and test human performance.
  • Perform a comparative analysis of human performance and performance of behavioral models on the same task.


  • Motivation and interest in working in an interdisciplinary team.
  • Knowledge of the scientific programming languages, such as Matlab or Python (desirable).
  • Basic knowledge of probability theory and Bayesian inference (or reinforcement learning) (desirable).

What experience will you gain?

  • Interdisciplinary teamwork in a vibrant research group.
  • Advanced Matlab and Python programming.
  • Principles of optimal decision making, model inversion, and approximate probabilistic inference.

About us

Our research group works in the field of Computational Neuroscience on the development of neurobiologically plausible mechanisms that explain how our brain quickly and robustly processes sequences of sensory stimuli. Using nonlinear dynamical systems and Bayesian inference, we investigate how decision making can be explained as a function of a dynamic and hierarchically structured computational processes, based on neuronal networks. Our research group consists of computer scientists, physicists, and cognitive scientists.


If you require further information about the research project, or have related organizational questions, please contact Dr. Dimitrije Markovic. To apply for this project, please email him your CV, highlighting, in particular, your experience with related methods, and a short, informal statement of your specific research interests. We are looking forward to hearing from you!