POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH SCHOLAR Children’s Neural Processing of the Emotional Environment, Penn State Child Study Center


Children’s Neural Processing of the Emotional Environment

Penn State Child Study Center

The Pennsylvania State University’s Child Study Center ( invites applications for a postdoctoral research scholar position focused on children’s neural processing of affective prosody.  Successful applicants will work within an interdisciplinary team of investigators from the Department of Psychology (College of the Liberal Arts), the Department of Acoustics (College of Engineering), and the Social, Life, and Engineering Sciences Imaging Center ( This project is designed to investigate the use of fMRI for studying 6- and 7-year-olds’ neural processing of angry, sad, happy and neutral natural speech samples that vary in their personal relevance to the child (mother versus unfamiliar voice).  The project also includes objective assessment of children’s emotional environment at home, using randomly sampled audio recordings of ambient sound and speech in the home. Primary responsibilities include collecting and processing behavioral and fMRI data; interfacing with investigators and participating in interdisciplinary team meetings; analyzing data; preparing conference presentations and scientific publications and grant proposals. PSU’s Colleges of the Liberal Arts and Engineering, and the Departments of Psychology and Acoustics, as well as the Child Study Center, are well-established and highly regarded research units comprised of faculty, research associates, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students. This postdoctoral position will be funded by a federal grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, with the aim of advancing our knowledge of young children’s neural processing particularly with auditory emotion stimuli.  The successful applicant will have contact with the exceptional resources of Penn State University, including administrative and software support staff, hardware and software, and some travel funding. The grant provides two years of support.

Qualified individuals will have a Ph.D. in the social, behavioral or health sciences, experience and skill with fMRI data collection, processing, and analysis methods, and an interest in the application of neuroimaging data to translational, clinical research (e.g., anger exposure as a clinical risk for young children).  Demonstrated productivity in terms of published journal articles and scientific conference presentations is expected.  Excellent written and oral English communication skills are required. Background in any of the following areas will be considered a plus: child development, typical or atypical emotional development, and observational and experimental design with families and children. Interested applicants should upload (1) a letter of application indicating research interests, career goals, and experience; (2) a curriculum vita and (3) three letters of professional reference. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For more information, contact Dr. Cole  Apply at

CAMPUS SECURITY CRIME STATISTICS: For more about safety at Penn State, and to review the Annual Security Report which contains information about crime statistics and other safety and security matters, please go to , which will also provide you with detail on how to request a hard copy of the Annual Security Report.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.