ATR Institute International
Computational neuroscience laboratories
Kyoto – JAPAN


postdoc position on real-time fMRI @ ATR Institute, Japan

ATR Institute International in Kyoto (Japan) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Researcher Position in the Computational Neuroscience Labs with Dr. Aurelio Cortese, in collaboration with Dr. Kazuhisa Shibata at RIKEN CBS in Tokyo (Japan).

We are looking for an ambitious postdoc interested in pushing the frontiers of real-time fMRI with the goal to enable skills transfer between individuals, at the brain level. In this novel, ambitious and highly challenging project, we want to induce, in the brain of a novice performer, neural activity patterns associated with a specific skill. To this end, we plan to combine behavioural tests, hyperalignment, real-time fMRI and machine learning to understand the cortical foundations of expertise and how we may use it to induce new skills in novice participants. The initial focus of the project will be on perceptual learning. The candidate will design behavioural tasks, design and conduct offline + online (real-time) fMRI experiments, and develop new analyses pipelines. We strive to provide the opportunity for the candidate to develop their own ideas. Dr. Aurelio Cortese is also affiliated with University College London; the postdoc will have the opportunity to benefit from our network of international collaborators. This project is funded by the ERATO Ikegaya Brain-AI Hybrid Project (PI: AC). 

The ideal candidate should have a strong interest in research on learning, perception and cognition, as well as curiosity for closed-loop experimentation with machine learning. A strong background in fMRI data analysis is essential. Strong programming skills in Matlab and/or Python are required. Experience with machine learning-methods and data/code sharing platforms are desirable. Candidates are expected to hold a PhD in one of the following or related fields: cognitive neuroscience, psychology, biomedical engineering, computer science, physics, statistics.

At ATR, the lab has access to two in-house 3T MRI scanners (Prisma and Verio), as well as a MEG, and MR-compatible EEG. This project is a collaboration with the Shibata Lab at RIKEN CBS (Tokyo, Japan). ATR has pioneered research combining decoding methods with neuroimaging, both offline and in real-time experiments. ATR is located near Kyoto, a historical city famous for its incredible cultural, culinary, and entertainment opportunities. 

The position is available immediately; starting dates are flexible though earlier is preferred. The duration of the post is 1 year, and is expected to be extended (up to 3 years). Remuneration is based on the pay scale of ATR. 

To apply, applicants should forward a single PDF containing (1) a curriculum vitae (max 3 pages, including publication list), (2) research statement (qualifications, research interests and motivation for applying), (3) two letters of reference, to Aurelio Cortese (

Working conditions
Occupation: Researcher (full-time researcher)
Employment form: Based on contract, which is renewed every fiscal year according to the status of
the research project engaged, performance and results, etc. (up to 3 years)
Remuneration: Monthly salary based on ATR pay scale (considering experience, ability, and
results); commuting allowance, various types of social insurance
Paid leave, special condolence leave, company housing system available
Working hours: 7.5 hours a day (standard working hours : 9:00 – 17:30), available for flex time
system, with core time
Holidays: 2 days-off a week (Saturdays and Sundays), public holidays, summer vacations, year-end
and New Year holidays, ATR foundation anniversary
Work location: Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, 2-2-2 Hikaridai,
Seika-cho, Soraku-gun, 629-0288 Kyoto Pref., Japan

Considerations for people with disabilities
Facilities: Parking lot, multi-purpose toilet, entrance slope, elevator, rest room
Car commuting possible
Consideration for commuting time and hospital visit (*Please contact us to see if it is available
within the flextime system)
Consideration for wheelchairs
PC environment settings
No telephone response required
Consideration for overtime work
*Please contact us for other matters that require consideration.

Selection method
An interview will be held after the documents are reviewed.

Handling of personal information
We will properly manage the personal information you send us and use it only for the purpose of recruitment.