Being awarded the NeurULisboa PhD scholarship (for which a CV and letter of motivation submission, and subsequent interview are necessary: is an excellent opportunity to be part of a PhD project at the Biomedical Neuroscience Lab (Diana Prata’s lab;, at the University of Lisbon.

If you are interested in a project within the research stream below, please contact the PI ( for a skype interview, to ascertain mutual interest. Following that, application to the NeurULisboa PhD scholarship (deadline 14th Feb) should include your mention of interest in the project/lab.

Research stream: Neurobiology of Social Cognition

Context. Understanding the neurochemistry and circuitry mediating social cognition is key to treat a large range of neuropsychiatric disorders – as social deficits are often present at their origin and often do not subside with treatment. Working out what others think, intend and feel is essential for optimal communication and cooperation and is dysfunctional in schizophrenia and other illnesses. We are characterizing the physiology involved in social cognition, for example: how does oxytocin promote social reinforcement learning? What effect does it have in brain and behaviour? How does it interact with other neurotransmitter systems?

Tools. We will study healthy humans and schizophrenia patients with structural and functional neuroimaging (MRI, DTI and MRS), double blind placebo-controlled pharmacological administration, psychological testing, social cognition tasks, eye-tracking, pupilometry, skin conductance response, EEG, DNA/proteomics testing and computational modelling. We use mainly MATLAB, SPSS, and other more specific quantitative data analysis and task presentation software.

Sponsors. The European Commission, Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation, and Bial Foundation.

Main collaborations. King’s College London (UK), Emory University (USA), and The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (The Netherlands).