Job ID: 104291

PhD position in neuroscience

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 30 March 2023

Contract Length: 3-4 years

City: Kristiansand

Country: Norway

Institution: University of Agder



A 100 % position is available at the University of Agder, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences as a PhD Research Fellow in neuroscience, affiliated to The Psychology Academic Group. The position is available for a period of three years, possibly for four years with 25% required duties. The starting date is negotiable with the faculty.

The position is located, at the present, at Campus Kristiansand of the University of Agder on the southern coast of Norway. The Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences has four departments: Department of Health and Nursing Science, Department of Nutrition and Public Health, Department of Sports Science and Physical Education and Department of Psychosocial Health. The PhD position will be associated with the DSyNC research laboratory.

In DSyNC, we work to understand how sensory processes and learning are affected by internal generative processes. We use the olfactory system in mice as a model system and are interested in how statistical learning is implemented both algorithmically and biologically in cell networks in the cerebral cortex. More specifically, we are interested in how sensory representations are linked to identity (odor objects). Natural odors typically consist of several hundred different chemicals, and we have little insight into how the brain establishes which of these best define specific odor objects over time and best separate these from other odor objects. It is, however, already well established that these processes, known as ‘pattern completion ‘ and ‘pattern separation’, do take place already in the first part of the olfactory cortex after inputs from the nose. To approach these processes, high-yield in vivo electrophysiology is used in awake behaving mice, together with optogenetic methods to manipulate neural activity. We also make use of high-capacity behavioral monitoring through a virtual reality setup we designed for mice, which provides very precise experimental control of sensory stimuli, including smell. Both the type of data (high dimensional neural time series and behavioral signals), and the experimental questions we are interested in, require that the employee has good experience with relevant statistical methods, data analyzes and programming.

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