Job ID: 6493

Ph.D. Student in Paris/France

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 31 March 2021

City: Paris

Country: France

Institution: Institut Pasteur



Processing of auditory information in the brain is complex because information not only flows from the auditory periphery to the central nervous system but also from the brain to the ear. As a result, efferent neuronal signals can modulate the mechanical properties of the cochlea. Ideally, we would like to know the cochlear output precisely to study its effect on neural representations. However, because cochlear mechanics and neuronal processing are reciprocally coupled through mechanoelectrical feedback, it will require specific tools to uncouple them and to decode the transformation of complex acoustic stimuli by the brain.

The aim of this project is to study how information about sound frequency is propagated from the auditory periphery to the cortex. To understand how sound features are encoded in the brain we would need to vary specific parameters of the input and measure how it affects neuronal firing. Recent progress in optogenetics have allowed to activate neuronal circuits precisely. Here we will use these tools to control the cochlear output and activate optogenetically cochlear hair cells in vivo. Optical methods allow to focalize the beam of a laser onto several cellular targets and rapidly update the temporal pattern of stimulation. The student will develop a setup based on holographic light patterning to be able to stimulate simultaneously (but independently) single hair cells with millisecond precision.

The Hearing Institute is a Center from the Institut Pasteur and aims at understanding hearing from both a fundamental and clinical perspective. It combines various approaches from genetics and cell biology to biophysics and from human cognition and psychoacoustics to computational neuroscience to create a genuinely interdisciplinary research environment. The Institute is located nearby the Vision Institute, thereby creating a center for system and sensory neuroscience research in one of the liveliest districts in the heart of Paris.

previous job ID: 28548