Connecting European Neuroscience

Ph.D. Student in Sheffield/UK

06 December 2017

Ph.D. Student in Sheffield/UK

Job ID
14443
Place
Sheffield/UK

Description

When building a brain, you might think neurons should be wired together very precisely and accurately to ensure optimal performance. But nature is never perfect, and developmental variability is inevitable. Is this good or bad? This project addresses this question in the brain of the fruit fly Drosophila, where recent anatomical data has revealed significant variability in neuronal wiring. One type of neuron where surprising variation occurs is the “Kenyon cells”, a population of ~2000 neurons that stores olfactory associative memories in flies. Our computational models suggest that variability among Kenyon cells in how much excitatory input each receives should increase overlap between Kenyon cell odour responses, thereby impairing flies’ ability form odour-specific memories. This suggests that variability is bad. But variability could be good, if variation on one parameter compensates for variation on another (e.g., compensate for extra excitatory input through a higher spiking threshold). In this project, the student will test whether and how such compensatory variation occurs, using a range of cutting-edge techniques, including multiphoton imaging, electrophysiology, fly genetics, and computational modelling.

We seek a motivated and creative student with a strong interest in how the brain works and we welcome applications from candidates from a range of backgrounds (from biology to computer science or physics).

For more details see:
https://www.findaphd.com/search/projectdetails.aspx?PJID=90497

Job Information

Closing date:
2018-01-12
Employment start date:
2018-10-01
Contract length:
4 years
Institution:
University of Sheffield
Department:
Biomedical Science

Contact Information

Andrew Lin
Firth Court
Western Bank
Sheffield S10 2TN
UK
Phone
01142223643
Email
andrew.lin@sheffield.ac.uk
Website
http://www.aclinlab.org

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