Connecting European Neuroscience

Ph.D. Student in Marseille/France

04 February 2019

Ph.D. Student in Marseille/France

Job ID


Title: Are you sure where to go? Studying algorithm(s) for decision making and confidence in an ethological framework.

Scientific Background: We take decisions with various degrees of confidence depending on context/sensory ambiguity, internal state (motivation, fear ...) and past experiences. In well-known/easy contexts, we quickly decide what the best action to execute is. In new or difficult situations, or following mistakes, we are cautious and take more time before acting. The understanding of the main constraints that influence the decision process and their neuronal underpinning is still fragmentary. The goal of this project is to combine behavioral science, engineering, and model-based data analysis to understand how rodents take decisions in a whisker-guided choice task. The 1st objective will be to develop a decision making task in an ethologically valid environment allowing a 24x7 on-demand testing. In the 2nd objective, drift-diffusion modeling and reinforcement learning will be combined to characterize behavioral dynamics and generate hypothetical decision making algorithms and their putative neural implementation.

PhD student’s expected profile:
The 1st objective of the project is to develop an automatized task to study decision making in rodents. We are thus seeking for applicants with strong engineering and programming skills (required to design and build the behavioral apparatus, control of task events and data acquisition). The 2nd objective of the task is to perform model based-analysis (machine/reinforcement learning) of animals behavior. Applicants interested in animal behavior and neuroscience (decision making, neuroeconomics) with a test for engineering and data analysis should also apply. Applicant with background in computer science are also encouraged to apply.

This position is part of the new PhD program of the Turing Center for living systems:
More information and application :

Job Information

Closing date:
Employment start date:
Contract length:
3 years
INMED/Marseille University
Campus Luminy

Contact Information

David Robbe
163, avenue de Luminy.
13009 Marseille

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