Job ID: 81631

Contextual modulation of sensory processing

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 3 June 2022

Employment Start Date: 3 October 2022

City: LYON

Country: France

Institution: Lyon Neuroscience Research Center

Department:

Description:

A PhD position is available to work on a project investigating sensory information processing. A central issue in neuroscience is to understand how, with our high-performance sensory organs, we select from the vast flow of information the ones that are relevant for a quick decision. For example, we adjust very quickly the racket position to return the ball in a tennis match. In contrast, sensory signals associated with the texture of the racket’s grip are behaviorally irrelevant and should be ignored. Thalamic pathways may play a key role in the selection of relevant information. While faithful transmission of sensory information from the periphery to the cortex is largely attributed to the principal relay thalamic nuclei, in high-order thalamic nuclei, however, responses to sensory stimuli, usually delayed and labile, are puzzling and thought to be determined by descending cortical inputs. The rodent somatosensory system, which is very fast and efficient, offers a particularly interesting experimental model to study this question.

This project will combine state-of-art electrophysiological methods with optogenetics in mice, and will also involve the use of anatomical and behavioral techniques. For further details on the project, please contact Dr Nadia Urbain (nadia.urbain@inserm.fr; https://nadiaurbainlab.wordpress.com/). The candidate should hold a Masters degree, with a background in either biological sciences or physics/engineering. The ideal candidate has previous experience in experimental work or signal analysis. Programming skills are desired but not required. We are searching for an applicant with a high commitment and curiosity about neuroscientific questions. Interested candidates are invited to send their application (including a letter of intent, CV, list of completed university courses and the name of a scientific referee) to nadia.urbain@inserm.fr. Applications will be evaluated until position is filled.