[Comp-neuro] Positions in Computational Neuroscience at CNCR, Amsterdam

Arjen van Ooyen arjen.van.ooyen at falw.vu.nl
Thu Mar 6 10:48:51 CET 2008

Applications are invited for two research positions in the 
Neuroinformatics Group of the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive 
Research (CNCR), VU University Amsterdam. The positions are funded by a 
EU-FP7 grant for the Collaborative Large-scale Integrating Project 
Self-Constructing Computing Systems (SECO). Using a combined 
computational and experimental approach, the SECO project investigates 
the principles by which populations of real or artificial neurons can 
grow and assemble themselves into functioning circuits.

The first 4-year project, for a postdoctoral researcher, is on the 
development of dendritic and axonal growth models. The aim is to create 
models for neuronal morphogenesis in which cells develop through growth 
cone migration and branching, and formation of synaptic connections in 
interaction with their environment. A major challenge is to find a 
balanced level of description of neuronal outgrowth based on local 
mechanisms and interactions in space and time that will be suitable for 
an algorithmic implementation. The models will be used to study the 
development of cortical and thalamic circuitry. The ideal candidate 
should combine a strong neurobiological interest and knowledge with a 
solid background in neuro-biophysics and extensive experience in 
computational modeling and computer programming.

The second 4 (or 3)-year project, for a PhD student (or postdoctoral 
researcher), focuses on the reciprocal interactions between neuronal 
network structure and activity dynamics in developing neural circuits. 
Using computational models, we will explore the impact of 
activity-dependent plasticity rules on the evolution of developing 
neuronal networks under their own (spontaneous) firing activity. The 
research will be guided by the hypothesis that networks will evolve 
towards self-consistent states, in which firing patterns stabilizes the 
synaptic connectivity structure that also gives rise to these firing 
patterns. The ideal candidate should combine a strong neurobiological 
interest and knowledge with an excellent background in computational 
neuroscience and neuronal network research.

Candidates of both projects will contribute significantly to the 
collaborative effort of the SECO consortium.

For further information about these positions, please contact Dr. Arjen 
van Ooyen, arjen.van.ooyen at cncr.vu.nl, or Dr. Jaap van Pelt, 
jaap.van.pelt at cncr.vu.nl. Application letters including a CV, research 
experience, a short statement of research interests, and contact details 
of two referees should be sent by email to Dr. Arjen van Ooyen before 
the 1st of April 2008.

Dr. Arjen van Ooyen
Neuroinformatics Group
Department of Experimental Neurophysiology
Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research
VU University Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1085
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

E-mail: arjen.van.ooyen at cncr.vu.nl
Phone:  +31.20.5987090
Fax:    +31.20.5987112
Room:   B-451
Web:    http://www.bio.vu.nl/enf/vanooyen

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