[Comp-neuro] Postdoctoral position in computational neuroscience

Mark Goldman msgoldman at ucdavis.edu
Thu Feb 19 01:49:00 CET 2009

  A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Dr. Mark 
Goldman at the University of California at Davis. The lab works on a 
broad range of problems in computational neuroscience ranging from 
neural coding to dynamics and plasticity of single neurons and networks. 
The postdoctoral candidate would have flexibility to work on a range of 
issues of his or her choosing (including other than those listed below). 
Work on all projects will involve a mixture of analytical and 
computational work, and any candidate is expected to have strong 
training in an analytically rigorous discipline such as theoretical 
neuroscience, physics, mathematics, computer science, or engineering. 
The postdoctoral candidate will have ample opportunity to interact 
within the vibrant computational and systems neuroscience communities at 
UC Davis and in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

Two recent topics of particular interest to the laboratory are:

1) *Dynamics of memory-related neural activity*: This work spans both 
theoretical and applied modeling, as follows:

/Theoretical projects/: Our recent work has been comparing attractor 
models to those with a higher-dimensional representation to assess the 
relative strengths and weaknesses of these two architectures. Questions 
to be addressed include: What network architecture is most suitable for 
a given computation? How robust is a given architecture and a given 
computation to systematic perturbations of parameters and noise? Which 
experimental systems utilize each of these architectures and what 
benefit does this convey?

/Modeling experimentally recorded neural activity/: The laboratory has 
been working in collaboration with the laboratories of David Tank at 
Princeton University and Emre Aksay at Weill Medical College of Cornell 
University to determine how an experimentally measurable memory trace 
located in the eye movement system is maintained in an awake behaving 
animal, and how plasticity mechanisms can tune this system to adapt to 
systematic perturbations.

2) *Motor learning in the cerebellum*: The eye movement system provides 
a highly tractable system for studying motor learning because it is 
well-characterized experimentally and has fewer degrees of freedom than 
more complicated movement systems. Current projects include:

A) Building models to characterize the coding of inputs within the 
cerebellum, and connecting these to experimental data being obtained in 
the laboratory of our collaborator Dr. Jennifer Raymond at Stanford 

B) Building testable models of the cerebellar and non-cerebellar 
mechanisms of motor learning in the vestibuloocular reflex. Theoretical 
work will be constrained by and form predictions for experiments ranging 
from behavior in normal and mutant animals to single-cell recording and 
Ca++ imaging performed in our experimental collaborators’ laboratories.

Candidates should send a CV, brief statement of previous research and 
future research interests, and email addresses and phone numbers of 
three references to: Mark Goldman, msgoldman at ucdavis.edu. I will also be 
at the upcoming CoSyNe meeting and would be happy to meet with 
candidates in person there.

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