[Comp-neuro] PhD position Italian Institute of Technology, Genova

Alberto Mazzoni alb.mazzoni at gmail.com
Wed Aug 24 15:43:40 CEST 2011

A PhD position in the field of computational neuroscience is available at
the Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department of the Italian
Institute of Technology in the group of prof. Stefano Panzeri.

Closing Date for applications is September 23rd 2011. Interested candidates
are advised contact Stefano Panzeri (stefano.panzeri at iit.it) and/or Alberto
Mazzoni (alberto.mazzoni at iit.it) for further information before submitting
an application.

Call and details of the application procedure are available at the following

http://www.iit.it/en/resources/calls/unige.html  (Annex A4 - Theme 1.8)

Research theme:

Using neural network models of cortical dynamics to understand the cortical
representation of sensory information.

Understanding how to extract information about external correlates form
neural activity is central for the understanding of brain function and for
development of Brain Machine Interfaces. Recent results suggest that the
cerebral cortex encodes information about the external environment in the
time domain, by encoding different parameters of the external word in
different frequency ranges of neural activity (Panzeri et al, TINS 2010;
Quian Quiroga and Panzeri, Nature Reviews Neurosci 2009). The candidate,
building on previous work from the group (Mazzoni et al  PLoS Comput Biol
2009; Mazzoni et al Neuroimage 2010) will construct biophysically plausible
models of cortical neural networks which capture the basic features of the
functional organization of cortex. The candidate will then use these models
to investigate how neural networks can encode simultaneously both the
features defining the external correlates and the time variations of these
features on time scales relevant for perception and behavior. The candidate
should hold a degree in Physics, Mathematics, Engineering or Computer
Science and have a keen interest in applying mathematical and numerical
techniques to the study of brain function.

The research will be will be supervised by Drs Stefano Panzeri and Alberto
Mazzoni, and will be performed within the Neural Computation group led by
Stefano Panzeri at the Department of Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences
of the Italian Institute of Technology. Research in the Neural Computation
group aims at understanding the computations made by neurons to represent,
process and exchange information.

Selected Recent Relevant Publications

[1] Panzeri S, Brunel N, Logothetis NK, Kayser C (2010) Neural codes at
multiple temporal scales in sensory cortex. Trends in Neuroscience 33:

[2] Mazzoni A, Whittingstall K, Brunel N, Logothetis NK, Panzeri S (2010)
Understanding the relationships between spike rate and delta/gamma frequency
bands of LFPs and EEGs using a local cortical network model. Neuroimage 52:

[3] Mazzoni A, Panzeri S, Logothetis NK, Brunel N (2008) Encoding of
Naturalistic Stimuli by Local Field Potential Spectra in Networks of
Excitatory and Inhibitory Neurons. PLoS Comput. Biol. 4: e1000239

[4] Quian Quiroga R, Panzeri S (2009) Extracting information from neuronal
populations: information theory and decoding approaches. Nature Reviews
Neuroscience 10: 173-185

Location: The IIT is located in Genova, Italy, a charming seaside
mediterranean city right in the middle of the beautiful Italian Riviera,
with a vibrant cultural life and with a much more affordable cost of living
than many other european cities.

The PhD programme has a duration of 3 years. The position is supported by a
PhD Studentship amounting to 16500 euros / year, and there are no tuition
fees for the candidate admitted to the PhD programme. The PhD funding scheme
provides successful candidates with all the means needed to perform the
research, including funds for travel to conferences and collaborating
European laboratories, and state of the art computing equipment.
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