[Comp-neuro] PhD-Position "Fear-related changes in physiology and dendritic integration of neocortical cells" at the Bernstein Center Freiburg, Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Program "EuroSPIN"

Janina Kirsch kirsch at bcf.uni-freiburg.de
Fri Nov 25 16:03:13 CET 2011

"Fear-related changes in physiology and dendritic integration of neocortical cells"

Supervisors: Dr. Clemens Boucsein (Bernstein Center Freiburg, Germany)
	       Prof. Ad Aertsen (Bernstein Center Freiburg, Germany)
	       Dr. Sumantra Chattarji (NCBS, Bangalore, India)

Aim of the project:
After traumatic stress, strong morphological changes have been observed in several brain regions, including the amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Physiological and functional consequences of these fear effects have been suggested for amygdala and hippocampus, but the impact of dendritic shrinkage of prefrontal cells has not been studied in detail, yet, even thought neuroimaging studies in stress disorder patients have implicated severe changes in that area.
Our project aims at elucidating the effect of the fear-related morphological changes on signal integration and propagation in the prefrontal cortex. For that, we will characterize the alterations concerning the dendritic integration in pyramidal cells after fear conditioning, as well as the possible changes in excitability. Fear conditioning and basic neurophysiological experiments (patch-clamp recordings) will be performed with Dr. Sumantra Chattarji at NCBS in Bangalore, India, while dendritic integration will be studied with Dr. Clemens Boucsein at the Bernstein Center Freiburg, Germany, with the help of dynamic photo stimulation in acute brain slices. The functional consequences of the observed physiological changes after fear conditioning will be derived in a joint effort between the two partners.

Profile of the ideal candidate:
We are looking for candidates with a strong background in experimental neurophysiology, preferentially patch clamp experience, and a genuine interest in Neuroscience, who are interested in interdisciplinary research and are willing to learn and perform neurophysiology in acute brain slices.

Application deadline is November 30, 2011

Please apply here: www.kth.se/eurospin 

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