[Comp-neuro] Opto-Scholars Program of the Cognitive Rhythms Collaborative

Nancy Kopell nk at math.bu.edu
Wed Sep 14 04:40:23 CEST 2011

Opto-Scholars Program of the Cognitive Rhythms Collaborative

The Cognitive Rhythms Collaborative is a group of Boston-based scientists
who have begun to work together to advance our understanding of the brain
dynamics underlying cognitive functions such as attention, sensation,
motor planning, and memory. There is a growing consensus that dynamics are
central to understanding how the brain works, but major gaps exist in what
we know and in how we seek to understand more.  The CRC has focused on the
dynamical regime most strongly associated with cognition, rhythmic
activity in the frequency range 1 - 200 Hz. Its central aims are to
characterize the physiological origins and functions of such rhythms and
to understand how pathologies in rhythmic dynamics are related to symptoms
and mechanisms of neurological disease.  Mathematical modeling,
cutting-edge statistical techniques, and their implementation as computer
algorithms will be critical to carrying out its scientific program.  The
CRC has recently been funded for five years by the National Science
Foundation.  The grant will support the CRC, concentrating on the
application of the mathematical sciences to the investigation of brain
dynamics and the potential for new mathematical, statistical and
computational techniques driven by challenging scientific problems. This
includes support of a technology core that will create new
hardware/software platforms to support such techniques.

The CRC will support visiting scholars to conduct optogenetics or other
neurotechnology-driven experiments in the field of neural dynamics. The
CRC can host 1-2 people per year to conduct entire experiments over 3-9
month timescales. Preference will be given to tenured or tenure-track
faculty members, and to investigators from institutions where introduction
of such technologies would greatly enhance research in the home
institution.  Opto-Scholars must provide their own living expenses (e.g.,
housing, food, etc.), as no stipend is provided; however, materials and
services costs (e.g., light sources, viruses, animal costs) for approved
projects will be covered. Admissions will be done on a rolling basis.

Applicants should send a CV, a 1-page description of the proposed project,
and names of three references, to Dr. Ed Boyden, at esb at media.mit.edu,
with the email subject line beginning with "[opto-scholars]".  More
information can be found at http://syntheticneurobiology.org/contacts .

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