[Comp-neuro] PhD positions in Simon Thorpe's group, Toulouse (FRANCE)

Nadège Macé nadege.mace at cerco.ups-tlse.fr
Wed Apr 17 12:12:33 CEST 2013

Simon Thorpe will have a number of PhD and postdoc positions in his 
group in the next few years thanks to financing from an ERC Advanced 
Grant as well as other funding from the French Agence National de 
Recherche (ANR). The ERC project ("M4 - Memory Mechanisms in Man and 
Machine") aims to understand how we can recognize visual and auditory 
stimuli that we have not experienced for decades. The existence of these 
extremely long duration memories is a major challenge because it is 
unclear how such memories can be stored in neural hardware. We will be 
exploring a number of radical suggestions, including the idea that such 
memories involve the formation of highly selective "grandmother cells" 
in the neocortex, and the idea that many of these neurons may be totally 
inactive under normal conditions -- a sort of neocortical "Dark Matter". 
These are two ideas that are currently extremely controversial.

We are looking for people to work on this groundbreaking and 
interdisciplinary project with a wide range of backgrounds including 
psychology, neuroscience, computational modelling and even hardware 
development. We will be developing novel experimental paradigms to study 
the formation and maintenance of very long term sensory memories. These 
will be combined with imaging techniques including fMRI imaging, EEG, 
and intracerebral recording from epileptic patients. In parallel, 
computer simulations using very large-scale networks of spiking neurons 
equipped with Spike-Time Dependent Plasticity will attempt to explain 
the experimental results, but also used to develop bio-inspired hardware 
systems that can reproduce the learning capacity of the brain using 
novel memristor-based technologies.

Up to 4 Ph.D positions in Cognitive Science, Cognitive Psychology and 
Computer Science. Positions will normally start in Fall 2013, Fall 2014, 
and Fall 2015.

The ability to work both individually and as a member of an 
interdisciplinary team is a strong prerequisite together with 
proficiency in both written and spoken English.
Different complementary profiles are required. Both students and 
researchers with a psychological background or with a strong background 
in computer science, mathematics, and engineering are encouraged to apply.

The ideal candidates will have an interest in memory, vision and 
attention and prior experience in one or more of the following areas:

-Psychophysics: research design, data collection and analysis

-Programming, familiarity with MATLAB

-Eye movement recordings

-Intracranial recordings

-fMRI data analysis and programming

-Image processing and computer vision

-Hands-on statistical skills

*Job Details *
Salary will be in accordance with CNRS norms: EUR1430 per month. In 
addition, the French system adds additional payments for health, pension 
and social security contributions, totalling over EUR1000 per month.
Research will be performed on the Purpan hospital site in Toulouse 
France, mainly at the CerCo lab:

Pavillon Baudot- CHU Purpan
                 P 25202 - 31052 Toulouse Cedex.

*How to Apply *
*I*nterested candidates should send a CV, a brief statement of research 
and development interests, and the names and contact details of two 
references by e-mail to: Simon Thorpe and Nadège Macé 
(project-m4 at cerco.ups-tlse.fr <mailto:project-m4 at cerco.ups-tlse.fr>) 
with subject "PhD-M4" or "Postdoc- M4".

Simon Thorpe will be at the Visual Sciences meeting in Florida (10-15 
May) and at the ECVP meeting in Bremen (25-29 August), and will plan job 
interviews there. Job interviews can also be arranged in Toulouse.

*More information*
On the lab: http://cerco.ups-tlse.fr/
On the position: ask Nadège Macé, project-m4 at cerco.ups-tlse.fr 
<mailto:project-m4 at cerco.ups-tlse.fr>
On the project:

-10 provocative claims of this M4 project:


-For more information, ask Simon Thorpe, project-m4 at cerco.ups-tlse.fr 
<mailto:project-m4 at cerco.ups-tlse.fr>

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