[Comp-neuro] Job offer: PhD student position

Seeger, Simone simone.seeger at zi-mannheim.de
Tue Aug 12 09:14:44 CEST 2014


The Department of Theoretical Neuroscience (Head: Prof. Daniel Durstewitz) at the Central
Institute of Mental Health (Mannheim) invites applications for a

PhD student position (E 13 TV-L)

(50% of the fulltime weekly hours) in the newly founded research group Data-driven network
models of higher cognitive functions (Head: Dr. Joachim Hass) to be filled as soon as
possible. The position is initially limited for 3 years.

The research group develops biologically realistic computational neural network models of the
neocortical structures such as the prefrontal cortex and the motor cortex. These models closely
adhere to physiological data from both in vitro and in vivo experiments and are used to study
higher cognitive functions such as time perception and working memory.

The successful candidate will work in the project "The human mirror neuron system -
measurement and beyond" funded by the Heidelberg Academy for Sciences and
Humanities. The joint project of the Departments of Theoretical Neuroscience and Clinical
Psychology of the Central Institute of Mental Health aims at a deeper understanding of the
mirror neuron system in humans, which is thought to play a crucial role in social cognition by
representing the emotions and intentions of others in the motor cortex. The project combines
multimodal measurements (involving fMRI, EEG, transcranial magnetic stimulation and
genotyping) with computational modeling.

The Central Institute of Mental Health is an internationally renowned research institute for
psychiatry and neuroscience as well as a clinic for psychiatry, psychotherapy and
psychosomatics (part of the medical faculty of the University of Heidelberg). The research group
closely interacts with neurobiologists and psychologists at the institute. The Department of
Theoretical Neuroscience is focused on computational modeling and statistical data analysis of
prefrontal cortex and hippocampus functions. It is one of the core research units of the
Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience (BCCN) Heidelberg-Mannheim. Access to
high-performance computing facilities is provided.

Tasks: The project involves the development of a rate-based, brain-scale model as well as the
further development of an existing spiking network model of the motor cortex. The resulting twostage
model is then being adapted to the multimodal experimental data using stochastic
optimization techniques. In particular, the effects of the transcranial magnetic stimulation and
different levels of dopamine and oxytocin are to be implemented in the model and directly
compared with the experimental data. Participation in the project organization and publication
writing is also expected. It is also possible to participate in the analysis of the fMRI data.

Requirements: The candidate should have a university degree (master or equivalent) in
physics, mathematics, computer science, computational neuroscience or similar, a strong
interest in neurobiological research and very good programming skills (ideally in MATLAB and
C). Good communication skills in English as well as knowledge in nonlinear dynamics,
numerical optimization or neural modeling are also required. Knowledge in neuroscience or
experimental psychology is beneficial.
Applicants should sent their application documents (cover letter including a brief description of
personal qualifications and future research interests, CV and contact details of two personal
references) to joachim.hass at zi-mannheim.de<mailto:joachim.hass at zi-mannheim.de>. Questions and informal discussions about the
position are also welcome under this email address. The call is open until the position is filled.


***
Simone Seeger, M.A.
Administration Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience
Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit
Postfach 12 21 20, 68072 Mannheim
J5, 68159 Mannheim
Telefon: 0621/1703-1326 oder 06221/54-8310
Fax: 0621/1703-2915
E-Mail: Simone.Seeger at zi-mannheim.de<mailto:Simone.Seeger at zi-mannheim.de>
Internet: http://www.bccn-heidelberg-mannheim.de<http://www.bccn-heidelberg-mannheim.de/>



***
Simone Seeger, M.A.
Administration Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience
Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit
Postfach 12 21 20, 68072 Mannheim
J5, 68159 Mannheim
Telefon: 0621/1703-1326 oder 06221/54-8310
Fax: 0621/1703-2915
E-Mail: Simone.Seeger at zi-mannheim.de<mailto:Simone.Seeger at zi-mannheim.de>
Internet: http://www.bccn-heidelberg-mannheim.de<http://www.bccn-heidelberg-mannheim.de/>

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