[Comp-neuro] Mathematical post-doc position on the relation of information and causation (Prof. Giulio Tononi)

albantakis albantakis at wisc.edu
Wed Dec 17 18:44:48 CET 2014


A postdoctoral position is available at the center for sleep and 
consciousness science in the laboratory of Dr. Giulio Tononi (University 
of Wisconsin, Madison), to study the relation of information and 
causation within the framework of the integrated information theory of 
consciousness (Balduzzi & Tononi, 2008; Tononi, 2012).

Immediate funding is available for a range of projects related to 
foundational questions regarding the ontological status of information, 
and its relation to causation, emergence, adaptation, evolution, and 
consciousness (see detailed scope of work below).

The successful candidate will work in the information integration theory 
group at the center for sleep and consciousness science, which is 
dedicated to a broad range of research problems focused on two 
neurobiological problems -- the mechanisms and functions of sleep and 
the neural substrates of consciousness.

Candidates are expected to have strong training in an analytically 
rigorous discipline such as theoretical biology/neuroscience, physics, 
mathematics, computer science, or engineering. We explicitly encourage 
mathematicians to apply. Experience in information theory, complex 
systems, and an interest in the philosophy of information/causation are 
a plus. Programming experience is required (knowledge of MATLAB, Python, 
and/or C++ is of advantage).

Appointments are renewable from year to year for up to 3 years, starting 
as soon as possible or until the positions are filled. Post-doc salaries 
correspond to the National Institutes of Health National Research 
Service Award (NRSA) stipend schedule for postdoc trainees, based on 
number of years of postdoctoral experience.

Candidates should send a CV, brief statement of previous research and 
future research interests, and email addresses and phone numbers of 
three references to: Giulio Tononi, gtononi at wisc.edu.

Oizumi M, Albantakis L, Tononi G (2014) From the Phenomenology to the 
Mechanisms of Consciousness: Integrated Information Theory 3.0. /PLoS 
Comput Biol/ 10:e1003588
Hoel, E. P., Albantakis, L., & Tononi, G. (2013). Quantifying causal 
emergence shows that macro can beat micro. /PNAS/, /110/(49), 19790--19795.
Tononi G (2012) Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness: An 
Updated Account. /Arch Ital Biol/ 150:56--90.

The scope of work will range from:

    -theoretical development and computational implementation of the
    notion of intrinsic causal information

    -causal analysis, including the systematic use of perturbations,
    counterfactuals, and irreducibility

    -analysis of complex systems in terms their causal/informational
    structure

    -meaning (understanding and control) from the intrinsic perspective
    of the system

    -actual causation (causal explanation)

    -examining similarities and differences between existing notions of
    information and causation (Shannon information, algorithmic
    information,...)

    -defining emergence in terms of the spatio-temporal grain size at
    which a system of elements achieves a maximum of causal power

    -evolutionary/adaptive aspects of information/causation including
    simulations based on small adaptive neural networks (animats), which
    evolve and adapt to an environment that requires sensitivity to
    context for survival

-- 
Larissa Albantakis, PhD
Department of Psychiatry
University of Wisconsin
6001 Research Park Blvd
Madison, WI 53719

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