[Comp-neuro] PhD in “Fragmented neural processing in Parkinson's disease” at University of Manchester, Faculty of Life Sciences

Mark Humphries mark.humphries at manchester.ac.uk
Mon Nov 3 14:32:25 CET 2014

PhD in “Fragmented neural processing in Parkinson's disease”. Applications are invited for this fully-funded PhD position (fees and salary) in the lab of Dr Mark Humphries in the Faculty of Life Science, University of Manchester

Deadline: 12th December 2014
Start date: September 2015
Duration: 3 or 4 years, depending on qualifications
Eligibility: Candidates must be nationals of the UK or other EU country

This project will pursue the hypothesis that chronic loss of dopamine causes the fragmentation of striatal processing of cortical input. The striatum supports neural populations coding for different actions, forming the basis for action selection. Animal model data has suggested that chronic dopamine loss causes the fragmentation of these populations, mixing together previously well-defined populations (Cho et al 2002 J Comp Neurol). To test this hypothesis, the candidate will develop our existing large-scale model of the striatal network (Humphries et al, 2010, PLoS Comput Biol) and combine it with a newly-developed model of dopamine-dependent plasticity at cortical synapses onto striatal neurons (Gurney et al, PLoS Biol, in press). The project will then test aspects of the hypothesis: Does fragmentation occur via changes to network excitability or to plastic change to network inputs? Does fragmentation cause the breakdown of action selection and therefore the observed motor symptoms? And why is 80% loss of dopamine necessary for this to occur?

For more details of the project please visit:

For details of the application and interview process see:

Informal enquiries: mark.humphries at manchester.ac.uk<mailto:mark.humphries at manchester.ac.uk>

Dr Mark Humphries
MRC Senior non-Clinical Research Fellow
AV Hill Building
Faculty of Life Sciences
University of Manchester


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