[Comp-neuro] Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Magnetoencephalographic imaging of dissociative anaesthetic action

David Liley dliley at swin.edu.au
Tue Nov 17 01:57:15 CET 2015

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Magnetoencephalographic imaging of dissociative anaesthetic action

The Brain Dynamics Unit within the Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre at Swinburne University of Technology, in collaboration with the Universities of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Washington in St Louis, and supported financially by the James S McDonnell Foundation, is looking for a motivated and capable Postdoctoral Research Fellow to work on the functional neuroimaging of anaesthetic action.

The planned project, to be performed in collaboration with physician anaesthesiologists, will involve the administration of the dissociative anaesthetic agents xenon (a noble gas) and nitrous oxide ('laughing gas') to healthy participants while simultaneous MEG and EEG is recorded. The induced changes in the functional architecture of the recorded electromagnetic activity will then be characterised using a range of existing and to be developed information theoretic, graph theoretic and non-linear methods.  Attempts to account for any induced changes in terms of mean field/mass action models of brain electrical activity will also be investigated.  The dissociative anaesthetic agents are of particular interest because they are reported to increase activity in the brain in addition to targeting glutamatergic neurotransmitter systems implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of psychiatric and neurological disorders.

The position is intended for someone with substantial experience in recording MEG and the attendant source level analysis techniques (minimum norm, beamforming) in addition to possessing the requisite experience in existing and emerging methods used to estimate functional and effective brain connectivities from MEG and EEG data. Interested applicants should have a PhD in any of the following disciplines: theoretical physics, mathematics, biomedical or electrical engineering or quantitative biology. Proficiency is required in more than one of the following: C, Fortran, Python or Matlab in addition to substantial working knowledge of one or more of the following: FieldTrip, MNE, NutMEG, EEGlab, Brainstorm or SPM.

Researchers in the unit, led by Prof David Liley, have developed a physiologically motivated theory of the dynamical genesis of the electroencephalogram (EEG). The model accounts for the rhythms of the human EEG and predicts their alteration by a range of pharmaceutical agents, in particular that of anaesthetic and sedative agents. Numerical solutions of the model's coupled set of non-linear partial differential equations have revealed spatio-temporal structures similar to those observed in experiment.  It is hoped that this model can contribute to our understanding of how anaesthetic agents modulate brain activity.

The Brain Dynamics group is part of the Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre (BPsyC), a vibrant, multi-disciplinary team of researchers whose expertise spans several different fields that include physics, psychology, psychophysiology, biophysics and the neurosciences. The BPsyC has among the most comprehensive suite of functional neuroimaging facilities available in Australia. These facilities include a 306 channel Elekta TRIUX MEG system, a Siemens 3T TIM Trio MRI and multiple high density EEG systems.

Initial appointment will be for a period of 3 years at a salary level of no less than A6 (currently AUD 76,531) plus 17% superannuation.

For further information and to apply please go the Swinburne University of Technology recruitment page at https://goo.gl/YoD01s.  Applications for this position close 1st December 2015.  In addition interested applicants can email Prof. David T. J. Liley at dliley(at)swin.edu.au.
Prof David Liley
Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre
Swinburne University of Technology
P.O. Box 218
Hawthorn VIC 3122

ph: +61 3 9214 8812<tel:%2B61%203%209214%208812>

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