[Comp-neuro] Postdoctoral researcher to study cause-effect power of neural systems across spatiotemporal scale

Hill Sean sean.hill at epfl.ch
Thu Oct 13 14:44:32 CEST 2016

Postdoctoral position in the Laboratory for the Neural Basis of Brain States

Prof. Sean Hill, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Campus Biotech, Geneva, Switzerland
The Laboratory for the Neural Basis of Brain States (LNBBS), part of the Blue Brain Project, focuses on understanding cortical and thalamocortical structure and function and the relationship to states of the brain including wakefulness, sleep and anesthesia. LNBBS is part of the EPFL Blue Brain Project (BBP), a Swiss national brain initiative situated on the Campus Biotech in Geneva, Switzerland, applies advanced neuroinformatics, data analytics, high-performance computing infrastructure and simulation-based approaches to the challenge of understanding the structure and function of the mammalian brain in health and disease.
A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Prof. Sean Hill (EPFL, http://www.hill-lab.org : http://bluebrain.epfl.ch) in collaboration with the Prof. Giulio Tononi (Wisconsin Institute for Sleep and Consciousness, www.integratedinformationtheory.org ) to study cause-effect power of neural systems across spatiotemporal scales. Immediate funding is available for a project using the framework of integrated information theory [1] to study foundational questions regarding causation and emergence in a detailed model of a cortical column [2]. The model is a comprehensive, multi-scale digital reconstruction of rat somatosensory microcircuitry, consisting of over 31,000 biophysically detailed multi-compartment neurons with 55 layer-specific morphological and 207 morpho-electrical neuron subtypes. Causal properties are explored at micro scales and at multiple macro scales by black-boxing the model in various ways and applying measures of integrated information to the resulting macro level systems [1, 3].
Candidates are expected to have strong training in a discipline such as theoretical
biology/neuroscience, physics, mathematics, computer science, or engineering. Experience in information theory, complex systems, and neural modelling software (e.g. Neuron, NEST) are a plus. Programming experience is required (knowledge of MATLAB, Python, and/or C++ is of advantage).
Appointments are for an initial 1-year renewable contract, starting as soon as possible or until the position is filled. Candidates should send a CV, brief statement of previous research and future research interests, and email addresses and phone numbers of three references to: Sean Hill, (sean.hill at epfl.ch).
For more information, contact Sean Hill (sean.hill at epfl.ch) or Giulio Tononi (gtononi at wisc.edu).
[1] Tononi G, Boly M, Massimini M, and Koch C. Integrated information theory: from consciousness to its physical substrate. Nature Reviews Neuroscience (2016). 
[2] Markram et al. Reconstruction and Simulation of Neocortical Microcircuitry. Cell. 2015 Oct
8;163(2):456-92. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.09.029.
[3] Marshall W, Albantakis L, Tononi G (2016) Black-boxing and cause-effect power. arXiv:1608.03461 [q-bio.NC]

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