[Comp-neuro] Fully funded PhD in Electrophysiology: Closed-loop Transcranial Electric Stimulation

Axel Hutt axel.hutt at inria.fr
Thu Jun 18 08:27:30 CEST 2020

PhD-project in electrophysiology: 
Closed-loop Transcranial Electric Stimulation of Neural Networks 
in a Rodent Model of Psychosis Transition.

Patients suffering from schizophrenia develop resistance to chemical 
treatments. Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), a non-invasive 
neurophysiological approach, has been shown to alleviate some symptoms, 
to improve cognitive performances, and to modulate the corticothalamic 
connectivity. The goal of the project is to optimize a combination of 
stimulation parameters that make it efficient for the TES against the 
psychosis transition using predictive electrical biomarkers. In healthy 
humans and rodents, ketamine reproduces, with a single psychotomimetic 
dose, the abnormal amplification of corticothalamic gamma-frequency 
(30-80 Hz) oscillations recorded in individuals having a high-risk mental 
state for a psychosis transition. Gamma oscillations are naturally 
involved in cognition, which is also disrupted in at-risk patients. It 
was demonstrated that the ketamine-induced gamma hyperactivity is prevented 
by the antipsychotic clozapine. 

The Ph.D. student will experimentally investigate the TES in the ketamine 
rodent model of psychosis transition. In an attempt to optimize a 
combination of stimulation parameters with potential preventive/curative 
effects, the Ph.D. student will develop and build up a closed-loop feedback 
system that controls the TES optimally using a Kalman filter.

Requested skills:
The ideal candidate will have a strong background in neuroscience, 
preferably with experience in in-vivo electrophysiological techniques, 
mathematical and statistical skills for data analysis (EEG and cellular), 
and basic knowledge in numerical programming and neural modelling.

Start of the position will be Fall 2020, with duration of 36 months.

Funding source: INRIA (Action Exploratoire A/D Drugs).

PhD Directors: 
Axel Hutt, Inria – MIMESIS 
Email: axel.hutt at inria.fr
team web page: https://mimesis.inria.fr/

Didier Pinault, Inserm – U1114 
Email: pinault at unistra.fr
lab web page: https://www.u1114.inserm.fr/

Please send your application documents (CV and 1 recommendation letter) 
by email to Axel Hutt.

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