ORGANISATION/COMPANYRIKEN(The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research)
RESEARCH FIELDComputer scienceNeurosciences › NeuropsychologyTechnology › Computer technology
RESEARCHER PROFILERecognised Researcher (R2)
APPLICATION DEADLINE11/09/2020 23:59 - Asia/Tokyo
LOCATIONJapan › Saitama
TYPE OF CONTRACTTemporary
HOURS PER WEEKSee description
Laboratory for Distributed Cognitive Processing, Center for Brain Science,(Laboratory head:Lukas Ian Schmitt)
Medical Science, Biology, Interdisciplinary
Systems Neuroscience, Optogenetics, Single Unit Recording
The laboratory for distributed cognitive processing (which will begin operations on Jan 1st 2020) will focus on investigating how an internal model of the world is maintained and updated within neural circuits. Although we generally perceive the world as stable, information reaching the brain from the senses is often disconnected and ambiguous. This suggests that perception involves some form of predictive model that incorporates recent information to more effectively interpret and respond to current inputs. This kind of implicit internal model is thought to involve short-term maintenance of information enabled by interactions between multiple cortical and thalamic circuits. My team will seek to better understand these critical interactions by focusing on three major avenues of research. First, we will investigate the circuit basis of short-term information storages across multiple cortical regions and the roles such storage plays in cognitive function. Second, we will determine how the perturbation of thalamic functions may contribute to disruption of short-term storage and to assess how this might contribute to cognitive dysfunction in psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Third, by identifying principles of thalamocortical interaction involved in cognitive function we will seek to identify novel computational architectures useful in improving the design of artificial intelligence networks.
To address these questions, my team will take a multi-disciplinary approach combining optogenetic methods to causally manipulate neural circuits and electrophysiological recording techniques to assess neural activity with behavioral tasks designed to engage cognitive functions. This combined approach allows us to identify the activity in multiple brain regions that underlies behavior and to mechanistically dissect network interactions that produce this activity, providing substantial insight into how cognition works.
[Job title and description]
Job title, available positions:
Research Scientist 1 position(s)
The successful candidate will take the lead in assessing neural circuit functions via high density neural recordings of spiking neurons along with optogenetic interventions in the thalamus and cortex of mice performing behavioral tasks. This work will complement projects being conducted by other members of the lab with a background in applying modeling based approaches to understand neural dynamics.
Experiments will involve training mice on parametrically well controlled behavior and implanting multi-electrode recording systems designed to assess the neural implementation of cognitive processes such as attentional control and working memory in the context of hierarchical decision making. Candidates with experience in such paradigms and/or in completing survival surgeries in rodents will therefore be given preference. In addition to performing ongoing experiments, the applicant will be expected to design new paradigms based on observations and predictions derived from their findings and from complimentary theoretical work.
Branch and address:
RIKEN Wako (2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198)
[Start of employment]
January 1st, 2020 (Negotiable)
For details about "Salary and benefits", please refer to the above "Job posting URL".
Handling personal data:
Updated as of Sep 18, 2019: "Application and required documents"
EURAXESS offer ID: 449282
Posting organisation offer ID: D119090453
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