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Computational algorithms to model the interplay between brain structure and function

Project Description

This exciting PhD project will develop computational models and analysis techniques to explore how the main connections between brain regions shape the characteristics of brain activity, and how different kinds of pathological processes damaging the connections of the network result in changes in the brain activity.

The successful applicant will do research in a multidisciplinary project expanding the areas of network science and signal analysis, in collaboration with clinical and neuroscience collaborators and benefitting from rich, publicly available datasets. The interest in the analysis of big datasets and networks is booming nowadays and this PhD provides an excellent opportunity to be trained in these areas.

We will develop novel models of network activity and signal analysis techniques able to unravel how the dynamical behaviour of brain activity depends on the diverse types of regions and dependencies on the brain. Building on recent developments in models of coupled oscillators and other computational approaches of brain activity, we will simulate physiologically realistic types of lesions and potential responses of brain activity.

The models considered in this PhD produce simplified but realistic brain activity and are well rooted in basic physics and network principles. As such, they are ideally suited to be exploited into computational algorithms for clinical application. However, their goodness of fit to brain activity is limited and more advanced approaches are needed to inspect complex behaviours in brain dynamics. The successful candidate will work to improve these models, accounting for advanced characteristics of the brain function and structure.

To do so, we will build on recent developments by our group and others. We expect that this PhD will lead to developments that could be transferred to the monitoring of disease in the clinic, and would also be potentially applicable to other fields.

Early application is encouraged:

Informal queries to Dr Javier Escudero at .

Enthusiastic and self-motivated candidates are sought with, at least, an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in computer science, electronic engineering, mathematics, physics, or cognate disciplines. An MSc qualification will be advantageous but it is not an essential requirement.

The candidate is expected to have good programming and analytical skills.

Previous knowledge in areas related to complex systems (e.g., matrix algebra, networks, differential equations, etc.) or signal processing (e.g., Fourier, time series analysis) would be expected.

Funding Notes

Applications are welcomed from self-funded students, or students interested in applying for scholarships from the University of Edinburgh or elsewhere.

How good is research at University of Edinburgh in General Engineering?
(joint submission with Heriot-Watt University)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 91.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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