Healthy aging is typically associated with structural and functional changes in the brain that have been shown to be related to declines in physiological function. As the brain is involved in maintaining balance and postural control that are highly related to falls, there is an urgent need to improve our understanding of the neurobiological basis of postural control and identify biological therapeutic targets. Hence, this project will be to investigate cortical modulations of postural control in ageing. We will employ applied neurophysiological and biomechanical techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), magnetoencephalography (MEG), electromyography (EMG), and force plates to measure brain activation during single- and dual-task conditions and to relate these to balance and functional performance in older adults.
The project will be supervised by Dr S Chiou and Professor O Jensen and conducted at the School of Sport Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences (https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/sport-exercise/index.aspx
) and the Centre of Human Brain Health (CHBH: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/centre-human-brain-health/index.aspx
) at University of Birmingham.
Applicants are sought from graduates with a computer science, engineering, or neuroscience background. We welcome applicants who are ether self-funded or planning to apply for scholarships. Please contact the prospective supervisor for more details.
The successful applicant will need:
1. A good first degree (2.1 or above) in computer science, engineering or a related subject.
2. A strong interest in human neurophysiology and performance and willing to work with human subjects.
3. A strong computational skills (i.e. signal processing using Matlab) and experience of quantitative methods.
4. Excellent communication and relationship-building skills.
5. English language certificate (English at GCSE or equivalent)
1. Experience working with older adults.
2. Excellent research methods skills.
For more information on our PhD programme and how to apply see http://www.sportex.bham.ac.uk/postgrad/
To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in each school, the funding opportunities for each subject, and guidance on making your application, you can now order your copy of the new Doctoral Research Prospectus, at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/students/drp.aspx
Applications from home, EU and overseas students are welcome.
The University of Birmingham offers students of the highest calibre the opportunity to compete for a number of international scholarships. For a full list, see View Website
Students are also welcome to apply with their own funding for this project (fees and maintenance), either through their own personal finances or by securing a scholarship.
Eligibility requirements include a 2:1 BSc (Hons) degree in Sport and Exercise Sciences or Psychology or a relevant area, and an English language certificate (English at GCSE or equivalent). A masters level degree is desirable but not essential.