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MASTERS BY RESEARCH PROJECT: How does motivational state influence cognitive function in rodents?


School of Physiology and Pharmacology

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Prof E S J Robinson Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Start 23 September 2019

This MSc by Research is a laboratory-based project which offers the exciting opportunity to spend 1 year in one of our State-of-the-Art laboratories (plus 1 year thesis writing) at the University of Bristol and experience life as a researcher. You will be working with one of our cutting-edge research groups where you will learn new skills and techniques, including experimental design and implementation, data analysis and scientific writing.

The majority of studies in rodents use either food or water restriction to motivate the animals to perform a specific behavioural task. Whilst the motivational drive generated by these states improves training performance and the number of trials animals will complete within a given session, they may also be a confounding factor when considering the primary outcome of the task. This project will investigate how changing motivational states in animals alters their performance in different, well established tasks of cognition.
The student will look at the effects of different feeding conditions and water restriction schedules on initial acquisition of the task as well as subsequent performance measures associated with specific cognitive domains. The project will also look at whether motivational state interacts with drug-induced changes in cognition using amphetamine treatment. The project will provide training in animal behavioural studies and a range of in vivo skills.

Please visit the UOB/faculty of Life Sciences/ School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience/ postgraduate studies website for the complete list of available MSc by Research projects.

Funding Notes

This is a one-year, self-funded Masters (MSc) by research. Fees are £4300 (UK/EU Fee) and bench costs are £5000. Applicants should have (or expect to receive) the equivalent of a First or Upper second-class honours degree in a biomedical discipline.

When applying please select the Faculty of Life Sciences, MSc by Research, School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience


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