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Neural circuit changes underpinning olfactory learning

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

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  Dr J. Johnston, Dr Rene Frank  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Learning is a fundamental feature of brains; they rewire their circuitry to store new information, such as an association between a stimulus and its positive or negative outcome. This enables animals to adapt to their environment, altering their perception and/or behaviour. Understanding how learning induced changes within neural circuits gives rise to changes in perception or behaviour is a major goal of neuroscience.

The olfactory system offers an attractive location to study learning with it being easily accessible for imaging in the mouse. Olfactory learning plays an important role throughout life including: neonatal/maternal attachment, social interaction, food choice and identifying danger. The olfactory system contains numerous factors that are thought to participate in learning including: synaptic plasticity, adult neurogenesis, and extensive inputs from other neuromodulatory brain regions. This project will take advantage of a range of cutting-edge techniques to analyse the neural basis of learning, including: behavioural analysis, computational modelling, and multiphoton imaging of neural activity within the olfactory bulb, taking advantage of genetically encoded reporters of neural activity targeted to a range of different cell different types.

Eligibility and How to Apply

We are seeking a talented and highly motivated individual with a strong interest in neuroscience. The successful applicant will have some research experience and achieved a first or upper second-class honours degree in neuroscience, physiology or a related discipline. Applications from engineering, computer science, physics and maths graduates are also encouraged. Some experience with programming (e.g. Python, Matlab or similar) will be highly advantageous.

For specific eligibility details and information on how to apply please go to

Biological Sciences (4) Medicine (26)

Funding Notes

Funding for this project is via competition for an Endowed Scholarship. Please note the application deadline is 17:00 (UK time) for these competitions. Information about the scholarships and how to apply is given via the links:

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