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Neural circuits synchronisation and regulation of innate behaviors

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Neuronal computations supporting innate behaviors (such as food seeking and intake, social interaction and regulation of vigilance states) remain largely unknown. Recent studies by our group revealed the role of rhythmic neuronal activity during network oscillations in orchestrating innate behaviors by the hypothalamus and some of its input regions (Bender et al., Nature Commun., 2015, Herrera et al., Nature Neurosci., 2016, Carus-Cadavieco et al., Nature, 2017). Using high-density neuronal recordings in combination with optogenetics in mice performing behavioral tasks we study dynamics of neuronal circuits supporting innate behaviors and their cognitive regulation. The laboratory features a complete chain of methods for studies of neuronal activity in behaving rodents (workshop, surgical equipment, multichannel recording, optostimulation and behavioural setups, workflows for data storage and
computing) and has access to advanced microscopy facilities.

The doctoral project under the supervision of Dr. Alexey Ponomarenko at the Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Medical Faculty, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) aims at unraveling functional organization of hypothalamic circuits at short temporal scales and at establishing causal role of these computations for innate behaviors. The project will have primary accents on state-of-the-art neurophysiological methods - in vivo unitary and local field potential recordings, opto- and chemogenetics, neurobiological, behavioral and, later, data analytical investigations.

How to apply

Applications from students with a Master’s degree in Neuroscience or related disciplines and a passionate interest in brain function are welcome. Prior experience in in vivo studies and behavioral neuroscience would be an advantage.

Please email applications including full CV, a motivation letter, transcript of MSc’s grades and contact details of 2 references to:

Prof. Dr. Alexey Ponomarenko
Institut für Physiologie und Pathophysiologie Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg Universitätsstr. 17, 91054 Erlangen, Germany
Web sites for additional details:

Funding Notes

The position is funded at 65% of E13 salary level and provides the possibility to enroll at FAU Graduate School of Life Sciences.

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