Each of our brains contains more neurons than there are people on the planet. Everything that we experience or do involves large groups of neurons operating in concert. However, although we now know a tremendous amount about the biology of single neurons, we still know surprisingly little about how groups of neurons work together.
The Petersen lab has state-of-the-art equipment that enables the activity of many neurons to be recorded at the same time, using silicon-based polytrodes. The lab also has a strong track record in using advanced computational methods for analysing and modelling such data. The aim of this project is to use this technology to record simultaneously from as many neurons as possible from the somatosensory thalamo-cortical pathway.
This approach will lead to important insights into the critical question of how the collective activity of neurons achieves useful information processing. The project is inter-disciplinary and the successful student will be working as part of a cross-disciplinary team, incorporating skills in both biological experimentation and computer/mathematical modelling. There is the opportunity for the student, depending on their interests, to train in experimental methods, theoretical methods or both. The project could therefore suit applicants from either a biomedical or physical sciences background.
Training/techniques to be provided:
Training will be provided in in vivo measurement of neuronal activity and in computational techniques for analysis of the data.
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject. Candidates with experience in Neuroscience or with an interest in Neuroscience are encouraged to apply.
For international students we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences. For more information please visit http://www.internationalphd.manchester.ac.uk