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PhD position in Electrophysiology / Brain-machine interface - gaining more insight into the optimal design of stimulation patterns for the IC


About This PhD Project

Project Description

Auditory implants aim at restoring audition by stimulating a specific structure of the auditory system with an electrode array. The most successful auditory implant, the cochlear implant that stimulates the spiral ganglions in the cochlea, has allowed more than 325 000 people worldwide to regain audition. However, cochlear implants are not appropriate for patients that have a disfunctionnal auditory nerve or for which the cochlea cannot be implanted. Alternative implants have therefore been developed such as the auditory midbrain implant (AMI) that stimulates a structure named the inferior colliculus (IC). One aspect that limits the development of the AMI is the lack of knowledge regarding the optimal approach to stimulate the IC. The proposed project aims at gaining more insight into the optimal design of stimulation patterns for the IC.

Objectives:
Design optimal inferior colliculus stimulation patterns using adaptive filters specifically designed for neural signals: the neural activity will be recorded in the auditory cortex and optimal stimulation in the inferior colliculus will be evaluated using a closed-loop approach. A financial support will be provided.

Requirements:
• Excellent academic record.
• Master’s degree in biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, physics, biophysics or other related field with a strong background in mathematics and signal processing.
• Willing to conduct experiments in electrophysiology to record the neural activity of the auditory system. No prior knowledge in electrophysiology is required.
• Excellent ability to communicate in English, knowledge of French is considered an advantage.

The project will be performed at the Université de Sherbrooke (Canada) under the supervision of Prof. Eric Plourde with co-supervision from Prof. Hubert Lim at the University of Minnesota (USA). The Université de Sherbrooke is a French-speaking institution located in the province of Quebec, Canada, and the heart of an international research pole. It is host to more than 40 000 students from over 120 different countries worldwide. (Source: UdeS)

Interested candidates should send their CV, academic transcripts as well as the names of 2 references to Prof. Eric Plourde.

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