About the Project
In collaboration with a postdoctoral researcher, the student will first test healthy participants with concurrent tDCS-functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure the neural effects of different stimulation/passive mobilisation protocols both under the stimulating electrodes as well as in remote brain regions. All stimulation protocols will be designed to be feasible in VS. The student will also use motion tracking to record changes in behavioural responses during simple motor tasks. The experiments will involve different theoretically motivated target regions, and dosage levels (i.e., number of sessions). To fully characterise individual differences in neural architecture, the student will focus on advanced analyses of structural and functional MRI data (i.e., cortical thickness, diffusion tensor tractography, and functional and effective connectivity at rest). The student will assess how differences in the neuroanatomy and function of the motor network modulate individual responses to stimulation. Specifically, they will pool metrics extracted from the above MRI modalities and test the power for different classification techniques (i.e., Support Vector Machines, and Deep Learning). Additionally, the student will explore the construction of Decision Tree classifiers. These provide explicit information about why the algorithm came to a particular classification decision and, thus, can have higher value in medical contexts, where justification can be very important.
In parallel, as part of a collaboration agreement between the primary supervisor (DF-E) and the Wellington Hospital, the student will test their methods in a cohort of patients with a disorder of consciousness. The experimental design and analysis pipeline will mirror that for the experiments in healthy volunteers above. However, clinical data (i.e., clinical history as well as responses in diagnostic behavioural scales) will also be pooled with the multimodal MRI data for testing classification methods.
Deadline now extended to 18th June 2017.
By this date you should have checked you eligibility, applied on-line and completed the application forms at http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/mds-graduate-school/scholarships/mrc-impact/digital.aspx
For further Details please contact [Email Address Removed]
Stipend: RCUK standard rate plus travel allowance.
2.Fernandez-Espejo, D., Rossit, S. & Owen, A. M. A Thalamocortical Mechanism for the Absence of Overt Motor Behavior in Covertly Aware Patients. JAMA Neurol 1–9 (2015). doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.2614
3.Horvath, J. C., Carter, O. & Forte, J. D. Transcranial direct current stimulation: five important issues we aren't discussing (but probably should be). Front Syst Neurosci 8, 2 (2014).
4.Thibaut, A. et al. Controlled clinical trial of repeated prefrontal tDCS in patients with chronic minimally conscious state. Brain Injury 1–9 (2017). doi:10.1080/02699052.2016.1274776
Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.
Based on your current search criteria we thought you might be interested in these.