A 3 years postdoctoral position is available in the group of David Robbe at the Institut de Neurobiologie de la Mediterranée (INMED) in Marseille, France. The Robbe Lab studies how cell assemblies in the basal ganglia and related cortical structures contribute to motor learning and motor control. For this, we perform large-scale electrophysiological recordings (with silicon probes and large tetrode arrays) combined with optogenetics while rodents are engaged in original motor tasks. Our high-dimensional data required advanced statistical methods to test hypotheses on the computation performed by the basal ganglia and on the respective role of the motor cortex and basal ganglia. Specifically, during learning, our tasks (http://youtu.be/x8LyUGleULk) require the animals to adjust the kinematic parameters of their movements according to the outcome of previous trials. The behavioral and neuronal data generated are ideal to test predictions from reinforcement learning theory. The position would suit a highly motivated candidate with strong quantitative background (mathematics, statistics, computational neuroscience). Prior knowledge in motor control or reinforcement learning theory would be a plus but is not required. The research will be conducted on already acquired data and in collaboration with experimenters in the team. While the work will be mainly quantitative, applicants wishing to acquire experimental skills are encouraged to apply. INMED is composed of several internationally renowned groups working on the development, function and pathology of neuronal circuits. The scientific excellence of INMED and its outstanding location at the entrance of the National Park des Calanques provide a rich and stimulating working/living environment. The position is part of a 5 years ERC-funded project that started 1st of September 2014. Applications (short cover, CV, email address of 2 referees) should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be considered until the position is filled.
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