Applications are invited for a PhD position at the Faculty of Life
Sciences of the University of Manchester, UK, starting September 2008.

The student will be part of the Computational Neuroscience and
Neuroinformatics group, and will work on the project “Cortical information processing by Local Field Potentials and spikes”.
Project outline:
Local Field Potentials (LFP) correspond to the lower frequency range
of the extracellular signal captured by a low impedance microelectrode
located sufficiently away from any individual neuron. It is believed
that LFP reflect mostly the summed dendritic activity of neurons that
lie within a sphere of radius 50-300µm centred at the tip of the
electrode. At variance with spikes, which reflect the output of a
given area, LFP are thought to be more correlated with the input to
In most models of cortical computation it is assumed that information
is mainly encoded in the action potentials fired by neurons. However,
there is increasing evidence that oscillations in the extracellular
electric fields (LFP) may have an important role in the encoding of
information about external stimuli. For instance, LFP may encode
different information to that carried by spikes, or they may provide a
local time frame that can facilitate the decoding of the information
carried by spikes. The main goal of this project is to understand the
mechanisms of information processing and transmission by action and
Local Field Potentials, using models of cortical activity and advanced
data analysis.
The project will involve the development of novel data analysis
methods, their application to real and simulated data, and the design
of large computer simulations of networks of neurons with different
degrees of biophysical realism. The project is highly
interdisciplinary and will draw on methods and techniques from
Computational Neuroscience, Neuroinformatics, Information Theory, and
Biophysics. In addition to excellent programming skills (C / Fortran
and Matlab), the candidate should have basic knowledge of Neuroscience
and good Physics / Mathematics background.
Entry requirements:
Applicants should hold (or be about to obtain) a first or upper second
class honours degree, or the overseas equivalent. For applicants
whose first language is not English the minimum English language
requirement is IELTS 6.5, TOEFL 577 (paper-based), 233
(computer-based) or 90 (internet-based).
There are studentships available for UK or other EU nationals. All UK
students and EU nationals who have studied in the UK for 3 years or
more are eligible for fees and stipend. EU students who have not
studied in the UK for 3 years are only eligible for fees.
For those eligible, the net stipend for 2008-09 will be approximately
£12,900 for the year.
Further information:
For more information about he application process please contact the
Graduate Office:
pone: (+44) (0)161 275 5608
For matters relating the scientific project contact the project
supervisor Dr. Marcelo Montemurro at

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