Adaptive processing of time intervals in the brain
A 18 month postdoctoral position in computational neurosciences is available at the Institute of movement Sciences and Institute of Cognitive Neurosciences in Marseille, France.

Accurate processing of time intervals is necessary for precise sensori-motor control. Time intervals from tenths of milliseconds to approximately 1-2 seconds are to be calculated by populations of neurons, considering the typical time constant of a neuron is only of 10-20 ms. Two main hypotheses on the underlying mechanisms are currently found in the litterature, namely :
- “line attractors” approach proposed by Robinson (1989) and Seung (1996)
- “cascade of bistable units” approach, as proposed by Koulakov et al (2002).
Both need a precise and somewhat tricky tuning of the synaptic weights in order to obtain the expected behavior. The candidate will study the conditions under which simple networks with loosely settings adapt their weights to the constraint in order to approach the best “neuronal integrator”. This work will be carried out in close interaction with experimental labs of Marseille. The candidate will have the opportunity to develop further directions with the project members (models of time perception, models of saccadic adaptation, …).
The applicant should have a doctoral degree in computer sciences or applied mathematics, with a good knowledge on computational approaches applied to the biology of neuronal systems and neuronal modelling. Skills in programming (Matlab, C/C++/ Python) are expected. Knowledge in dynamical systems and/or control theory is a plus.
The position will be funded from 09/2009 to 02/2011 with possible extensions. Salary will be based on experience.
Send CV and application letter to Emmanuel Daucé
e-mail edauce(at)ec-marseille(dot)fr
Present address :
INRIA Lille – Nord Europe
Parc Scientifique de la Haute Borne
40, avenue Halley
Bât.A, Park Plaza
59650 Villeneuve d’Ascq
tel : 03 59 57 79 80 / 06 28 05 57 06
References :
Robinson, D.A. (1989) Integrating with neurons, Ann. rev. neurosci., 12 : 33-45
Seung, H. S. (1996) How the brain keeps the eyes still, PNAS USA, 93 : 13339-13344
Koulakov, A. A. et al. (2002) Model for a robust neural integrator, Nature neurosci., 5 (8) : 775-782

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