A postdoctoral position is available in the Group for Neural Theory, at the ENS in Paris/France to develop computational models of nicotine addiction in the brain.

The candidate will participate in a project in which the interaction between nicotine and dopamine pathways are studied on the level of receptor dynamics and microcircuit behavior in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Initial research directions include: 1. to construct spiking network models of the VTA in order to understand how addictive drugs, and nicotine specifically, usurp the normal function of the dopaminergic signalling by controlling the activity modes of the neurons; 2. to integrate the VTA circuit in the mesocorticolimbic feedback loop model. The candidate will have the opportunity to develop further directions together with the project leaders and collaborators. This work is carried out in close interaction with experimental labs in the Paris region and abroad.
The ideal candidate will have a doctoral degree, or equivalent, with an emphasis on computational approaches to the biology of neuronal systems.
Basic knowledge of neuronal signal integration and signal transmission in spiking neuronal networks is required. Programming in Matlab and C/C++ will be part of the project.
The position is funded until 01/2011 with possible extensions. Salary is commensurate with experience and the position carries a full social security and health coverage. Generous travel allowances will be provided.
For details about the Group for Neural Theory see: http://www.gnt.ens.fr.
For more information regarding the position see: http://www.gnt.ens.fr/positions.php

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