PhD Studentship: Causality and complexity in human neural dynamics during natural vision

University of Sussex - Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science

Region UK, EU, International

Overview

A PhD studentship in the area of computational neuroscience is available at the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, within Prof Anil Seth's group based in the Department of Informatics. It is a collaborative project with the group of Prof. Rafael Malach at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, and Prof. Ashesh Mehta from the Feinstein Institute in New York. 

This project offers an exciting opportunity to apply leading-edge analytical methods to unique sources of data, in order to unravel the neural basis of conscious vision. The successful candidate will develop and apply dynamical complexity measures and functional connectivity analysis to detailed intracranial recordings obtained from humans during unconstrained real-world movement, with simultaneous video. A key advantage of this set-up is the availability of extensive high-resolution coverage of the entire (human) visual brain, acquired during ecologically valid visual behaviour. Other sources of data may also be analysed during the project. The overall goal is to work towards an explanatory bridge from network-level neural dynamics to large-scale theories of perception and consciousness (e.g., global workspace theory, predictive processing). 

The Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science (http://www.sussex.ac.uk/sackler) is an internationally leading and highly multidisciplinary research group in the science of consciousness. Researchers across three schools (Psychology, Informatics and Engineering, Brighton and Sussex Medical School) work together to unravel the biological basis of conscious experience, and to develop new approaches to clinical diagnosis and intervention in a wide range of psychiatric and neurological disorders. 
The University of Sussex has a beautiful campus on the outskirts of the lively and sunny South Coast town of Brighton, which is only 50 mins by train from central London.

Prof. Seth: http://www.anilseth.com 
Sackler Centre: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/sackler/ 
Prof. Malach: https://www.weizmann.ac.il/neurobiology/labs/malach/

Eligibility summary

The studentship includes a three year stipend at a standard rate (£14,553 p.a.) and, in addition, fees at the UK/EU rate. Overseas applicants are kindly requested to state how they propose to cover the difference between UK/EU and overseas fees.

Detailed eligibility criteria

Eligibility: 

Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, a First or a high Upper Second Class Honours undergraduate degree, or equivalent qualification, and/or a Master's degree in a related discipline. The successful candidate will join a collaborative research team jointly led by Prof Seth in the UK and Prof Malach in Israel. 

Essential role-specific criteria: 

• A strong background in computational neuroscience, mathematics, statistics, or quantitative aspects of cognitive neuroscience. 
• Good programming and scientific writing skills 
• Ability to work independently and be self-motivated 
• Ability to work with others as part of team 
• Plenty of scientific curiosity 
• Ability and willingness to travel to Israel to collaborate with Prof Malach and his team. 

Desirable role-specific criteria: 

• Experience with time series analysis of neural data 
• Familiarity with MATLAB and Python 
• Background and interest in consciousness science

Procedure

Apply online: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply/ 

Specify Prof. Anil Seth as your preferred supervisor and state the title of this studentship. Please include a statement of your scientific interests and skills/experience relevant to the project in the mandatory "research proposal" (max 2 pages) and include a full CV. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview conducted in person or remotely by skype.

Contact

Ms. Marianne Cole, assistant to Professor Anil Seth: Marianne.Cole@sussex.ac.uk

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

South East England