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Research Associate in Human and Animal Neuroimaging x 2 (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge - Department of Psychology

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £33,309 to £40,927 p.a.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 11th November 2021
Closes: 9th December 2021
Job Ref: PJ28902

2 post-doctoral Research Associate positions in Human and Animal Neuroimaging are available to work with Prof Zoe Kourtzi at the Adaptive Brain Lab, University of Cambridge, UK (http://www.abg.psychol.cam.ac.uk).

The positions will focus on research activity at the core of a new Wellcome Trust funded Collaborative award that brings together a cross-disciplinary team of international experts to investigate the role of GABAergic inhibition in regulating brain network dynamics for adaptive behaviour. Our work programme bridges work across species (mice, humans) and scales (local circuits, global networks) to uncover the network and neurochemical mechanisms that support learning and brain plasticity. Our work capitalises on cutting-edge methodological developments in our team: a) human and animal ultra high-field MR Spectroscopy and functional brain imaging (Emir lab, Purdue; Kourtzi lab, Cambridge), b) neuroengineering tools including optical GABA sensors (Looger lab: UCSD) and electrophoretic drug delivery (Malliaras-Proctor lab, Cambridge), cellular imaging, optogenetics, electrophysiology neuropharmacology (Paulsen, Dalley, Poort labs, Cambridge; Rusakov lab: UCL).

This international collaborative network provides unique opportunities for cross-disciplinary training in innovative methodologies at the interface of animal and human neuroscience, neurotechnology and computational science. Successful applicants will be integrated in a diverse collaborative team and will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and retreats across the network as well as exchange visits across labs to facilitate cross-disciplinary training and collaborative working.

Research in the Adaptive Brain lab aims to understand how humans of all ages (healthy and patients with neurocognitive disorders) translate sensory experience into complex decisions and adaptive behaviours by taking into account previous experience and learning. We address this challenge using an interdisciplinary approach that combines ultra high-field neuroimaging (e.g. 7T brain imaging: MR Spectroscopy, laminar fMRI,) in combination with computational modelling (Bayesian modelling, reinforcement learning, machine learning), human electrophysiology (EEG) and interventional methods (neuropharmacology, TMS, TDCs). We apply these techniques to study the young and ageing brain and understand adaptive behaviours in health and neurocognitive disorders. 

The successful applicant will receive multi-disciplinary research training at the interface between human and animal neuroscience and computational sciences.

Applicants must hold a PhD or have submitted the PhD thesis at the time of appointment, and should have a strong academic track record, in a relevant area (e.g., Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, medicine, Mathematics, Engineering, Computer Science, Medicine). Programming skills are highly desirable and experience with brain imaging preferable. Above all, they will demonstrate enthusiasm to contribute new knowledge, openness to learn new approaches and willingness to contribute to a multidisciplinary team across sectors (academia, industry).

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