Post-doctoral Position in Computational Neuroscience: "Functional, Large-scale Models of Visual Motion Perception"


The position has been filled

We are currently inviting applications for a postdoctoral position in computational neuroscience to study functional, large-scale models of visual motion perception. The post is for up to 3 years in the DyVA team at the INCM (CNRS) in Marseille, France and will be funded within the european FACETS consortium.

The project will involve developing, designing and implementing large-scale neural networks of the primary visual areas. The goal is to bridge theoretical principles of computations, physiological data (e.g. optical imaging) and behavioral data (e.g. eye movements) to bring new understanding on the neural computations underlying the perception of motion. We are particularly interested in the dynamics of motion integration, focusing on responses to complex motion stimuli in areas V1 and V5/MT. Our theoretical approaches span from statistical inference to adaptive distributed representations to provide insights into these parallel, dynamical processes. We use state-of-the-art simulation software to validate these results thanks to our computer facilities, with the goal of transferring this technology to aVLSI chips developped within the consortium.

The DyVA team is a young CNRS pluridisciplinary research team (Head: Dr. Guillaume Masson) integrating research on eye movements and visual perception at both behavioral (psychophysics, motor control) and physiological (optical imaging, electrophysiology) levels. The computational project will be conducted by Dr. Laurent Perrinet in close collaboration with other FACETS teams (Pr. O. Faugeras, INRIA,Sophia-Antipolis, Pr. Ad Aertsen, Freiburg, Pr. W. Maass, Graz, Pr. Y. Fregnac, CNRS, Paris). The work conducted in Marseille will involve a PhD Student and a Computer Engineer together with the post-doctoral fellow. Close interactions within the team with the biological tasks conducted (optical imaging in awake monkey) are promoted.

The postdoc will work as part of a European wide research team based on a new EU-funded Integrated Project entitled "FACETS: Fast Analog Computing with Transient States". The FACETS project is a major 11 million Euros, four-year research project funded by the European Union. The stated objective of FACETS is to explore and exploit the computational principles that constitute the basis of information processing in the brain. The project involves all facets of neuroscience from experimental neuroscience ("in vivo"), the construction of models and analytical descriptions for neural cells and networks ("in computo"), to the construction of very large scale neural circuits in VLSI technology ("in silico"). The FACETS consortium includes fifteen of the major laboratories in Europe in these areas. One of the goals of the FACETS consortium is to develop a large-scale model of the primary visual cortex and explore its computational capabilities for solving low-level motion tasks involving short- and long-range lateral interactions.

Expertise in computational modeling as well as mathematical and programming skills are required. A keen interest in neuroscience is necessary to ensure the tight coupling of the computational approach with experiments done in the lab. The position is available immediately, the appointment will be for a fixed term of up to three years, ending 31st August 2009.

Marseille is a major french town by the mediterranean sea with a lively atmosphere and cultural life. The DyVA team is located in a CNRS campus with excellent research facilities. Net salary is about 1800€/month, full social coverage included.

Interested candidates should send their application materials - cover letter, CV, statement of research interests and research experience (no .doc file, please) or informal enquiries to Dr. Laurent Perrinet ( ).

This work was supported by European integrated project FP6-015879, "FACETS".