Awesome phD Opportunity: oscillatory brain stimulation and memory

Join the team of Dr Simon Hanslmayr for a fully funded exciting 3 year PHD: Start Date 1st October 2017

We are seeking an enthusiastic and technically talented student with an interest in brain oscillations, brain stimulation and memory. The successfull candidate will be part of an extraordinary team of 2 other PhD students and a postdoc working on the project CODE4MEMORY, which is an EU funded project (ERC Consolidator Grant awarded to Simon Hanslmayr). In a nutshell, the aim of the 3 year project is test causal hypotheses derived from the Synchronization / De-Synchronization Framework in order to understand the causal relationship between oscillations in the hippocampus and the neocortex in the service of episodic memory. A range of stimulation techniques will be available, ranging from non-invasive sensory stimulation (i.e. flicker), tACS and rhythmic TMS stimulation to direct electrical stimulation via depth electrodes in patients with epilepsy. The effects of such oscillatory stimulation will be tested via behavioral measures (i.e. memory performance) and various neural measures, ranging from surface EEG, to intracranial EEG and single unit activity in the hippocampus. This is an outstanding opportunity which will give you a unique chance to expand your neurioscientific knowledge and technical skills at a level rarely available in human cognitive neuroscience. 

For informal enquiries, feel free to contact Simon Hanslmayr directly by email.


PhD Students wanted:

Neurophysiological markers of memory acquisition and persistence

Neural oscillations coordinate and synchronise activity in multiple brain regions. During memory formation in humans, there is a complex pattern of synchronised activity in the hippocampus paralleled by desynchronization in the cortex. This project will investigate how these two phenomena interact during memory formation and retrieval.

The project will test the hypothesis that the combination of cortical desynchronization and hippocampal synchrony enables synaptic plasticity to occur. To achieve this, the activity of single units in the hippocampus and cortex will be recorded in awake rats while they encode a new memory.

The project will then progress to studying the presence of similar phenomena during memory reactivation and reconsolidation. Students will receive state-of-the-art training in rodent behavioural testing, electrode implantation and electrophysiological recording, and analysis of oscillatory activity.

We will first establish a learning paradigm that provides an analogue of those used in human studies. Then, the core neurophysiological recordings and analyses will be conducted. In parallel, behavioural studies of memory consolidation and reconsolidation will be carried out in the novel paradigm.

The successful candidate will be based in Birmingham and work in the labs of Dr. Jonathan Lee, and Dr Simon Hanslmayr, in collaboration with Dr Carl Stevenson from the University of Nottingham.