PhD/MD projects

The projects involve research aimed at understanding how sensory information is represented in the brain. In particular we study how the activity pattern of mechanoreceptors in the skin is communicated to the brain, where a percept is formed.

Sensation in animals and humans is often an active process that involves motion, e.g., moving fingers on a textured surface and eye movements.
In this dynamic process, motion and sensation are strongly interdependent: internal motor information is needed to interpret external sensory signals, and sensory information is used to shape appropriate behavior.
In your project you will analyze how neuronal networks operate to decode sensory input, and how activity in sensory cortex interacts with motor areas to cause behavior.

The projects in the department range from experimental work, using in vivo electrophysiology methods to study sensory evoked brain activity, to more from theoretical work on signal processing and quantitative neuroanatomy using mathematical statistics. Furthermore, the focus can be on either fundamental biological questions or on disease models.

Typically you will be expected to invest several hours a week in the experimental work of your project. MD-Projects take at least 1 year to complete and thus are more suited for students that are highly motivated to conduct experimental neuroscience research, PhD-projects about 3 years.  

Methods and techniques:
- single-/multi-unit electrophysiology recordings in vivo
- intrinsic optical imaging
- patch clamp recording (in vitro)
- optogenetics
- immunohistochemistry with multi-fluorescent labelling
- 3D neuroanatomy reconstructions
- behavioural test

MD projects currently available:
- Multi-sensory integration – how do our different senses interact to create a coherent perception of an object?
- Neocortical gain control of sub-cortical brain areas –this type of neocortical control is, e.g., important for regulating the activity of thalamus, when focusing our attention on relevant sensory stimuli.
- Object and texture discrimination – using behavioral test we investigate the neuronal mechanisms underlying object localization and texture discrimination.
- Quantitative neuroanatomy – to unravel the complex structural organization of the brain we use and develop mathematical tools (Budd, Cuntz, Eglen, Krieger. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, 2015)

Application:

1. An application letter that describes your research interests and motivation for applying. Also specify which project is of most interest.
2. A full CV, including your Physikums grade.