Postdoctoral Researcher in the Dragoi Lab at McGovern Medical School, University of Texas at Houston

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Website McGovern Medical School, University of Texas at Houston

Two full-time postdoctoral positions in systems neuroscience are available immediately in Dr. Valentin Dragoi’s laboratory in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, McGovern Medical School, University of Texas at Houston. The positions will offer opportunities for combining multiple-electrode recordings in the visual and prefrontal cortices of non-human primates, optogenetics, behavioral, and computational approaches. The ideal candidate would have a strong background in systems and/or computational neuroscience as well as experience with neurophysiological recording techniques. Knowledge of Matlab, C++, and statistical modeling would be a plus. Completion of the PhD degree in neuroscience, psychology, engineering, physics, or related field is required before the start date. Our institution offers a first-class training and research environment in systems and computational neuroscience, and a highly collaborative environment with scientists at Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, and University of Houston. To apply, please send a CV and brief statement of research interests to ariana.r.andrei@uth.tmc.edu and russell.milton@uth.tmc.edu with the subject line ‘Postdoc position’.

About the Lab

Understanding how cortical networks process information to encode features of the external world, and then influence behavioral performance, is a fundamental problem in systems neuroscience. When we look at a visual scene, cells in visual cortex respond to information streaming in from millions of wires that carry a pixilated image of the world to construct an internal representation.

At the first stages of cortical processing, primary visual areas create a fragmented picture of the world, dominated, for instance, by small oriented lines highlighting edges. This representation is subsequently passed on to a higher functioning level of the visual cortex, e.g., the inferotemporal cortex, where neurons typically respond to more complex image features, such as shapes and objects.

It has long been suggested that the visual cortex is a passive filter that creates a static, spatial, representation of a visual scene via a hierarchical processing of sensory inputs from the two eyes. However, visual perception is dynamic, not static. Indeed, when we look at a visual scene we move our eyes several times a second to update the visual information transmitted to the visual cortex, possibly by creating a dynamic representation of the visual world.

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