The Humphries’ group researches fundamental insights into how the joint activity of neurons encodes information about and actions in the world (https://www.humphries-lab.org). The group is part of a major new research centre in computational neuroscience at the University of Nottingham, working alongside the teams of Professor Mark van Rossum (Psychology) and Professor Stephen Coombes (Mathematical Sciences).
Animals smoothly transition between movements, both rhythmic and discrete. These transitions are driven by changes to the activity of large populations of neurons, but experimental neuroscience has almost exclusively studied population activity during single movements. In this project, our aim is to test the overarching hypothesis that movement transitions are encoded by the same neural population reconfiguring its joint activity, for both rhythmic and discrete movements. We will apply our algorithms for extracting neural population dynamics to newly-available population recordings during rhythmic movement transitions in Aplysia and discrete arm movement transitions in monkeys, building on our recent work (Bruno et al 2015, Neuron; Bruno et al 2017, eLife; Maggi et al 2018, Nature Communications). The project will include travel to our collaborators in Chicago (Prof Bill Frost).
We seek a researcher with a deep interest in the dynamics of neural populations to drive forward this project. Ideal candidates will be open to learning new skills and teaching us new skills in return. Candidates must have a PhD in a quantitative discipline, experience in analysing neural data, and good programming skills in Matlab and/or Python. The candidate must also be able to demonstrate a track record of quality research, and be able to independently manage their research. Knowledge of neurobiology is a bonus.
This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for a period of 3 years (36 months). Hours of work are full-time; however applications are also welcome from candidates wishing to work part-time (minimum 20 hours per week). Please specify in your application if you wish to work part-time and the number of preferred hours.
The University of Nottingham is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. The University strongly endorses Athena SWAN principles, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in furthering women’s careers. It is our mission to ensure equal opportunity, best working practices and fair policies for all.
Informal enquiries may be addressed to Professor Mark Humphries, email Mark.Humphries@nottingham.ac.uk. Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.