The Centre for Translational Neurophysiology of Speech and Communication (CTNSC@UniFe), led by Prof. Luciano Fadiga, is opening a Researcher position involved in the Micro-ECoG project.
Although perception and action have been classically studied apart, recently a big deal of attention is focused on the intrinsic relationship between action and perception. This has led to describe regions in motor areas that exhibit visual responses during action observation. It has been proposed that this interaction between visual and motor processes effectively creates a communication channel between individuals whereby the shared implicit motor knowledge about movement production is used to interpret observed actions for the purpose of social interactions. However, despite more than two decades of research, it is still unknown which information is encoded in the visual responses of motor areas and how they are established in the first place. Providing an answer to these questions, in addition to functional implications, can have also important translational applications in disorders (e.g. autism) that are characterized by dysfunctional social behaviors/interactions.
To address these issues, we plan to investigate the brain correlates of communicative/interactive behaviors by (1) high-density surface microelectrodes for electrocorticography (micro-ECoG), to record electrical signals directly from the cortex of human patients during neurosurgery for brain lesions and (2) EEG, fMRI and behavioral techniques in healthy individuals. The aim of the project is twofold. First, describe the neural activity recorded from the cortical surface in patients while they are performing communicative tasks. Second, investigate, in healthy individuals, the potential plasticity of the neuronal mechanisms underlying others’ action perception.
In this context, we are looking for a highly-motivated candidate who will work on data analysis of physiological signals acquired during communicative action perception and production. A key aspect of this project will be the description of electrical activity of the brain cortex to clarify the processes underlying action perception.
The candidate should have a demonstrated technical and theoretical background (PhD in Neuroscience or similar), extensive experience in analyzing physiological signals, with a specific focus on neural signal processing, a strong background in Computational Neuroscience and an inquisitive mind.
The successful candidate will work in a fully equipped laboratory in the Center for Translational Neurophysiology of Speech and Communication in Ferrara with the possibility to coordinate an interdisciplinary team of engineers, and neuroscientists.
Salary will be highly competitive and commensurate with qualification and experience.
Please submit your application, including a detailed curriculum vitae, 3 representative publications and 2 pages of research statement in PDF format to email@example.com quoting “Researcher position in Electrophysiological Investigation of Sensorimotor communication - BC: 76796.” in the subject line.
Candidates must also request 3 reference letters to be sent directly in PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org by the referees.
Applications deadline: August 9th, 2019.
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Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively seeks diversity in the workforce.