The lab currently has projects suitable for all levels of student, including Honours, Masters and PhD.
Enquiries from potential students and postdocs are always welcome. Experience in electrophysiology, electronics, computer science, psychophysics, programming (preferably Python or Matlab) is desirable, however, we value motivation and enthusiasm more important than experience. Below are a list of some of the projects in the laboratory.
If you are interested in undertaking a research period in Neurodigit lab, please contact Mehdi Adibi ✉.
Cognitive Capacities of Rodents
Over the past decade, the increasingly powerful array of experimental approaches such as optogenetics and two-photon imaging has become available in non-primate models, particularly in rodents, and in turn, has spurred a renewed interest for the use of rodents in neuroscience research. Thus, it becomes progressively crucial to know the cognitive capacities of rodents (particularly laboratory rats and mice) for better use of rodents in systems neuroscience research.
We have small behavioural projects to identify the extents and boundaries of the rodents cognitive capacities (such as transitive inference, pattern recognition and numerical cognition) and their neuronal substrates. These projects are suitable for honours, masters and PhD students.
Context matters: from sensory processing to decision making
Contextual modulation refers to prominent changes in the processing of information in brain and perception
caused by interactions across space and time. Over the past two decades, an enormous amount of work has shown that temporal contextual effects occur throughout the sensory processing hierarchy. However, there has been little work examining how temporal and spacial context effects affect tactile information processing and operate for high-level attributes of stimuli. The project aims to fill this gap to further understand the nature and mechanisms of temporal and spacial contextual modulation on somatosensory information processing, tactile perception, and corresponding judgements and decision making at cellular, circuit and cognitive levels using parallel experiments in human and rodents. A PhD scholarship is available for this project.
Spatiotemporal patterns of micro- and meso-scale activity in cortex
Spontaneous synchronization is a common phenomenon occurring in diverse contexts, from a group of chirping crickets in a field to a network of coupled neurons in the brain. The study of synchronization helps to understand how uniform behaviours emerge in populations of heterogeneous neurons. To better understand the link between the macroscopic patterns of synchrony in cortex and the microscopic circuitry, here we investigated the spatial patterns of spontaneous and evoked synchrony at the spiking level activity and intermediate mesoscopic level in rodent cortex.
We have electrophysiology data available for intersted data scientists who would like to join the laboratory for a period of research or study. Also simulation and computational projects are available.
Automated behavioural apparatus for rodents
The aim of this multidisciplinary project is to develop techniques and solutions for low-cost, efficient automated behavioural study in rodents. Systems and cognitive neuroscience employ a range of sensorimotor decision-making behavioural tasks to understand the underlying computations and neuronal mechanisms of information processing in the mammalian brain. Training animals to perform such tasks is usually manual and time-consuming. Thus, the need for an autonomous apparatus for automated training and testing the animals is fundamental to increase efficiency and decrease human error. This project includes implementing methods of detection and monitoring different behavioural measures such as head position, ultrasonic vocalisations, forepaw and digit gesture and movement tracking and whisker tracking during behavioural tasks. We have scholarships available for this project. Basic knowledge of machine learning, programming and electronics is recommended.
The role of thalamus in the spatiotemporal dynamics of population activity in the somatosensory cortex
The project aim is to indetify the role of thalamic input in the spatiotemporal dynamics of population activity in the somatosensory cortex. The project will employ new extracellular array electrophysiology technologies using Neuropixels probes and ECoG grid arrays in rodent model in vivo. This project is in collaboration with Prof. Vassanelli (Neurochip lab) and Padova Neuroscience Center, Italy. A postdoctoral fellowship and PhD scholarship is available for this project.