By Stefano Panzeri (Professor of Neural Information Processing, UKE) & Tobias H. Donner (Professor of Integrative Neuroscience, UKE).
The Panzeri and Donner laboratories at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) aim to fill joint postdoc and PhD positions starting at any time. The vacant positions are for collaborative projects in computational cognitive neuroscience, and funding is available for several years. Applications will be reviewed when they are received until positions are filled.
Both labs aim to understand how higher brain functions such as sensation, perception, decision-making, and memory, emerge from the interactions between brain areas and/or populations of neurons within these areas. These topics are studied in the healthy brain and in neuropsychiatric disorders, and they are addressed through a tight interplay between theoretical and experimental approaches. Joint ongoing work focuses on how feedforward and feedback communication across the cortical hierarchy, excitation-inhibition balance, and neuromodulatory processes, shape decision-making.
The Panzeri Lab, newly established at UKE Hamburg, is a theoretical lab which develops advanced mathematical tools for brain data analysis, applies these methods to real data to produce new results on neural information processing, and develops biophysically plausible neural network models of how information is processed in the brain. The Donner lab is an experimental lab that combines pharmacological intervention, psychophysics, eye-tracking, and neuroimaging (MEG and fMRI) in human subjects with advanced data analysis and computational modeling tools to uncover signatures and mechanisms of cognitive computation.
The new lab members will join existing teams with extensive expertise in both computational and experimental neuroscience. The new lab members will also benefit from both labs’ extensive international collaborations including Harvard Medical School, Italian Institute of Technology, Baylor College of Medicine, Cornell University, École Normale Supérieure, New York University, Pompeu Fabra University, University of Pennsylvania, SISSA and others.
We seek applications from qualified individuals from all demographics, genders, and backgrounds. Both labs are committed to diversity, highly international, and operate in English.
Hamburg is a vibrant, international, family-friendly, and green city. It hosts one of the world’s largest harbors, an internationally acclaimed concert hall, a large lake, and dozens of canals, lots of beautiful parks, and many other nice places for leisure time. The UKE also has excellent family-friendly facilities.
Candidates should have a solid background in numerate sciences and a keen interest in applying advanced mathematical concepts to reveal the function of the brain. Experience in quantitative or computational neuroscience is a major plus. The main criterion, however, is a commitment to scientific excellence.
Applications (full CV, statement of research interest and name and contact of 2 referees) should be sent to:
Further information on both labs can be found here:
Recent relevant publications of the labs include:
Pfeffer, T. et al (2021), Circuit mechanisms for the chemical modulation of cortex-wide network interactions and behavioral variability. Science Advances 7: eabf5620.
Valente, M., et al (2021), Correlations enhance the behavioral readout of neural population activity in association cortex. Nature Neuroscience 24, 975–986.
Murphy P., et al (2021), Adaptive circuit dynamics across human cortex during evidence accumulation in changing environments. Nature Neuroscience 7: 987-997.
Wilming N., et al (2020), Large-scale dynamics of decision information across human cortex. Nature Communications 11: 5109.
Chong, E. et al (2020) Manipulating synthetic optogenetic odors reveals the coding logic of olfactory perception. Science 368, 1329.
Runyan C. A., et al (2017) Distinct timescales of population coding across cortex. Nature 548: 92-96.