Internship: Neural codes and computations 1: sensory-motor feedback loops and multi-area stimulus processing in the visual system of the mouse
Internship aim: Acquire and analyse large-scale data sets in cortical and subcortical visual areas with a new-gen high-density laminar probe: Neuropixels.
What you can gain
- hands-on experience with surgical techniques and electrophysiological experiments with Neuropixels
- advanced data analysis skills of large data sets
- a co-authorship on a scientific publication, if the results lead to a publishable paper
What you need
- a social teamwork-oriented spirit
- a solid background in experimental neuroscience, such as having obtained an appropriate BSc
- at least basic programming skills in MATLAB, and a willingness to learn more
- an affinity with and/or interest in neural coding
- an internship duration of at least 6 months, but preferably longer
A fundamental process, and critical for normal visual perception, is stimulus tracking by the eyes. Albinos, for example, lack this ability, and often have severe problems with visual acuity. Despite decades of research, it is still poorly understood how visual information is processed and quickly relayed back to the ocular muscles to evoke smooth pursuits and saccades. The medical and basic scientific importance of (in)voluntary eye movements therefore makes this a highly relevant topic to study. In this project, we will record simultaneously from primary visual cortex (V1) and the subcortical nucleus of the optic tract (NOT), which is known to be involved in horizontal eye movements. We will use a recently developed high-density laminar probe, Neuropixels. This probe allows simultaneous recording from 384 of 960 contact points: a vast improvement over prior 16- or 32-channel probes. We will concurrently record eye movements and investigate inter-areal interactions between NOT and V1, and their relation to voluntary and stimulus-evoked eye movements.
During this project, you will learn myriad analysis techniques from your daily supervisor (Jorrit Montijn), as well as how to work with mice and perform electrophysiological recordings with this breakthrough laminar probe. You will be embedded in the group of Alexander Heimel and participate in weekly meetings and seminars.
If you are interested, send an inquiry to Jorrit Montijn (j . montijn at nin . knaw . nl).