PhD position in Neuropsychology at Sensory Motor System Lab, ETH Zurich

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PhD position in Neuropsychology at Sensory Motor System Lab, ETH Zurich

PhD position in Neurobiology at Sensory Motor System Lab, ETH Zurich
The Sensory-Motor Systems Lab, ETH Zurich and University Zurich, in collaboration with the Institute for Neuroradiology, University Zurich, and the Paraplegic Centre, Balgrist University Hospital, offers a PHD Position: Supraspinal Contribution to Locomotion in Subjects Suffering from Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury or Stroke 

BACKGROUND. Supraspinal centres should contribute to the improvement of locomotor function during training of subjects suffering from incomplete spinal cord injury or stroke. However, the extent of their involvement is currently unknown. So far, only the effect of imagined locomotor tasks or singlejoint movements on supraspinal centres was studied using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The combination of fMRI with a multi-joint locomotor movement will give more specific insights into the underlying effects of locomotor training on supraspinal centres. Knowing the contribution of supraspinal centres on locomotor function will help to optimize rehabilitation. To investigate the effects of locomotor tasks on the activity of supraspinal centres we have developed a robotic device, which provides for the first time guided, active and passive gait-like movements during fMRI. This worldwide unique fMRI-compatible device enables to accurately quantify the activity in supraspinal centres during gait-like movements, and to objectively correlate neuronal changes in these centres to locomotor training. AIM.
Based on this unique possibility, the proposed PhD project aims to (i) evaluate the involvement of supraspinal centres in locomotor control of healthy subjects, to (ii) provide evidence that functional locomotor training results in a corresponding activation of supraspinal centres responsible for locomotion in subjects suffering from incomplete spinal cord injury or stroke, and to (iii) correlate structural and functional changes of brain areas to common outcome measures of locomotor function. Additionally to these neurophysiological observations, this work will also yield novel fMRI paradigms that can be applied for future research to acquire and assess artefact-free activity of brain centres during locomotion.
PROFILE. You should have a strong interest in applied research optimizing in an interdisciplinary team. Accordingly, we expect excellent communication and teamwork skills. You should have a master degree in Human Movement Science, Biomedical Engineering, Psychology with focus on Neuropsychology, or a related field. Knowledge in brain imaging as well as anatomy and physiology of the brain is strongly recommended.
Further Information. For further information please contact Dr. Peter Wolf, +41 44 632 7109, eval(unescape('%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72%69%74%65%28%27%3c%61%20%68%72%65%66%3d%22%6d%61%69%6c%74%6f%3a%77%6f%6c%66%40%6d%61%76%74%2e%65%74%68%7a%2e%63%68%22%3e%77%6f%6c%66%40%6d%61%76%74%2e%65%74%68%7a%2e%63%68%3c%2f%61%3e%27%29%3b')). Application. Please send a one-page statement of your background and research interest, your Curriculum Vitae, two references and all university classes attended (including grades) to Prof. Kollias, eval(unescape('%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72%69%74%65%28%27%3c%61%20%68%72%65%66%3d%22%6d%61%69%6c%74%6f%3a%6b%6f%6c%6c%69%61%73%40%64%6d%72%2e%75%73%7a%2e%63%68%22%3e%6b%6f%6c%6c%69%61%73%40%64%6d%72%2e%75%73%7a%2e%63%68%3c%2f%61%3e%27%29%3b')), and to Prof. Riener, eval(unescape('%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72%69%74%65%28%27%3c%61%20%68%72%65%66%3d%22%6d%61%69%6c%74%6f%3a%72%69%65%6e%65%72%40%6d%61%76%74%2e%65%74%68%7a%2e%63%68%22%3e%72%69%65%6e%65%72%40%6d%61%76%74%2e%65%74%68%7a%2e%63%68%3c%2f%61%3e%27%29%3b')).