A multisensory virtual reality system to study spatial navigation in mice

Leuven - Master projects/internships
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About a week ago

Join us in exploring how our brains transform sensory cues to spatial maps, using cutting edge neuroscience approaches

The ability to recall spatial locations, and to create spatial maps is a vital skill. For instance, life would be quite complicated if we had to consult our smartphone every time we needed to go to the cafeteria. We use sensory cues (mainly visual) to create spatial maps of environments we live in. The retrosplenial cortex is an ideal candidate brain region for anchoring sensory landmark information to spatial locations however the mechanisms underlying these associations are unclear. To study how retrosplenial cortex associates sensory information to spatial  locations we will utilize a virtual multisensory environment. Head-restrained mice that are freely moving on a spherical treadmill will navigate the virtual environment to create a spatial map of the environment and perform spatial tasks. As Bonin group we have extensive experience in preparing virtual environments for mice and currently we have established an immersive dome system to project visual information. Specifically MSc/internship project will involve design and implementation of specific spatial environments and augmenting them with tactile and auditory cues. 

Specifically, we are interested in working with highly motivated students who are interested in neuroscientific research using cutting edge imaging and neural recording approaches in vivo, this can be the perfect opportunity. If you are interested pursuing this project with a friendly team please contact us along with your CV.

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Type of project: Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: 6 - 9 months

Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science, Master of Bioengineering

Required background: Physics, Biomedical engineering, Computer Science

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Vincent Bonin (Vincent.Bonin@nerf.be) and Asli Ayaz (Asli.Ayaz@nerf.be)

Imec allowance will be provided for students studying at a non-Belgian university.

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