PhD position (Strasbourg, France)

PhD-project in electrophysiology: Closed-loop Transcranial Electric Stimulation of Neural Networks in a Rodent Model of Psychosis Transition.

Patients suffering from schizophrenia develop resistance to chemical treatments. Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), a non-invasive neurophysiological approach, has been shown to alleviate some symptoms, to improve cognitive performances, and to modulate the corticothalamic connectivity. The goal of the project is to optimize a combination of stimulation parameters that make it efficient for the TES against the psychosis transition using predictive electrical biomarkers. In healthy humans and rodents, ketamine reproduces, with a single psychotomimetic dose, the abnormal amplification of corticothalamic gamma-frequency (30-80 Hz) oscillations recorded in individuals having a high-risk mental state for a psychosis transition. Gamma oscillations are naturally involved in cognition, which is also disrupted in at-risk patients. It was demonstrated that the ketamine-induced gamma hyperactivity is prevented by the antipsychotic clozapine.

The Ph.D. student will experimentally investigate the TES in the ketamine rodent model of psychosis transition. In an attempt to optimize a combination of stimulation parameters with potential preventive/curative effects, the Ph.D. student will develop and build up a closed-loop feedback system that controls the TES optimally using a Kalman filter.

Requested skills:

The ideal candidate will have a strong background in neuroscience, preferably with experience in in-vivo electrophysiological techniques, mathematical and statistical skills for data analysis (EEG and cellular), and basic knowledge in numerical programming and neural modelling.

Start of the position will be Fall 2020, with a duration of 36 months.

Funding source: INRIA (Action Exploratoire A/D Drugs).

PhD Directors:

Axel Hutt, Inria – MIMESIS


team web page:

Didier Pinault, Inserm – U1114


lab web page:

Please send your application documents (CV and 1 recommendation letter) by email to Axel Hutt.