Monday, February 8, 2010

The best job in Helsinki: a post-doc

My friend Riitta Salmelin has sent this ad for a post-doc position. Riitta and her colleagues and students are, of course, at the forefront of doing this sort of connectivity research (especially in the context of language studies), and this would be a great opportunity to learn how to do this work and build new tools. A good paper exemplifying some of their approaches was in TICS:

Salmelin & Kujala. Trends Cogn Sci. 2006 Nov;10(11):519-25. Neural representation of language: activation versus long-range connectivity.

A more recent paper outlining an updated technique to evaluate sources, ideal for those of us obsessing about (quasi-)rhythmic brain activity:

Laaksonen H, Kujala J, Salmelin R. A method for spatiotemporal mapping of event-related modulation of cortical rhythmic activity. Neuroimage. 2008 Aug 1;42(1):207-17.

The lab there is amazingly well equipped, and full of smart and engaging researchers. Plus, in Finland they number their beers by strength, so, for example, you can ask for "a second #3, please" followed by "two more #2's". Very convenient. And for those of you who are metal heads, Finland has one of the best metal scenes, especially black metal. So if you like brain research, metal, and are technically skilled, this job is definitely for you.

Post-doc in Neural Connectivity in Human Cognition
Brain Research Unit, Low Temperature Laboratory

Aalto University (Espoo, Finland)

Cognition is thought to be implemented as large-scale networks of interacting and co-operating brain areas, rather than simply as activation advancing from one area to another. Brain Research Unit (BRU, is a pioneer of time-sensitive brain imaging with magnetoencephalography (MEG). We are actively developing methods for estimating interareal connectivity from MEG and applying such methods to study cognitive processing; we now seek to further strengthen that effort. In the next stage, we hope to clarify (i) the relationship between connectivity estimated from electrophysiological (MEG) and hemodynamic brain imaging data (functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI), (ii) the relationship between MEG connectivity measures and activation measures (phase-locked evoked responses, modulation of cortical rhythms), and (iii) the possible role of functional connectivity in the differences and similarities between MEG and fMRI activation maps in cognitive processing, such as language perception and production.

We are looking for a PhD with a deep interest in this type of questions and with training and experience well-suited to address them. The candidate will work in a multidisciplinary group (physics, mathematics, psychology, medicine) that investigates the neural basis of language, methodological and conceptual aspects of long-range neural connectivity, and relationship between MEG and fMRI measures of cognitive processing (Language group, The BRU has a state-of-the-art Vectorview 306-channel MEG system, and access to a 3T MRI scanner on the university campus.

To apply, please send an e-mail containing your CV, a summary of your skills, description of your research interests, and a list of publications to Prof. Riitta Salmelin ( Please include names of two established scientists who may be contacted for reference; you may also arrange them to send a letter of reference directly by e-mail to the above address.

The salary starts around 3300 Euro/month, and it will increase with responsibilities, depending on the performance of the candidate. The position is available from Aug 1, 2010 for 2+1 years. Consideration of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Riitta Salmelin, Academy Professor
Brain Research Unit
Low Temperature Laboratory
Aalto University
P.O. Box 15100
FI-00076 AALTO, Finland
tel. +358-9-47022950
fax +358-9-47023508

For express mail:
Puumiehenkuja 2 B
FIN-02150 Espoo, Finland

1 comment:

Jonas said...

I like how TB, under the auspices of co-editor in chief D.P., is refining its senses for what cognitive neuroscientists really need to be happy.