[Neuroinfo] PhD position, University of Genoa, Italy – "Multidimensional peripersonal space sensing"

Silvio P. Sabatini silvio.sabatini at unige.it
Wed May 20 16:39:26 CEST 2015

Applications are invited for one full-time PhD studentship (with 
scholarship) for a period of 3 years, at the PSPC-lab of the Department 
of Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics, and System Engineering 
(DIBRIS), University of Genoa, Italy.


"Integration of motion-in-depth multi-sensory information flows in the 
peripersonal space".

Description: While there is a growing evidence that the space 
immediately around the body (i.e., the peripersonal space) is coded in a 
distributed way across several coexisting reference frames, our 
knowledge of how different representations are aligned, adapt, and 
interact is still in its infancy.  Where, when, and how does the brain 
implement the internal models underlying the sensorimotor 
transformations that guide both our actions and perceptions? Is the 
encoding of sensory information static, or does it change dynamically as 
the action unfolds? Looking for answers to these questions should help 
understanding how an agent should use sensing and proprioception-like 
signals dynamically to build sensorimotor representations of 
peripersonal space and self-calibrate.
Within the research framework developed in the PSPC lab at DIBRIS, the 
goal of the project is to investigate how different cross-modal 
information can enable arm and hand-related actions in the peripersonal 
space. Specifically, the focus will be on the development of a 
neuromorphic cognitive system for detecting/encoding motion-in-depth 
multimodal information flows relative to body parts. The underlying 
models, besides advancing experimental predictions about neuronal 
activity, are expected to drive learning of meaningful interactions with 
the environment thus achieving fluid multi-dimensional motor control in 
the presence of multiple sensory channels, and with minimal a priori 

Requirements: background in bioengineering, computer science, physics or 
related disciplines, strong interest in computational and theoretical 

The project will provide the opportunity to work on neural modeling, 
visual psychophysics, robotics, or a combination of them. Experimental, 
modeling, and theoretical approaches might be pursued with a different 
accent according to personal attitude.

Ongoing cooperation, at international level, with research groups of 
different disciplines, will ensure a highly interdisciplinary and 
stimulating environment.

The position will start on Nov 1st 2015.


Candidates must have:
- a University degree at Master level (or expect to obtain it by 31 
October 2015) in Engineering, Computer Science, Physics or related 
- strong interest in computational neuroscience, and an open mind for 
interdisciplinary research.

Online application is available till June 10, 2015 at 12.00 noon 
(Italian time).

Full details on the call and the application procedure will soon be 
available at:
http://www.studenti.unige.it/postlaurea/dottorati/XXXI/ENG/ and

Applicants are strongly requested to contact me 
(silvio.sabatini at unige.it), providing CV and qualifications, and a 
description of the research interests.


DIBRIS is a unique inter-school department of the University of Genoa, 
bridging together researchers from the former Science and Engineering 
Faculties. It offers an excellent multidisciplinary, interactive and 
collaborative research environment combining expertise in computer 
vision, computational neuroscience, neuromorphic computing, robotics and 

PSPC-Lab (www.pspc.unige.it), has a long-standing expertise in visual 
coding and multidimensional signal representation, robot perception and 
computer vision. In the last five years, the lab’s research activity 
focused on the analysis of the structural mechanisms of visuo-spatial 
cognition, responsible for orienting and interacting in the 3D space.


Silvio P. SABATINI, PhD                         [PSPC Research Group]
Professor of Bioengineering
DIBRIS - University of Genova     |  e_mail:silvio.sabatini at unige.it
Via Opera Pia, 11A                |  phone: +39 010 3532092/3532794
I-16145 Genova (ITALY)            |  fax:   +39 010 3532289/3536533

"Imagination is more important than knowledge..."   [Albert Einstein]

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