Interested in how cortico-subcortical loops

detect and code patterns in the environment?

Consider joining this small, supportive, and dynamic group

as part of Berlin's vibrant neuroscience community.


We have openings for PhDs or postdocs

and  regularly admit new master or rotation students.

postdoc/PhD position  - for 2 (+2) years starting 1.1.2023

‘Listen and learn’—subcortical-cortical interactions in the emergence of statistical learning


Are you interested in how the brain detects and codes patterns in the acoustic environment? This exciting project explores brain mechanisms responsible for statistical learning. The position is part of an Einstein Visiting Fellow grant with David McAlpine (Macquarie University, Sydney) as the visiting fellow. Join as in Berlin's vibrant neuroscience community!


Learning is critical to survival and occurs over different time-scales to facilitate a diverse range of abilities from the acquisition of language, honing of skills and social behaviours, to the detection of rapid changes in the environment. We will examine a specific type of learning called statistical learning, and assess its contribution to the ability to listen and learn in our noisy world. Statistical learning is learning that occurs even when we are unaware of it. Our brains are constantly scanning the environment automatically incorporating sensory information, such that those environments become more familiar, and it becomes easier to distinguish important sounds from the background. By recording from neurons across different structures in the auditory brains of animals (midbrain, thalamus, and cortex), we will explore the range and types of sounds that contribute to statistical learning, as well as the neural circuits and cellular mechanisms that give rise to it. From these studies, we expect outcomes that will include advanced knowledge of brain processes contributing to learning and memory.


The candidate should be highly motivated, could have experience with electrophysiology (preferably Neuropixels) and optogenetics, within the context of systems neuroscience. Coding knowledge and experience with the analysis of large data sets is an advantage.