Combination of neurostimulation and brain imaging to unravel the role of the cerebellum in social sequences
Website Vrije Universiteit Brussel and University of Gent
The cerebellum is a brain area that has been neglected in research for several decades. For many years the cerebellum was thought to be relevant only for motor processes. However, in the last two decades the cerebellum has become more and more important in the research of social interactions, like understanding other´s beliefs. The cerebellum is in charge of generating models of future actions, not only a sequence of movements (for example how to move your arm to reach a glass of water) but also social sequences (for example when you interact with the cashier in a store).
Some disorders, like the Autism Spectrum Disorders present anatomical abnormalities in the cerebellum which could be linked to the social difficulties that these people often experience.
In this project we work with neurotypical and autistic individuals combining simultaneous neuroimaging (fMRI and DWI) and neuromodulation (tDCS) to further explore the social role of the cerebellum and to develop a potential line of treatment for those with social difficulties.
A part of this project seeks to find the optimal tDCS montage by simulating the electrical stimulation and analysing the electrical currents induced in participant´s brains.
We are looking for motivated students with a background in neuroscience and/or psychology (or a simmilar field) who can help with data collection, as part of a research internship. To join this project is important that you can communicate fluently in english AND dutch or french. Recruiting and communication with participants are mostly in dutch or in french, therefore a good level of any of those languages in desired. Programming skills (MATLAB, Python or R) are desirable for analyzing data, but not required.
Starting date: October 2022 onwards
Duration: Minimum of 4 months
Data collection will take plave at the University Hospital in Brussels (UZ Brussel) and the Lab-meetings and the office will be at the UZ Gent.
To apply or ask for more information you can e-mail Beatriz Catoira (Beatriz.Catoira@Ugent.be and CC the PI of the lab:Chris Baeken (Chris.Baeken@UGent.be). With your motivation letter, please include your CV, a list of relevant academic courses or previous research (internship) experience.
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