[visionlist] Postdoctoral position in Toulouse, France

Catherine MARLOT catherine.marlot at cerco.ups-tlse.fr
Fri Mar 23 12:34:10 GMT 2007

POSTDOCTORAL POSITION - Starting date : 1st of September 2007

A postdoctoral position is available at the CerCo in Toulouse, France
to work in collaboration with Michèle Fabre-Thorpe on "Object 
representation in natural scenes : neuronal mechanisms".

Since 1996, work in the «Categorisation» team of the CerCo has revealed the 
remarkable efficiency of the visual system. In 150ms, human (or non-human 
primate) subjects can categorise a photograph depending on whether it 
contains an animal, a vehicle, a face, and without involving focused 
attention. Rapid categorisation could thus be based on “feed-forward” 
neuronal selectivities in the ventral pathway of the visual system. These 
rapid processing mechanisms can no longer be used, however, as soon as the 
categorisation requires a more detailed judgment: does the scene contain a 
dog? A bird? These latest data contradict the established dogma, according 
to which basic-level categorisations (dog, bird) should be performed faster 
than super-ordinate ones (animal). This raises the question of the 
involvement of attention and feed-back processes for such subtle 
categorisations, and of the necessary expertise for a given task to be 
performed in an ultra-rapid fashion. Three main questions will be asked : 
What are the neuronal networks implicated at these two levels of 
categorisation? Do these networks differ in novices and experts? How does 
activity in these networks, and the associated attentional requirements, 
evolve with increasing expertise? The team in which the postdoctoral fellow 
will be working uses a comparative approach in humans and monkeys and 
combines various experimental (psychophysics, EEG and fMRI), and 
computational techniques (neural network modelling). The postdoctoral 
fellow will have the responsibility of one of the research themes combining 
2 or several of the available techniques.

The candidate must have extensive knowledge on the functional architecture 
of the visual system; an interest in the domain of object recognition would 
be appreciated. He (she) will have demonstrated, through his/her 
publication record, his/her expertise in at least two of the experimental 
research techniques used in the lab : psychophysics, electrophysiology, 
EEG, fMRI. A clear interest in  a multidisciplinary approach (combination 
of several techniques, comparative approach between monkey and human, 
computer modelling) would also be welcome. Good computational skills are 
necessary. French language is not a requirement, but a willingness to learn 
would be desirable.

  Applications should be sent to Michele Fabre-Thorpe 
(michele.fabre-thorpe at cerco.ups-tlse.fr), and should include a detailed CV 
including publication list, a brief statement about research interests, and 
the names of 2 referees. Applications should be sent before April 
30th  2007. Informal inquiries can also be made at any time to the same 
email address.

Michele Fabre-Thorpe
Centre de Recherche Cerveau et Cognition, UMR 5549,
Universite Paul Sabatier, CNRS, Faculte de Medecine de Rangueil, 31062 
Toulouse Cedex 9, France.
Tel : +33 (0)5 62 17 28 07
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