Neural circuit mechanisms for spatial computation

Supervisors: Matthew Nolan, Mark van Rossum

Project description:

A sense of location is essential for planning where we want to go, and is a critical component of episodic memory. This project will address the neural circuit mechanisms used by our brains to estimate location, with a focus on roles of molecularly defined populations of neurons in the medial entorhinal cortex.

Experimental approaches available will include virtual reality-based rodent behaviours, in vivo imaging using micro-endoscopes, in vivo electrophysiological recording and brain slice electrophysiology. Opportunities will also be available to develop and test models of neural circuit computations.

We particularly encourage applications from candidates with an experimental background wishing to develop expertise in data analysis and modelling, or applicants with a strong theoretical training wishing to gain experience in experimentation. The project will take place in a well-supported environment with considerable resources to support learning and development of new approaches.


Shipston-Sharma, O., Solanka L. & Nolan, M.F. (2016). Continuous attractor network models of grid cell firing based on excitatory-inhibitory interactions. Journal of Physiology, 594(22):6547-6557. PMCID: 5108899.

Sürmeli G., Marcu D-C., McClure C., Garden D.L.F., Pastoll H. & Nolan M.F. (2015). Molecularly defined circuitry reveals input-output segregation in deep layers of the medial entorhinal cortex. Neuron 88(5):1040-1053. PMCID: 4675718.

Pastoll H., Solanka L., van Rossum M.C.W. & Nolan M.F. (2013). Feedback inhibition enables theta-nested gamma oscillations and grid firing fields. Neuron 77, 141-154. PMID:23312522