2017 Selection Announcement Topic-Specific Grant Descriptions

There are 3 topic-specific grants for 3 positions in this year's Selection Announcement:


1. Dynamic modulation of functional connectivity (A. Gozzi)

2. Computational approaches to study the neural code (S. Panzeri)

3. Cognitive or computational approaches to brain function (L. Battelli/A. Gozzi/A. Bifone/S. Panzeri)

4. Mechanisms of biological predispositions to social behavior (G. Vallortigara)



1. Dynamic modulation of functional connectivity (1 position)
Non invasive neuroimaging methods such as resting-state functional MRI (rsfMRI) have been widely used to describe the macroscale functional organization of the human brain in health and pathological states. However the neurobiological underpinnings and dynamics of the spontaneous neural events underlying rsfMRI-based measurements of “functional connectivity” remain mysterious.
We recently developed rsfMRI-based methods to probe macroscale functional connectivity in the mouse, and showed that this species contains distributed rsfMRI networks closely recapitulating the functional organization of the human brain. This project leverages our novel imaging platform to explore the determinants and dynamics of rsfMRI-based connectivity via the use of state-of-the art mouse genetics and neuro-modulatory approaches. 

Contact: Alessandro.Gozzi: alessandro.gozzi [at] iit.it

1) Liska A, Bertero A, Gomolka R, Sabbioni M, Galbusera A, Barsotti N, Panzeri S, Scattoni ML, Pasqualetti M, Gozzi A
Homozygous Loss of Autism-Risk Gene CNTNAP2 Results in Reduced Local and Long-Range Prefrontal Functional Connectivity
Cereb Cortex (2017) 1-13.

2) Gozzi A, Schwarz AJ.
Large-scale functional connectivity networks in the rodent brain.
Neuroimage (2016) 15;127:496-509

3) Liska A, Galbusera A, Schwarz AJ, Gozzi A.
Functional connectivity hubs of the mouse brain.
Neuroimage. 2015 Jul 15;115:281-91

2. Computational approaches to study the neural code (1 position)
This project will develop a mathematical analysis framework, based on the principles of information theory, to identify neurons that transform sensory information into behavioral choices. Ideally the candidate should have a background in a numerate discipline and a keen interest in neuroscience. For further information, pelase see Panzeri S, et al (2017) Cracking the neural code for sensory perception by combining statistics, intervention and behavior. Neuron 93: 491-507

Contact: Stefano Panzeri: Stefano.panzeri [at] iit.it

3. Cognitive or computational approaches to brain function (1 position)
This project will enable the candidate to pursue research in cognitive or computational neuroscience with one or more of the scientists of the IIT in Rovereto.

Stefano Panzeri: stefano.panzeri [at] unitn.it
Lorella Battelli: lorella.battelli [at] iit.it
Alessandro Gozzi: alessandro.gozzi: alessandro.gozzi [at] iit.it
Angelo Bifone: angelo.bifone [at] iit.it

4. Mechanisms of biological predispositions to social behavior (1 position)

This project will enable the candidate to pursue research on the neural bases of predispositions to social life: animacy detection in newborn vertebrates and its implication for neuro-developmental disorders

Contact: Giorgio Vallortigara: giorgio.vallortigara [at] unitn.it