PhD-project in electrophysiology: Closed-loop Transcranial Electric Stimulation of Neural Networks in a Rodent Model of Psychosis Transition.

PhD-project in electrophysiology: Closed-loop Transcranial Electric Stimulation of Neural Networks in a Rodent Model of Psychosis Transition.

Patients suffering from schizophrenia develop resistance to chemical treatments. Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), a non-invasive neurophysiological approach, has been shown to alleviate some symptoms, to improve cognitive performances, and to modulate the corticothalamic connectivity. The goal of the project is to optimize a combination of stimulation parameters that make it efficient for the TES against the psychosis transition using predictive electrical biomarkers. In healthy humans and rodents, ketamine reproduces, with a single psychotomimetic dose, the abnormal amplification of corticothalamic gamma-frequency (30-80 Hz) oscillations recorded in individuals having a high-risk mental state for a psychosis transition. Gamma oscillations are naturally involved in cognition, which is also disrupted in at-risk patients. It was demonstrated that the ketamine-induced gamma hyperactivity is prevented by the antipsychotic clozapine.

The Ph.D. student will experimentally investigate the TES in the ketamine rodent model of psychosis transition. In an attempt to optimize a combination of stimulation parameters with potential preventive/curative effects, the Ph.D. student will develop and build up a closed-loop feedback system that controls the TES optimally using a Kalman filter.

Requested skills:

The ideal candidate will have a strong background in neuroscience, preferably with experience in in-vivo electrophysiological techniques, mathematical and statistical skills for data analysis (EEG and cellular), and basic knowledge in numerical programming and neural modelling.


Start of the position will be Fall 2020, with a duration of 36 months.

Funding source: INRIA (Action Exploratoire A/D Drugs).

19 200 EURO/year (net), full-time duration, 3 years.


General requirements:

Predoctoral level or equivalent (master 2); Graduate Admission Application; official transcripts.

English/French languages


The PhD program includes ( 108 hours of scientific and transversal courses / workshops (Mathematics, neuroscience, neurology/psychiatry), one national/international conference.

The PhD program is part of the structured Neurex network (, one of the largest European networks in the field of neuroscience. This network brings together over a hundred laboratories and over a thousand researchers from the universities of Strasbourg (France), Basel (Switzerland), and Freiburg (Germany).

The Interneuron project aims at facilitating the transfer of know-how and technology, academic knowledge and skills between the academic, the clinical and the private sectors.

Fundamental/applied research workshops aim at facilitating the transfer of technological and scientific knowledge between companies and academic labs by involving startups in the biotech sector, in order to develop new therapeutic approaches and biomedical devices.


Two PhD Directors, who will serve as dissertation co-chairs of the candidate:

. Axel Hutt, Inria – MIMESIS


team web page:


. Didier Pinault, Inserm – U1114


lab web page:


Please send your application documents (CV and 1 recommendation letter) by email to Axel Hutt.