Internship on modeling vision-dependent spatial orientation

Modelling the impact of aging on vision-dependent spatial orientation (Master 2 project)

The Aging in Vision and Action Lab is interested in how aging impacts visual perception and spatial cognition. The objective of this project is to model the neural mechanisms of spatial cognition and to study how natural ageing can gradually alter these mechanisms. Based on the spatial learning model, a simulated subject will have to estimate its current location within the environment (self-localisation) and learn to readout this knowledge to support its goal-oriented behaviour (navigation). This work will build on models of place coding, action planning, and reward-based learning previously developed by our laboratory (see reference samples below). The new model will incorporate the neurobiological knowledge on the impact of ageing on the coding and adaptation processes underlying spatial learning in animals (mainly rodents).

The successful applicant will: (1) review the experimental literature on age-related changes in spatial learning functions and mechanisms; (2) implement the diverse ageing effects in the developed model; (3) simulate how these age-related changes may impact spatial information processing and memory; (4) provide experimentally testable predictions.

Candidate’s profile: she/he should have strong quantitative skills, and a keen interest in brain functions and neural models. Programming experience with Python and/or C is also desirable, although not mandatory.

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