Open postdoctoral positions – Mechanisms of songbird vocal behavior and learning: (1) intrinsic motivation for spontaneous singing and (2) categorical perception of vocal sounds

Corée du Sud
Posted 6 months ago

We are currently seeking postdoctoral research fellows who are enthusiastic and highly motivated to study behavioral and neural mechanisms of vocal learning in songbirds in the laboratory of Dr. Satoshi Kojima at the Korea Brain Research Institute (KBRI). KBRI is a government-funded research institution in South Korea’s third largest city Daegu, offering multidisciplinary, English-speaking research environment with world-class faculty and state-of-the-art facilities (for more information, visit http://eng.kbri.re.kr/). The research fellows will work on one of the following projects:

1.    Understanding neural substrates of intrinsic motivation for spontaneous singing. Songbirds such as zebra finches spontaneously produce many renditions of non-courtship songs for vocal practice in the absence of any immediate external rewards or punishments, providing a unique opportunity to study the mechanisms of intrinsic motivation that drives the learning and production of complex motor skills (Kim et al. Sci Rep, 2021). We will examine behavioral properties and neural substrates of intrinsic singing motivation using variety of experimental approaches, including behavioral manipulations, neural recordings, Ca2+ imaging, optogenetics, and computational modeling.

2.    Understanding behavioral and neural mechanisms of developmental changes in categorical perception for vocal sounds. Songbirds spontaneously learn to categorize vocal sounds that they are exposed in early life just as human infants learn phoneme categories in their native language (Prather et al. Nat Neurosci, 2009). We will establish behavioral paradigms to measure and manipulate the perceptual categories for vocal sounds in young zebra finches and examine how such perceptual categories are shaped by their auditory experience and consolidated afterwards at the behavioral and neural circuit levels using experimental approaches mentioned above.

Candidates must have a Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent doctoral degree at the time of employment in related research areas.  Only candidates with less than 5 years of postdoctoral experience can apply for our positions.  Research experience in electrophysiology, behavior analysis, optogenetics, or computer programming will be an advantage but not necessarily required. If you are interested, please send application materials including (1) a curriculum vitae, (2) a list of 2-3 references and (3) a concise statement of research interests in English by email to Dr. Satoshi Kojima at satoshikojima.sk@gmail.com. Applications will be reviewed immediately and accepted until the positions are filled.   For further information, please visit our website: https://sites.google.com/view/kojima-lab/home, or contact Dr. Kojima directly.

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