CIMeC - Center for Mind/Brain Sciences

On this page you can find the internship projects currently available.

Apprenticeship at CIMeC

Roberto Bottini

general topic: we do fundamental research in psychology and neuroscience to understand how the mind represents knowledge
methodology: fMRI, MEG, Behavioral Studies
Project description
There are 3 main lines of research going on in the lab:
1) Conceptual Knowledge: How do we think about things that we cannot see, hear or touch? How do we think about the past or plan the future? How can we represent other's people minds, desires and beliefs? How do we retrieve, maintain and manipulate information in our mind's eye? We are exploring the possibility that the mental machinery evolved to represent and navigate space has been recycled to represent and navigate conceptual information and memories.
2) Language processing: How do we make sense of words? How comes that meaningless strings of written signs or arbitrary sounds are related to concepts? How do we retrieve and manipulate conceptual knowledge? Our research follows a semiotic framework according to which meaning is generated by iconic, indexical and symbolic processes that requires the interaction of the memory, language and sensorimotor system.
3) Consciousness: What is the difference between conscious and unconscious cognition? What is the role of consciousness in language processing and it relations with semantics? Why is Siri not yet conscious? We think that our research on knowledge and semantics may help to provide and answer to these fundamental questions.
type of internship:curricular/Post-graduate/professional training
open positions:2
period: all year

 

Yuri Bozzi

general topic: mouse models of autism spectrum disorders
methodology: gene expression studies (RT-PCR, in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, immunoblotting) on brain tissues from genetically modified mice; behavioural characterization of genetically modified mice.
Project description
Over-reactivity and defensive behaviors in response to tactile stimuli are common symptoms in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These behaviors have also been observed in mice lacking ASD-associated genes such as Fmr1 (fragile X mental retardation protein 1). Recently, we showed that mice lacking the ASD-associated gene Engrailed 2 (En2-/- mice) have a reduced connectivity in somatosensory cortex, accompanied by fear and active avoidance responses to repeated whisker stimulation. Thus, impaired somatosensory processing is a common feature in mice lacking ASD-related genes. In this project, we want to extend our analyses to other monogenic mouse models of ASD, namely Cntnap2 and Shank3b knockout mice, which are known to have anatomical defects in the somatosensory cortex. By using gene expression and behavioural approaches, we aim at characterizing somatosensory defects in these mutant mouse lines relevant for ASD.
type of internship: curricular
open positions: 2
period: all year

 

Stefania Bracci

general topic: object vision in the biological and artificial brain
methodology: fMRI and behavioural experiments
Project description
We investigate what are the basic dimensions underlying object representations in visual cortex combining behavioural experiments, neuroimaging data, and deep neural networks.
type of internship: curricular/Post-graduate
open positions: 2
period: all year

 

Luigi Cattaneo

general topic: voluntary and affective movement; executive functions
methodology: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation; motion tracking of the human body; Voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping in neurosurgical patients; MR-tractography.
Project description
We aim to describe the spatial and temporal dynamics of brain networks that transform explicit intentions and inner needs, together with information about the outside world, into voluntary or automatic movements. Particular attention is put on brain connectivity. Experimental models include neurostimulation and tractography in healthy human volunteers and lesion-behaviour mapping in neurosurgical patients.
type of internship: curricular/Post-graduate
open positions: 5
period: all year

 

Albrecht Haase

general topic: Neuronal coding, Neural network dynamics, Connectivity, Olfaction, Vision, Learning & Memory, Magnetoreception, Neurophysics, Neuroactive substances, Neurotoxins
methodology: Two-photon microscopy, Calcium imaging, Optogenetics, Data analysis, Maschine Learning, small animal models (insects, fish)
Project description
We offer an involvement in different projects on the above-mentioned topics. Our core facility is a two-photon in vivo imaging platform, our standard models are honeybees, fruitflies, ants, and zebrafish. Students will receive training in all required techniques, e.g. genetic engineering, in vivo morphological and functional imaging, immunohistochemistry, image postprocessing, advanced image analysis, programming platforms: MATLAB, LabView, Machine learning, Behavioural assays, Statistical data analysis, Beekeeping.
type of internship: curricular/Post-graduate
open positions: 4
period: all year

 

Aurelie Herbelot

general topic: computational models of meaning
methodology: distributional semantics (including both count-based and neural models), formal semantics.
Project description
Possible topics cover the following areas: 
a) integration of symbolic and distributional approaches to meaning;
b) speaker-specific meaning
c) incremental and small data learning.
type of internship: curricular
open positions: 2
period: February 2020-June 2020 and September 2020-December 2020

 

Uwe Mayer

general topic: Neurobiology of Comparative Cognition
methodology: behavioural measurements and training of domestic chicks, neuronanatomical and histological preparations, neuroanatomical staining procedures, immunohistochemistry, mapping neuronal activity on the basis of immediate early gene products (e.g. c-Fos), lesioning and tracing, electrophysiological recordings of single unit and low field potentials in the brain of domestic chicks.
Project description
We are constantly running various projects investigating the neurobiological basis of spatial and social cognition in domestic chicks. We are focusing on visually guided behaviours and pay particular attention to lateralisation of brain functions. If you are interested in comparative neuroscience, animal behaviour/neuroanatomy and are willing to learn neurobiological methods used in our lab, please don't hesitate to write an email to Dr. Uwe Mayer who will provide you more specific infos about currently available projects. Please visit also our Group website.
type of internship: Master/Bachelor thesis internships and volunteers
open positions: 6
period: minimum 6 month

 

Veronica Mazza

general topic: Attention, Perception, Aging, Visual working memory, Training
methodology: EEG and behavioral measures
Project description
Please consult the group's website for further details
type of internship: curricular/Post-graduate/professional training
open positions: 2
period: all year

 

Carlo Miniussi

general topic: Non-invasive transcranial brain stimulation (TBS) techniques and their combination with other imaging techniques (e.g. TMS-EEG coregistration)
methodology: TMS, tES, TMS-EEG coregistration
Project description
Recording/Data Analysis
type of internship: curricular/Post-graduate/professional training
open positions: 2
period: all year

 

Francesco Pavani

general topic: Multisensory processes
methodology: behavioural, EEG / MEG
Project description
Auditory processing, deaf cognition and cochlear implants
type of internship: curricular/Post-graduate/professional training
open positions: 2 curricular/ 2 Post-graduate/ 2 professional training
period: all year

 

Stefania Pighin

general topic: mental simulation, decision-making under stress, medical decision-making
methodology: behavioral studies
Project description
We are currently working on different projects on the above-mentioned topics. Students are offered the opportunity to be involved in various experimental phases (from experimental planning, to data collection and data analysis) by running experiments both inside and outside the laboratory.
type of internship: curricular/Post-graduate
open positions: 2
period: from September to June

 

Valeria Anna Sovrano

general topic: animal cognition
methodology: behavioral observation, visual discrimination test, operating conditioning
Project description
Studying fish: spatial representation, categorization of objects, perception of visual illusions, numerical skills
type of internship: curricular/Post-graduate/professional training
open positions: 5
period: all year

 

Katya Tentori

general topic: Reasoning and Decision
methodology: behavioral studies
Project description
Various studies on the following topics: inductive and probabilistic reasoning; causal cognition; information search; decision biases (also in old adults); medical decision making; forecasting.
type of internship: curricular/Post-graduate
open positions: 2
period: September-June

 

Marco Tettamanti

general topic: Neurobiology of language
methodology: Multimodal MRI, behavioural
Project description
To investigate the spatio-temporal brain dynamics of natural language faculties, with particular focus on language acquisition, syntactic computation principles, concept formation and the role of personal experience in grounding conceptual-semantic representations, and syntax-semantics interface mechanisms.
type of internship: curricular/Post-graduate
open positions: 3
period: all year

 

Luca Turella

general topic: Control of movements - Understanding of actions and intentions
methodology: fMRI/MEG/behavioral
Project description
The student can be involved in two different types of projects. The first project aims to characterize the neural representations of the actions we perform in everyday life. The second project aims to characterize the neural networks underlying the understanding of the action and the intentions of others.
type of internship: curricular/Post-graduate/professional training
open positions: 4
period: all year

 

Giorgio Vallortigara

general topic: Neuroscience of animal cognition
methodology:  early gene expression, qPCR, behaviour
Project description
Animacy detection, Number and space cognition
type of internship: curricular/Post-graduate
open positions: 6
period: all year

 

Moritz Wurm

general topic: localize and characterize the neural processes of action understanding, from perceptual analysis to conceptual access
methodology: fMRI, MEG, psychophysics
Project description
Please consult the group's website for further details of the research projects. Students will be offered the opportunity to be involved in various experimental phases (from literature research to experiment design, data collection and data analysis).
type of internship: curricular/Post-graduate
open positions: 3
period: all year