We are happy to host students from EPFL and other Universities for projects and internships.
If you are interested in working on a project or doing an internship in our laboratory, please apply as follows: Please send an e-mail to the Hummel-Laboratory Administrator Pauline Stehli ([email protected]).
Please provide the following information in the e-mail:
- Which project type are you interested in (e.g. bachelor project)?
- In which University program are you enrolled and what year are you in (e.g. 3rd year bachelor student in SV)?
- How long does this type of project usually last and how many ECTS credits do you receive for it (e.g. 3 weeks full-time, 6 ECTS credits)?
- What are the deadlines and presentation modes for the project (e.g. presentation during project and written report afterwards)?
- In what period would you like to perform the project in our laboratory (e.g. 1st of May until 19th of May 2022, full-time)?
- What are your main interests (e.g. healthy aging)?
Please attach your CV and your motivation letter.
After reviewing your application, we will contact you via e-mail regarding further details.
Students from external universities will further need
- Two letters of recommendation
- Funding information
Be aware that, due to extensive administrative paperwork, external only projects lasting at least 6 months will be considered for external students. Further be aware that you might need to meet further administrative requirements (e.g. visum, insurance). You will find information to processes and detailed requirements at: http://sae.epfl.ch/exchange-incoming. Please note that our lab is located in the cantons of Geneva and Valais, NOT Vaud (where the main campus is located). In that sense, the visa/residence permits will have to be dealt with in Geneva or Valais respectively.
IMPORTANT: Please note that our laboratory is located at the Clinique Romande de Réadaptation (CRR/SUVA) in Sion as well as at Campus Biotech in Geneva, Switzerland. All of the projects/internships will therefore be taking place in Sion or in Geneva respectively.
Information-theoretic approaches to uncover mechanisms of motor control in health and disease
Spring 2023 / Fall 2023
motor control, motor learning, information-theoretic approaches, data analysis
Campus Biotech, Geneva
Master Project preferably (Semester project also possible)
Motor control and learning processes are fundamental in daily life (such as when driving a car, using a smartphone or controlling a human-machine interface) and are impaired in a series of neurological disorders including following a stroke. Better understanding how movements can be controlled and learned with practice is therefore of crucial importance not only to elucidate one of the most basic brain function but also to improve motor recovery after neurological injury and optimize the use of human machine interfaces.
Interestingly, even the execution of very simple movements involves the operation of multiple motor control processes. One key mechanism is based on feedback: it uses different sources of information from the environment (sensory information but also information about task success) to appropriately correct ongoing movements. Another key mechanism is based on feedforward processes, it optimizes movements with predictions based on regularities of the environment. Interestingly, recent information-theoretic approaches allow to disentangle these two processes during motor control (Lam & Zenon, 2021, Entropy).
In this project, the goal will be to apply such information-theoretic techniques on a large dataset (n>100) in which human participants (both healthy subjects and stroke patients) learned a visuomotor tracking task. The ultimate aim of the project is to gain further insights into basic motor control mechanisms at play during human machine interactions and their alteration following a stroke.
The candidate is expected to have good computational skills (in particular on Matlab), show scientific curiosity and a good level of independence to familiarize with the framework and conduct the analyses. Participation to data acquisition is also possible.
How to apply
Please send your CV and a 300 words statement of your motivation to Pierre Vassiliadis (see contacts).
ItsAllAboutMotion: Causal evidence of neuronal pathways subserving multisensory motion perception
Fall 2022 / Spring 2023
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, motion processing, psychophysics
Campus Biotech, Geneva
Master Project – Semester Project
Anna Gaglianese (Main supervisor)
Laboratory for Investigative Neurophysiology
Department of Radiology
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) and University of Lausanne (UNIL)
Estelle Raffin (Co-supervisor)
EPFL Research & Teaching Associate
Campus Biotech bâtiment H4
One of the most significant current discussions in the understanding of the human brain is the functional recruitment of some regions of the cortex for specific tasks, regardless the sensory modality (e.g. visual, tactile or auditory) in which the stimuli is received. The ability to perceive motion, among others visual properties, is a fundamental faculty of the human brain. Brain lesions that impair the detection and processing of motion have a profound impact on daily activity. Consequently, visual motion processing is one of the most fundamental and well-studied systems in the human brain, canonically known to develop mainly for the purpose of visual perception. A great deal of study on the multisensory responses to motion processing in the human brain focused on the middle temporal complex and superior temporal sulcus. Several studies using both neurophysiological and neuroimaging techniques showed the multisensory properties of these areas, showing their recruitment during both tactile and auditory motion stimulation. Despite the large amount of study on the topic it is still unclear whether the recruitment of these areas directly mediates the perception of motion through the different sensory input or regulates responses within primary sensory areas involved in the task.
The aim of the project is to disentangle the causal role of motion-sensitive areas in the multisensory perception of motion by disturbing motion processes in these brain regions using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation TMS. Participants will perform a motion direction discrimination task. During the task TMS pulses will disrupt neural processing in specific (target and control) brain areas. The student will perform the TMS experiment and analyze the behavioral results.
≥ 4 months
How to apply
Please send your CV to Anna Gaglianese and Estelle Raffin (see links in “Contact”)