Post doctoral fellow in Lyon
POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW position is available in Lyon, France at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, DYCOG Team, INSERM U1028 – CNRS UMR5292, under the direction of Antoine Lutz, Ph.D. The present project will be embedded in a continued collaboration with the Laboratory for Behavioral Neurology and Imaging of Cognition at the University of Geneva (Prof. Patrik Vuilleumier and Dr. Olga Klimecki, experts in Affective Neuroscience). The position is to be filled as soon as November 1st 2020 and is for at least one year. The fellowship will involve working on an EC-funded Silver Santé Study –research project investigating the impacts of mental training techniques, such as meditation and language-learning, on mental health and well-being in Europe’s ageing population. The 5-year project is led by Dr Gaël Chételat of INSERM in Caen, France. This H2020 European project includes 10 partners in 6 European Countries. For further information about the Silver Santé Study visit the project website at www.silversantestudy.eu or watch the project’s 3-minute film at http://ow.ly/Lhle30lUZqp . In this project, Dr. Lutz is the leader workpackage Meditation supervising in particular the meditation interventions and the study of meditation experts.
The applicant will have to analyze and publish one datasets of fMRI data on the cross-sectional relationship between meditation training and emotion regulation in brain and behavior collected in a group of expert senior meditators (>10,000 hours of meditation in life, > 65 year old) compared to aged-matched healthy older adults. The aim of this project is to identify the neural signatures of meditation states in senior expert meditators using a fMRI paradigm called the socio-affective video task (SoVT). This paradigm allows to investigate this link between emotion, meditation and aging both on a behavioral and neural level. The main emotional mechanism measured by this task relates to the capacity to regulate responses to aversive situations from daily life, as it exposes participants to video clips of individuals suffering. Resting-state periods distributed throughout the task additionally allow to evaluate emotional recovery from these stressful events, both in terms of brain activity and experienced emotions. A sample of senior expert meditators (n = 27-30 experts) will be examined for this cross-sectional study. Participants will perform the SoVT under two meditation states (mindfulness and compassion, respectively), which will allow to map distinct neural signatures of meditation expertise. Specifically, functional connectivity analyses will allow to determine for the first time the brain networks recruited during emotion regulation as a function of meditation state. Data for this paradigm has already been collected in a sample of 140 healthy seniors novices to meditation and 25 expert meditators. The data have been analyzed for the novices.
Candidates should have a Ph.D. in Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, or a related field as well as expertise in acquisition and analysis of functional neuroimaging. Candidates should have previous experiences in either resting state, or meditation, or empathy/ compassion research. Additional experience in any of the following areas would also be relevant . Knowledge and experience with Matlab, statistical software (R), standard neuroimaging software (e.g. SPM, freesurfer) is also desirable. Proficiency in English is a must as well as a record of a relevant publication list.
Primary duties will involve processing, and analyzing fMRI data from the Silver Santé Study for publication. The fellow will have opportunities to provide mentorship to master research projects. The postdoctoral fellowship is for one year starting November 2020. The position follows standard French salaries at INSERM and is available immediately although the specific start date is negotiable. To apply for this position, please send a curriculum vita with three references, cover letter describing research interest and experience to Antoine Lutz (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please write in the title (“Application to the MEDITAGEING post-doctoral fellowship”).