Ph.D position in Low Level Mechanisms of Language Evolution

With the launch of a new 'NCCR Evolving Language', which involves nearly 40 different research groups from a large variety of disciplines across Switzerland, we seek to fill a PhD position.

Recently, Idiap has had some success in incorporating physiological processes into backpropagation-style neural architectures. This allows the processes to be trained in the context of the larger network whilst giving the network the capability to recognise and reproduce physiological functions in a natural manner.

In this project, we will apply this technique to the human cochlea and its interface with low level neural mechanisms. We are particularly interested in the efferent pathway from the low level neurological system back to the cochlea. This will allow us to investigate the resulting non-linear feedback relationship.

A-priori, we expect to uncover physiological analogues of the adaptation processes known to work well in speech technology. We also expect to better understand how auditory signals are encoded between the cochlea and auditory cortex.

The ideal Ph.D student should have a master (or equivalent) degree in engineering, computer science, physics or applied mathematics. Graduates of neuroscience programs would also be well qualified. S/he should have a good background in mathematics, statistics, and programming (C/C++, Python, scripting languages).

The student will be registered at EPFL and located at Idiap. The position is available from May 2020, fully funded for four years. Selection will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled.

The NCCR places great emphasis on gender diversity and we particularly encourage women to apply.

More information about the NCCR Evolving Language


Interested candidates are invited to submit a cover letter, a detailed CV, and the names of three references through the Idiap online recruitment system:

Ph.D in Low Level Mechanisms of Language Evolution