18 months postdoc position in paleoneurology

We are looking for a researcher for an 18-month contract, as part of the project entitled “PaleoBRAIN: Resurrecting the brain of Homo erectus and Neandertals” funded by the ANR (ANR-20-CE27-0009). He/she will work in particular on the characterization of the form, the diversity and the evolution of the brain between neurosciences, neuroimaging and paleoanthropology.

Missions: The main mission of the researcher will be to exploit a unique database in neuroimaging and paleoanthropology including complementary MRI data from the brains and skulls of volunteers and microtomographic data from human fossils. The objective is to characterize the link between the brain and the endocast (intracranial surface) in living humans to better understand the cerebral anatomy of fossils.

Activities: Propose and develop, in collaboration with specialists in the different fields involved in the project, protocols for analyzing the link between brain and endocranium on the same series of volunteers (thanks to a set of MRI data obtained with complementary sequences). It will then be a question of applying this knowledge of the relation between the details of the cerebral surface and the internal surface of the skull to the study of fossil specimens. Finally, the researcher will contribute to the dissemination of data and communication around the project. The duration of this project is estimated at 18 months. The realization of the project is based on the finalization and the observation of the realization of the following points: validation of the protocol, acquisition of data on 60 individuals, realization of an “atlas” of the brain and the endocranium and a mapping of the link between the two models, but also the variability of the sulci (position, expression and variations on the two models), application to the fossil record to reconstruct a mean virtual brain of Homo erectus and H. neanderthalensis.

Application on https://recrutement.mnhn.fr/offre-emploi-437.html-o=6 until March the 19th. The researcher will be housed at the Musée de l’Homme, Paris.
More information on the project https://paleobrain.jimdofree.com/ and for any question, please contact Antoine Balzeau abalzea@mnhn.fr