This project aims at modelling behaviors in five autism spectrum disorder (ASD) mouse models, caused by genetic mutations or by excessive gestational weight gain (GWG, detected today in half of the women), or a combination of both. We will join the complementary expertise of three teams from three laboratories to investigate lifelong the « spontaneous behavior » of mice freely moving into an open space, by using a recently developed system based on novel and evolutive tools (Live Mouse Tracker - LMT https: // livemousetracker.org, DeepLabCut - DLC https:// www. mackenziemathislab.org/deeplabcut).
Behaviors of all living beings consists of patterns in time: identifying this set of patterns available to an animal is key to making quantitative descriptions of behavior. We thus propose a 3D behavioral analysis pipeline dedicated to the study of temporal series of single actions (including individual, dyadic or group actions). This framework will rely on computer vision (tracking, pose recognition, ….) and recent deep learning techniques (transformers, auto-encoders, …), and will consider these action time series at multiple time-scales.
The main goal of this project is then to analyze and compare behavioral motifs and sequences in different mouse models of ASD compared with controls in order to identify common or specific behaviors for each model. We will also evaluate the effect of gestational obesity on autistic behaviors of mice with mutations in genes involved in autism.
Part 1: modeling complex locomotor activity applied to several mouse models of ASD.
Part 2: Identify novel autistic behavioral motifs and sequences in mouse models of ASD compared with controls.
Salary : between 48.000 and 70.000 euros/year depending on experience
Duration of the contract : 3 years
The start date is flexible and planned for early 2023.Required Research Experiences
1 - 4Offer Requirements
Biological sciences: PhD or equivalent
We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a background in neuroscience and behavior and ideally in computational neurosciences. The candidate should demonstrate good skills in mouse handling and possibly in video tracking. Knowledge in machine/deep learning using Python will be appreciated. We also expect the candidate to be open-minded, curious and autonomous.Specific Requirements