[robotics-worldwide] PhD Position Opening at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)

Netta Gurari gurari at gmail.com
Fri Aug 9 12:08:47 PDT 2013

Can you please post the PhD position opening advertisement below to the
Robotics Worldwide listserve?


~Netta Gurari


PhD position opening on:

*“Haptic Device Design, Development, and Application to *

*Rehabilitative Training Based on Multimodal Action Observation”*


* *

There is currently an opening for a PhD position in the Robotics, Brain,
and Cognitive Sciences Department (RBCS) at the Istituto Italiano di
Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology, IIT) to work on the
development of a novel tactile feedback device for enhancing stroke
rehabilitation.  The PhD candidate will work directly with an international
and interdisciplinary team of researchers: Dr Alberto Ansaldo, Dr. Michela
Bassolino, Dr. Netta Gurari, and Grzegorz Bubak.  IIT is located in Genoa,
Italy with state-of-the-art laboratories and international collaborations
in the field of robotics, neuroscience, cognitive systems, and
nanotechnologies. The three years position is fully funded, with a start
date of January 2014, and international applications are encouraged.

The goal of this research path is to enhance the effectiveness of available
rehabilitative training methods for stroke patients with motor deficits by
using an intervention based on multimodal action observation. Action
observation is defined as the process of observing an action being
performed by others. In the last few years, a growing body of evidence
supports the notion that patients with motor disorders may have an improved
rehabilitative experience if they use action observation in addition to the
currently available traditional physical therapy (e.g., Ertelt et al.,
2007, *Neuroimage*; Small et al., 2010, *Developmental Psychobiology*;
Franceschini et al., 2013, *Neurorehabil Neural Repair*).

The PhD candidate will investigate whether the addition of veridical
tactile stimulation to action observation can enhance the brain plasticity
over solely observing an action. The PhD candidate will create prototype(s)
of tactile feedback device(s) for relaying artificial cutaneous information
to a human (e.g., skin stretch, vibration) using both readily available and
novel actuator technologies. The candidate will test the effectiveness of
these devices by using both behavioral and neurophysiological methods, such
as psychophysics testing and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The
aim is to have a device finalized and ready for use in rehabilitative
treatment of stroke patients at the completion of the doctoral work.

This work will be conducted alongside an interdisciplinary team of
researchers, currently representing three unique research fields
(Neuroscience, Mechanical Engineering/Haptics, Materials Science) and three
different countries (Italy, USA, Poland). The applicant should be excited
to work in such a collaborative environment, and be possibly interested in
spending a portion of his/her time conducting research in the USA and/or
Switzerland. Ideally, we are looking for candidates who have a background
in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science,
electrical engineering, experimental psychology, or closely related fields.
Participants should be motivated to develop a novel tactile feedback device
(with support from the *Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences *Department
staff), to program visual and haptic virtual environments, and to perform
human subject testing with the device. We are looking for applicants who
have a proficiency in both written and spoken English and who are excited
to pursue a career in conducting scientific research.

All of the information regarding this call and the application procedures
can be found at:


The advertisement for this theme can be found in the following document,
under Theme 1:

http://www.biomedica.ingegneria.unige.it/media/PhD Program in BioRob
Cognitive Robotics

Please note that when applying you will be required to prepare and upload
your documents here:


by *SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 AT NOON CET*. If you have any questions, please
contact Dr. Netta Gurari at netta.gurari at iit.it, Dr. Michela Bassolino at
michela.bassolino at iit.it, or Dr. Alberto Ansaldo at alberto.ansaldo at iit.it.

Netta Gurari, Ph.D.
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
Robotics, Brain & Cognitive Sciences Department

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