Student Assistants: Image Processing

Position: The Max Planck Research Group Neural Circuits is looking for Student Assistants (m/f) in the Cologne Bonn Metropolitan Area for working a flexible number of hours per week on an image processing project.

Education/Experience: We are looking for students in computer science, physics, engineering or related fields with a strong background and interest in computer vision, hardware interfacing, and image processing in real time applications.

Project Description: The goal of the project is to track the rotation of a ball which serves as a treadmill for tethered walking in animal behavior (for example Dombeck et al., Neuron, 2007, or Seelig et al., Nat. Meth., 2010). Ball tracking in these applications is typically achieved using optical mouse sensors which implement reliable optic flow based tracking algorithms at high frame rates. However, tracking using optical mouse sensors requires custom hardware as well as two mouse sensors to track the full rotational movement of the ball (since each mouse sensor only tracks two degrees of freedom). More recently, single camera solutions have been implemented, but they rely on a unique patterning of the ball surface, which can be difficult to achieve for small balls (Moor et al., J. Neurosci. Meth., 2014).
You would implement an optic flow based solution for tracking the rotational movement of the treadmill ball with a single camera that is user friendly and ideally runs on standard PC hard- and software. The displacement of the ball would be tracked in real time, and both recorded as well as fed into other applications as an analog signal, for example using a National Instruments boards. An important aspect of the project would be to have high frame to frame reliability and minimal time jitter between subsequent frames and processing steps. You would characterize the performance of the system on the millisecond time scale as well as characterize the accuracy with which the ball displacement is tracked.

Beginning: At earliest convenience
Compensation: Attractive offer

About the Seelig Laboratory: The Seelig lab is committed to elucidating the impact of neuromodulators on circuits underlying sensorimotor integration. Similar to the mammalian brain, the fly brain is broadly innervated by neuromodulatory neurons. Taking advantage of the lower numerical complexity of the fly brain should allow us to get a quantitative understanding of the impact of neuromodulators on complete neural circuits underlying sensorimotor integration across different behavioral states in health and disease. The laboratory is funded by the Max Planck Society. 

About Caesar: Caesar is a neuroscience research institute closely associated with the Max Planck Society and is located in Bonn, Germany. The Institute hosts the International Max Planck Research School for Brain & Behavior and is involved in the Bonn International Graduate School of Neuroscience. Caesar is committed to supporting the development of young professionals and is an equal opportunity employer.
How to apply:
If you are interested in a challenging and exploratory real time image processing project, please upload your application documents at our online job portal
Send application to
For further information please contact:                                                                         
Dr. Johannes Seelig,
While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: NC000281

About Stiftung caesar

Caesar ist ein neurowissenschaftliches Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. Im Mittelpunkt der Forschung stehen die zelluläre Signalverarbeitung und die neuronalen Grundlagen des Verhaltens.  Caesar is a Neuroscience research institute of the Max Planck Society. Caesar’s research is interdisciplinary with scientists from various research areas working together on the...

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