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IIP-New Castle University
New Castle, England (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Partner Institution/Organization Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: Princeton applicants only
Fact Sheet:
Dept Offering Program: IIP, International Internship Program (IIP) Program Type: Internship
Language Prerequisite: No Program Features: Lab Based Work, Research
Degree Level: 2 First year Ugrad, 3 Sophomore, 4 Junior Time Away: Summer
Housing options: Student Responsibilty with support from IIP and/or Host Organization Program Group: International Internship Program
Program Description:
new castle logo  new castle 1   new castle 3
About: The Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Newcastle works in the novel field of connectomics and authored the first review in this area. The core mission of the Institute of Neuroscience is to undertake the highest quality research in neuroscience that translates into patient benefit, real world application and commercial opportunity. They aim to develop vibrant and productive interactions between researchers within their Institute, with other Faculty of Medical Sciences research institutes, and with external groups, aligning with the New Castle University’s core mission of ‘Excellence with a Purpose.' Their research is grouped into four broad research themes: Neural Systems and Applied Neurophysiology; Mitochondrial Disorders; Developmental, Behavioral and Comparative Neuroscience; and Neurodegenerative, Cerebrovascular & Psychiatric Disorders.

Intern Responsibilities: IIP interns will work on one of the following projects:
  • PROJECT 1:  Development and testing of psychophysical tasks to assess auditory cognition 1: tests of auditory figure ground analysis. Would involve stimulus design, psychophysics and opportunities to see experimental imaging work and neurophysiology on both primates and humans.  Please see these links for descriptions of work in the lab
  • PROJECT 2: Development and testing of psychophysical tasks to assess auditory cognition 2: tests of auditory working memory. Would involve stimulus design, psychophysics and opportunities to see experimental imaging work and neurophysiology on both primates and humans.

Qualifications: Candidates with interests in neuroscience, psychology, life sciences, and/or computer science are encouraged to apply. Skills in histology/staining/western blotting or programming such as MATLAB, statistical skills or knowledge of statistics would be an asset.

Previous work responsibilities (in the words of the previous IIP intern): Intern #1: I worked on the assigned research project (usually coding in MATLAB); attended weekly lab meetings; prepared final reports. Intern# 2: Built a database for epilepsy patient data as a medical aid for clinicians to extract features from recordings and search for similar recordings based on comparison of features or metadata. The project involved designing the system and programming all the different pieces of the puzzle. A significant portion of the programming was done in MATLAB for extracting particular features for EEG recordings and MySQL was used for designing the database. I also used Perl and HTML to build a web application that interfaced with MATLAB and the database. Intern #3: I worked on implementing and running trials on a paradigm that tests human perception of spectral flux. Spectral flux is an element of timbre, a broad classification of auditory qualities that distinguish sounds from one another based on properties other than pitch and volume. Understanding human perception of spectral flux will increase our understanding of how humans distinguish auditory objects, for example how one voice can be heard from a sea of background noise..I was also responsible for updating the script I wrote to run the trial as we determined changes that should be made and came up with the practice paradigm that made the trial feasible for participants in under an hour. The paradigm I developed will also be used for macaque subjects. My other coding project was to properly modulate the stimuli for another trial so that they could be more easily used in a clinical setting...I was introduced to a number of interesting fields through talks I have been to at the Institute, for example retinal prosthetics, and I learned about primate research and toured the primate facilities. I taught my colleagues about programming which improved my communication skills. Finally, I learned a lot about MATLAB and writing clear, effective code that can be used by others. This was my first experience writing code outside of a COS class so I have been getting to apply a lot of the skills I learned in class to actual projects. Intern #4: I did a behavioural taste assay with bumblebees where I measured their consumption in response to different concentrations of KCl, Quinine, and Sucrose.  Additionally, the speed of retraction of the proboscis, wing size, thorax size, and other measurements were recorded and plotted.  MY next project was something more directly related to neuroscience.  My supervisor and I gathered recordings from the muscle that controls the glossa of the bumblebee and then we sorted and analyzed the spikes. I learned skills in electrophysiology in addition to data analysis and collection. Intern #5: My project involved mining a large data set of data from experiments involving recordings of neurons in monkeys' visual cortex from the past 15 or 20 years. The main goal of my project was to test a theory predicting a certain correlation between receptive field size and the type of visual neurons I was looking at. What I did was mine the data set in order to test the validity of these predictions. A secondary goal to my placement was to have me create a write up to help others more easily navigate and access the data I am working with in the future. As far as the project goes, I learned quite a bit about the biology and the theory behind vision, specifically disparity and stereoscopic or 3D vision.  Even though I worked in a dry lab and mostly programming, I still had to read a bunch of more biologically based papers in order to be able to better understand what exactly I was looking for. Even though I could have just blindly done the data analytics I found it both fulfilling and helpful to learn more about the data I was studying. On a more general side, I learned what it is like to work in a lab, and go to lab meetings. Even though I am the only person working specifically on my project, the lab meeting still made me feel like part of the team. It let me interact with professionals in the field on a peer to peer level.

View a Powerpoint presentation by a past IIP intern:
Yeh, Yolanda, Newcastle, England-1.pptx
newcastle davidoff_erika_.pdf
Newcastle University ION, UK, Aguilar, Robert.pdf

This internship is offered in partnership with the Program in Global Health and Health Policy and can be used by GHP juniors for completion of the GHP Summer Research Requirement (please check the appropriate box on your application.


Dates / Deadlines:
This program is not currently accepting applications. Please consult the sponsoring department's website for application open dates.
This program is currently not accepting applications.