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Dr. Hulusi Kafaligonul has received a TUBITAK 1001 grant.The title of the research project is "Neural Mechanisms Underlying Multisensory Perception of Speed". A brief description of the project is as follows:

Speed perception is essential for survival in a dynamic world. By using our estimation of speed, we are able to cruise through morning traffic and judge the trajectories of fast approaching objects. Motion studies have typically focused on the neural mechanisms within one modality (i.e., vision). However, the human brain is adapted to operate optimally in natural environments in which behavior is guided by information integrated across multiple sensory modalities (e.g., audition). Therefore, this unisensory approach fails to tap into natural perceptual mechanisms.

During this TUBITAK funding, Dr. Kafaligonul will focus on this gap and he aims to investigate how the timing information provided by audition is used to estimate our final perception of visual speed. By using Electroencephalography (EEG) and psychophysical methods,  he will examine auditory influences on perceived speed under different time adaptation/ visual grouping conditions and elucidate neural correlates of these influences. Within the framework of speed perception, the outcomes of the project will have significant contributions to bridging the gap between our unified multisensory experience of the world and the neural activities/oscillations in the brain.

 

We had our traditional new year celebration party in UMRAM. It has always been a very good opportunity for all of us to get together, rest and relax and chat away which we can not do very often as a result of our busy schedules. We would like to thank once more everybody who has come and made this evening a very special event for us.

Katja Doerschner, a faculty member of UMRAM and Department of Psychology, has passed the Associate Professorship exam of YOK (Counsel of Higher Education). This exam is part of Associate Professorship promotion process in Bilkent University. Although there remains a lengthy process for her promotion, this is a very important component of it. As UMRAM family, we would like to congratulate Dr. Doerschner for her success in this exam and wish best for rest of her academic life.

Hadamard Slice Encoding

Dr. Emine Ulku Saritas and Dr. Tolga Cukur has published a new paper on Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (MRM) titled "Hadamard Slice Encoding for Reduced-FOV Diffusion Weighted Imaging". This work aims to increase the utility of diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) by extending the slice coverage of a high-resolution reduced field-of-view (FOV) technique previously developed by Dr. Saritas. The paper can be reached at the following link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mrm.25044

Kalaivani Thangavel

In October, Dr. Kalaivani Thangavel joined UMRAM as a postdoctoral researcher. Before joining UMRAM, Dr. Thangavel received her Ph.D. degree in Physics from University of Milan, Italy, and performed a postdoctoral research at University of Piemonte Orientale A. Avogadro, Italy. Her research at these two institutions focused on novel NMR/MRI contrast agents and their physico-chemical characterization. She is now working with Dr. Emine Ulku Saritas on contrast agent characterization for MRI and MPI. 

Nikolay Viskusenko and Ergin Atalar has a new patent on an imaging device that allows high resolution MR imaging of cervical region. This device has been integrated into existing cervical radiation therapy device. It may be useful to obtain detailed information about the cervix before application of the therapeutic radiation. The US patent with patent number of 8,554,303 has been issued on Oct 8, 2013 after about two years of application process. The device has not been licensed.

 

Dr. Cheryl Olman 2013 in AnkaraDr. Olman, Department of Psychology and Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota, visited UMRAM on October 25, 2013, and gave a seminar on “separating multiple contributions to a single fMR signal".

Using high field MR imaging (at 3T and 7T), Dr Olman’s research is centered on fMRI methods and low-level vision. Lab webpage:  http://vision.psych.umn.edu/~olmanlab

Talk abstract:

Because of its high spatial resolution, functional MRI is a powerful and popular tool for studying

Read more: Seminar by Dr. Olman, UMN