Dr. Katja Doerschner received 2012 TUBITAK  Encouragement Award in the field of social sciences. In addition, UMRAM collaborator and the Dean of Faculty of Science Prof. Tayfun Ozcelik received the Science Award in the field of health sciences.   The Encouragement Awards are given every year for the young scientists who has potential to contribute to science in the international level and the Science Awards are given the scientists who have contributed to science in the international level. This year Encouragement Awards are given to 11 young scientists and the Science Awards are given to 3 scientists.


Although temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), the most frequent type of focal epilepsy in adults has a variety of causes including ischemia, tumour and malformations, hippocampal sclerosis (HS) is the most common cause of TLE in surgical series. Usually it can be diagnosed reliably with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). In these patients, language and memory impairments correlating with hippocampal atrophy on MRI, also supported by histopathological studies occur depending on the affected hemisphere. Structural and functional abnormalities in HS extend beyond the hippocampi, even the limbic system. It is generally believed that language and memory impairments are associated with abnormalities in functional and white matter network in which hippocampi take part. However association of these interactions with clinical symptoms of the patients, extension of the differences from healthy individuals and relation with postoperative prognosis remain unclear.


Read more: Prof. Oguz received a...

Dr. Katja Doerschner and her colleagues received a TUBITAK 1001 grant. The title of the grant is "Assessing structural and functional architecture of the human brain through investigating influences of genetically rooted central nervous system disorders." Dr. Doerschner summarizes her 3 year plan as:

One of the fundamental insights in the study of the mind has been the concept of cortical functional localization. This idea saw its first scientific support through the seminal work by Paul Broca who discovered that speech production was localized to the left ventroposterior frontal gyrus, and set a milestone in in our understanding of the human cognitive facility of language. His discovery validated the search for specialized cortical areas and processes subserving specific cognitive functions such as memory or object perception. To study the brains of lesioned patients, as pioneered by Broca, in order to gain insights into the function of the healthy human brain has since then been the hallmark of

With the completion of the human genome project and the recent possibilities of highly advanced sequencing technologies (Green et al. 2011) the identification of genes underlying neurodevelomental disorders has become feasible. From the perspective of neuropsychology studying inherited change in the structure or function of the brain have proven as informative to normal cognitive organization as have acquired lesions. Thus, connecting these two links provides a unique opportunity for establishing a connection between gene expression, cortical structure and complex behavior.

In the here proposed work we wish to investigate the visual behavior, structural and functional cortical architecture of an individual with an autosomal recessive single gene mutation (Barak et al. 2011) that causes malformations in occipital cortical development. We conducted preliminary measurements on this cooperative 36 year old female patient, based on which we developed the following three specific aims for this project:

1. Detailed quantitative cortical morphometric measurements

2. General functional and structural connectivity analysis

3. Behavioral and functional experiments examining visual motion perception and visuo-spatial attention

To the best of our knowledge this is the first case that the visual system of such an individual will be examined in depth.

In addition to advancing our understanding how the human mind works, findings of this research will be of high relevance at the community level since they may have direct applications to human health, for example in predicting and diagnosing visual disorders, or by improving treatments through the development of neuroprosthetic devices. The human visual system is unparalleled in its ability to extract meaningful structure from the retinal input. Therefore, understanding how it accomplishes this will also aid the design of artificial intelligent mobile agents and new computing architectures

This project will integrate psychophysical experimentation and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), with the knowledge gained from genetic analysis, thus our approach will be in line with recent call in Science (Akil et al. 2010) to combine efforts from the fields of genomics and neuroscience in the quest for understanding, treating and preventing neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric illness.

In the 29th Annual Scientific Meeting of ESMRMB, there will be three UMRAM presentations. Volkan Acikel and Ergin Atalar wrote an abstract on "Effect of Implantable Pulse Generator (IPG) Cases on Implant Tip Heating". Arzu Has, Burak Akin, Irsel Tezer and Serap Saygi and Kader Karli Oguz wrote "Impact of Generalized Seizures on Hippocampal Sclerosis Associated White Matter Changes  Assessed by Diffusion Tensor Imaging - Tract-Based-Spatial-Statistics". Note that Irsel Tezer and Serap Saygi are from Hacettepe University. Both scientific contributions will be presented as oral talks. In addition Burak Akin of UMRAM together with Hayrunnisa Bolay Belen of Gazi University and Didem Gökçay of METU will present "Preliminary Results from Analysis of Default Mode Network Connectivity in Migraine Patients" as an electronic poster.

Volkan Acikel received a travel grant to present the theory of a implant heating model in the upcoming the second workshop on EMF and Health Risk Research which is organized by IT`IS foundation. Meeting will be between Oct 22-26, 2012 in Monte Verita, Switzerland.

Read Yigitcan's work in today's (May 31, 2012) newspapers. For Milliyet please click the link and for Hurriyet please click on

Ozgur Yilmaz and his coworkers published a new article in PLoS One on trajectory perception ( Trajectory perception is crucial in scene understanding and action. A variety of trajectory misperceptions have been reported in the literature. In this study, we quantify earlier observations that reported distortions in the perceived shape of bilinear trajectories and in the perceived positions of their deviation. Our results show that bilinear trajectories with deviation angles smaller than 90 deg are perceived smoothed while those with deviation angles larger than 90 degrees are perceived sharpened. The sharpening effect is weaker in magnitude than the smoothing effect. We also found a correlation between the distortion of perceived trajectories and the perceived shift of their deviation point. Finally, using a dual-task paradigm, we found that reducing attentional resources allocated to the moving target causes an increase in the perceived shift of the deviation point of the trajectory. We interpret these results in the context of interactions between motion and position systems.