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Dr. Kafaligonul and his colleagues edited a special topic called “Feedforward and Feedback Processes in Vision”. The visual areas are interconnected through ascending feedforward projections, descending feedback projections, and projections from neural structures at the same hierarchical level. In order to provide recent views on the roles of feedforward and feedback projections in vision, around 35 vision scientists (from well-known institutes located in Europe and North America) contributed to this research topic. For a gist of the whole issue, the editorial article can be found at this link. The Ebook can be downloaded from here.


Perception is affected by immediate pattern of sensory inputs and prior experiences acquired through associations. Relatively very little attention has been given to the means by which experiences interact with incoming sensory signals. In a recent study published in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, Can Oluk and Dr. Hulusi Kafaligonul aimed to understand how prior experiences acquired through multisensory associations shape the subsequent motion perception. By using motion types tapping low-level motion mechanisms, they found that audiovisual associations influence low-level motion perception and these associations play a role at early stages of motion processing. For details see this link.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new building of Aysel Sabuncu Brain Research Center which will also home UMRAM took place on April 30,with the attendance of the Minister of Science, İndustry and Technology. The center has been established through a donation agreement between philanthropist Aysel Sabuncu and Bilkent University.

 Aysel Sabuncu Brain Research Center will also be supported by UMRAM and open to researchers from all universities as the contuniation of  UMRAM tradition. Beside brain research one of the most important purpose of the center is to encourage and promote multidisciplinary research practices which is considered to be the most effective method to pave the way of developing  novel technologies in all fields of science worldwide. Therefore scientists from Turkey and abroad in the fields of medicine, physics, molecular biology and genetics, psychology and engineering will be welcome to use the facilities in the center and also have the opportunity of collaborating with the researchers of other fields. The Sabuncu Brain Research Center will be the first such facility in Turkey.

 Construction which is in Bilkent Cyberpark is scheduled to be completed within a year.

IWMPI 2015 Group Photo

The 5th International Workshop on Magnetic Particle Imaging (IWMPI 2015) has been held in Istanbul, Turkey between 26-28 March 2015. 150 researchers from 14 countries attended the 3-day workshop. The workshop featured 43 oral presentations, 64 poster presentations, 4 keynote speeches, and 6 tutorial talks. The proceedings of the workshop will be published online on IEEEXplore Conference Publications. The workshop was organized largely by UMRAM in collaboration with Bilkon, and UMRAM faculty member Asst. Prof. Emine Ulku Saritas chaired the workshop.

See more information at this link.

Asst. Prof. Tolga Cukur, a faculty member of UMRAM, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Neuroscience Program at Bilkent University, has been recently awarded the EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) Installation Grant. He is among 8 scientists this year who have been selected for this grant. The objective of the Installation Grant is to support young scientists in life sciences to establish their own research groups in member states. See more information here.

A recent study by Dr. Tolga Cukur of UMRAM has been published in IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging. The study describes a novel image acquisition/reconstruction strategy that mitigates signal loss in rapid steady-state free precession (SSFP) imaging. Although SSFP imaging offers very high SNR efficiency, it suffers from signal loss in regions of large magnetic field inhomogeneities. The developed strategy combines tailored data acquisition patterns with compressed sensing reconstructions to minimize signal loss without increasing scan time. Click here for the full article.

A new study by Dr. Tolga Cukur of UMRAM has been published in Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. The study develops a new technique that enables reliable fat/water separation for ultra-fast MRI acquisitions. The proposed technique is a significant advancement over state-of-the-art methods, and it enables a significantly more favorable trade-off between background suppression and broadband excitation during rapid imaging. In vivo experiments conducted during the study show robust performance in the presence of field inhomogeneities, promising great clinical utility. Click here for the full article.