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Assoc. Prof. Hüseyin Boyacı, a faculty member of UMRAM, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Program at Bilkent University, has been recently awarded Senior Fulbright Scholar Award by Turkish Fulbright Education Commission to pursue his research, teaching and training abroad during the 2014-15 academic year. Dr. Boyacı will be at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) during this academic year. As UMRAM family, we would like to congratulate Dr. Boyaci and wish best for rest of his academic life.

A new Article by Prof. Dr. Kader Karli Oguz and Arzu Ceylan Has has been published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging. In this study 12 weeks of clozapine treatment on DTI findings in patients with schizophrenia has been investigated and  the findings have been  compared with those in unaffected controls. After 12 weeks of treatment with clozapine, white matter FA was increased in widespread brain regions. This suggests that this treatment alters white matter microstructural integrity in patients with schizophrenia previously treated with typical and/or atypical antipsychotics and, in some locations, reverses a previous deficit. For more check (DOI: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.06.001)

Successful identification of specularities in an image can be crucial for an artificial vision system when extracting the semantic content of an image or while interacting with the environment. Ozgur Yilmaz and Katja Doerschner developed an algorithm that relies on scale and rotation invariant feature extraction techniques and uses motion cues to detect and localize specular surfaces. They used appearance change in feature vectors to quantify the appearance distortion on specular surfaces, which has previously been shown to be a powerful indicator for specularity (Doerschner et al. in Curr Biol, 2011). The algorithm combines epipolar deviations (Swaminathan et al. in Lect Notes Comput Sci 2350:508–523, 2002) and appearance distortion, and succeeds in localizing specular objects in computer-rendered and real scenes, across a wide range of camera motions and speeds, object sizes and shapes, and performs well under image noise and blur conditions.

The corresponding article was published in Machine Vision and Applications, April 2014. 

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00138-014-0610-9 

 

Cemre Ariyurek has defended her Master of Science thesis on Jan 29, 2014. The title of the thesis is "Modes of Shear Waves in Magnetic Resonance Elastography." In this thesis, Cemre demonstrated that when the head is vibrated using a mount-piece at some specific frequencies, called eigenfrequencies, high-amplitude shear waves may occur. Cemre plans to continue working on this subject during her PhD studies.

Esra Abaci Turk, graduate of Bilkent University, authored a MRM publication that introduces a new and useful equation in magnetic resonance imaging. This equation will help researchers to calculate radiofrequency magnetic field distribution in the body. In this method, an off-resonance RF pulse is applied to the object during an imaging procedure. This pulse introduces a phase shift, which is called Bloch-Siegert shift, in the image. Before Esra's publication, the amount of shift is calculated using an equation that is not very accurate. Although still an approximation, Esra's equation results in a better fit to the actual phase shift. Figure shows an example case. The other authors of the paper are Yusuf Ziya Ider, Arif Sanli Ergun and Ergin Atalar.

 

 

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.