Executive Board Committee

Michelle Adams, PhD (Brain Center Director)

I did my undergraduate degree in Psychology and became interested the biological basis of behavior. After I completed my undergraduate degree, I went onto a PhD in Neuroscience, specifically Neurobiology, where I focused on understanding the biological basis of cognitive changes in the aging brain and how we can prevent them from happening.  I am currently using the zebrafish as a model organism to detect the neurobiological changes in the aged brain apply these interventions. I have both MSc and PhD students working in my laboratory focused on these questions.

Hulusi Kafaligonul, PhD

Dr. Hulusi Kafaligonul received his B.S. degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bogazici University and his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Houston. During his graduate training, he examined the temporal dynamics of visual perception by using neural systems modeling and visual psychophysics. From 2008 to 2013, he was a postdoctoral research associate at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and he acquired extensive training in neurophysiology and systems neuroscience. Since 2013, he has been a faculty member at the National Magnetic Resonance Research Center and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program, Bilkent University. He is also the director of Cortical Dynamics and Perception Laboratory at Aysel Sabuncu Brain Research Center and the recipient of scientific awards such as Kavli Institute Innovative Research Award by the University of California, San Diego.

Burcu Aysen Urgen, PhD

Burcu Ayşen Ürgen is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology, Bilkent University. She is also affiliated with the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program, Aysel Sabuncu Brain Research Center and National Magnetic Resonance Research Center (UMRAM). She received her PhD in Cognitive Science from University of California, San Diego (USA) in 2015. Prior to her PhD, she did her BS in Computer Engineering at Bilkent University, and MS in Cognitive Science at Middle East Technical University. Following her PhD, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Neuroscience, University of Parma (Italy). She is also the director of Cognitive Computational Neuroscience (CCN) Lab at Aysel Sabuncu Brain Research Center. Dr. Ürgen’s primary research area is human visual perception with a focus on biological motion and action perception. In addition to behavioral methods, she uses a wide range of invasive and non-invasive neuroimaging techniques including fMRI, EEG, and intracranial recordings to study the neural basis of visual perception. Her research commonly utilizes state-of-the-art computational techniques including machine learning, computer vision, and effective connectivity. Besides her basic cognitive neuroscience research, Dr. Ürgen also pursues an interdisciplinary research between social robotics and cognitive neuroscience to investigate the human factors that lead to successful interaction with artificial agents such as robots.