People

Elkan Akyürek (Principal Investigator)

I obtained my PhD in 2005 from Leiden University, under the supervision of Bernhard Hommel. I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, and subsequently at the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich in Germany.

I returned to the Netherlands in 2009 to take up a faculty position at the University of Groningen, where I currently pursue a research program in cognitive and perceptual neuroscience.

I also act as Academic Editor for PLOS ONE, and as a Consulting Editor for the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.


Ahmet Altinok

Ahmet received his Bachelor degree in Counselling Psychology from Inonu University in Turkey in 2009, and he subsequently obtained a Master degree from Anadolu University. He also worked there for five years as a member of the academic staff, working on research studies as well as practicing in the field. He has already published a number of articles in scientific journals based on this work.

His evolving research interests have now led Ahmet into the field of cognitive psychology. Supported by a scholarship that enabled him to continue his doctoral studies abroad, he started his PhD project in Groningen. He focuses mainly on visual working memory and attention, and in particular on how these functions might be modulated, for instance through the effects of cocoa flavanols. He is furthermore interested in statistical methods, including structural equation modelling.


Gülşen Balta

Gülşen received her Bachelor degree in Psychology from Hacettepe University in Turkey in 2010. After completing her undergraduate studies she worked as a psychologist for a few years, in the Bolu Abant Izzet Baysal Hospital and the Kutahya Social Service and Children Protection Institution. She then continued to pursue a Master degree in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Dallas in the United States, which she obtained in 2017. She has now started as a PhD student in Groningen.

Gülşen’s project is focused on adaptive perceptual representation. More specifically, she investigates top-down control of temporal integration and working memory consolidation, as a function of both momentary stimulus properties and learned perceptual regularities.


Yining Chen

Yining got a Master degree in Research Methods in Psychology from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, after having obtained a Bachelor degree in Psychology from Hubei University in China. Prior to coming to Groningen, she has worked as a research assistant at the Chinese Academy of Science, doing research on acoustics and speech.

Yining’s current primary interest is in visual selective attention, and the effects of memory-driven salience on behavioral performance and pupil dilation.


Joost de Jong

Joost has a Master degree from the Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences Research School. In 2019, the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences funded the research project proposal that he drafted on the relationship between time perception and working memory. Under the co-supervision of Hedderik van Rijn, he has now joined my team.

Joost has an interest in the neural substrates underlying these processes, but in his first studies, he has started out by looking into perceptual- and memory-based biases on timing behavior, and has begun building a computational model of time perception in the Nengo framework.


Güven Kandemir

After various other academic pursuits in Germany and Turkey, Güven obtained his Bachelor degree in Psychology at the University of Groningen. Motivated by his interest in improving the integrity of science and society, in the beginning of 2016, Güven completed a Master degree in Social Psychology. In 2017 Güven obtained his second Master degree from the Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences Research School and subsequently started working on his PhD project.

Güven is interested in the mechanisms of attention, working memory and learning. To date, Güven has investigated the influence of visually presented emotional content on working memory consolidation, tested ways to improve second language learning algorithms, and applied multivariate analyses of EEG to decode and compare sensory-specific working memory storage. In his current PhD project Güven investigates various aspects of working memory with both multivariate EEG analysis and behavioral measures.


Aytaç Karabay

Aytaç completed his Bachelor degree in Psychology at Ankara University in Turkey, in 2011. After working as a psychologist in special education and rehabilitation centers for a while, he earned a full scholarship to continue his studies to obtain a Master degree in Experimental Psychology at the City University of New York in the United States, in 2015. He is now working on his PhD in Groningen.

Aytaç is interested in visual perception, specifically perceptual grouping, and in more cognitive processes such as temporal and spatial attention. He uses behavioral tasks, such as rapid serial visual presentation and visual search, to study how task performance is affected by stimulus features, and how physiological effects due to the consumption of substances, such as cocoa and caffeine, may alter perception and performance on these tasks. More details can be found on his personal website.


Shuyao Wang

Shuyao obtained her Master degree in Biomedical Engineering from Beihang University (China) in 2019. As an undergraduate student, she was the recipient of several awards for her scholarly performance. Funded by a Chinese Scholarship Council grant, she has now joined the lab as a PhD student.

Shuyao’s main research interests are the behavioral consequences as well as the neural correlates of visual selective attention and working memory.


Michael Wolff

Michael completed both his Bachelor degree in Psychology and his Master degree in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Groningen. During his Master and his current PhD he spent some time at the University of Oxford, where he initiated a close and ongoing research collaboration with Mark Stokes and his research group.

Michael’s research mainly involves working memory. He is interested in the neurophysiological mechanisms of the encoding, maintenance and retrieval of behaviorally relevant information and the role of attention in these processes. He utilizes electroencephalography and multivariate pattern analysis to explore the fast dynamics of working memory specific neural activity.