Elkan Akyürek (Principal Investigator)
I obtained my PhD from Leiden University in the Netherlands, after which I continued my career as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, and subsequently at the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich in Germany. I then returned to the Netherlands to take up a faculty position at the University of Groningen, where I have since pursued a research program in cognitive and perceptual neuroscience.
I am currently the Chair of the Department of Experimental Psychology. Finally, I also act as a Consulting Editor for the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.
Ahmet received his Bachelor degree in Counselling Psychology from Inonu University in Turkey in 2009, and subsequently obtained his 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 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.
Nursena received her Master degree in Cognitive Psychology from Sabanci University in 2023. For her graduate degree, she investigated the adaptive interplays between working memory and long-term memory using EEG, with a particular focus on the effect of anticipated divided attention on these interplays.
In her PhD project Nursena is studying functional and neural states of human memory, and aims to explore how they can be possibly influenced by anticipation. She is co-supervised by Wouter Kruijne.
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. Yining is co-supervised by Sebastiaan Mathȏt.
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.
Shuyao obtained her Master degree in the field of Biomedical Engineering from Beihang University in 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. Shuyao is co-supervised by Aytaç Karabay.
After Yuanyuan completed her Bachelor degree in 2018, she subsequently received her Master degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from Southwest University (Chongqing, China) in 2021. Her undergraduate work focused on EEG measures of sleep in the context of aging. She has now joined the team as a PhD student funded by the Chinese Scholarship Council.
Her primary research interests are the neural underpinnings of working memory in the human brain. More specifically, using EEG, she is trying to characterize the use of activity-based and -silent mechanisms for encoding and maintenance in working memory, and assess their functional roles. Yuanyuan is co-supervised by Jelmer Borst.
Sophia received her Master degree in Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Groningen in 2021. As part of her research master, she investigated maintenance mechanisms of working memory for color by means of EEG, and also studied how sleep deprivation impairs the molecular mechanisms of long-term memory storage. She used these experiences to write a research proposal to study the interplay between sleep and working memory, which was funded by the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences.
Sophia is interested in the connection between working memory and sleep, and aims to investigate how sleep deprivation affects working memory at the behavioural level through studying the neural substrates underlying this interaction. Sophia is co-supervised by Robbert Havekes.
Zehan received her Master degree in Basic Psychology from the School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University in 2023. As a student, prior to joining my team as a PhD candidate, Zehan already completed several EEG research projects, addressing topics such as social cognition and implicit learning. Zehan is now supported by a scholarship from the Chinese Scholarship Council.
In her PhD project, Zehan is currently investigating the connection between episodic memory and working memory, by using EEG to decode their associated functional brain states. Zehan is co-supervised by Mark Nieuwenstein.
Mingmin Zhang joined my lab as a PhD candidate in 2022. Before coming to University of Groningen, he obtained a Master degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, East China Normal University in 2022. He has a wide range of research interests. In his master projects he utilized fMRI and EEG to investigate transcultural neural representational differences in theory of mind, and visual-auditory crossmodal integration in musicians. Before that, he received a Bachelor degree in Psychology from Chongqing Medical University in 2019.
His current work focuses on the neural basis of working memory, and aims to evaluate the nature of working memory capacity limits during encoding and maintenance. Mingmin is co-supervised by Wouter Kruijne.