Prof. Fuat Balcı, Principal Investigator

I completed my M.S. and Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology at Rutgers University under the supervision of Charles R. Gallistel. I also received a graduate certificate from Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science, where I worked with Rochel Gelman. Following my graduate studies, I led a research group in an industrial setting as a Research Scientist at PsychoGenics Inc for around two years and then held a postdoctoral research fellow position at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute at Princeton University working with Jonathan D. Cohen and Philip Holmes for over two years. I am currently serving as a Professor at the Department of Psychology, Associate Dean of the College of Social Sciences & Humanities and Vice Director of the Research Center for Translational Medicine at Koç University, Istanbul. Awards, Honors, and Fellowships

I am interested in the comparative study of the cognitive and neural bases of interval timing and decision making within a computational framework and with a primary focus on cognitive health.

Dr. Michele Chan, Post-doctoral Researcher

Ph.D. in Psychology and Behavioural Neuroscience, Josephine Butler
College, Durham University
MSc Brain Imaging (Neuropsychology), University of Nottingham
Investigation of interval timing in mice using optogenetics, behavioral and electrophysiological approaches.

Ezgi Gür, PhD student (Dissertation Stage)

I am a member of TMDM lab since 2014. For my Ph.D., I study how interval timing and decision making processes are altered in aging from behavioral, computational and neurobiological perspectives using mouse models. I am also involved in the study of interval timing functions in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.

Yalçın Duyan, PhD student (Dissertation Stage)

I am currently a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in Cognitive Psychology. My primary research involves error monitoring in magnitude representations and perceptual decision making. I am also involved in projects that investigate interval timing and decision making in mice.

Bihter Akyol, PhD Student (2nd year)

I’m a a first year Ph.D. student in the Cognitive Program in Psychology in Koc University. I received my BA degree in Psychology from Bogazici University in 2015. My past research experience involved vision and music research. Now I’m predominantly interested in computational models of interval timing.

In my free time, I enjoy auditing online programming courses, practicing music theory and reading short stories.

Anıl Şafak Kaçar, MD. PhD student (Thesis Stage)

Neural basis of decision-making and error monitoring, OCD

Tutku Öztel, PhD student (1st year)

I have been working in TMDM lab since 2015 first as a research assistant and MA student. I’ve been involved in many projects on error monitoring, inter-temporal choice and delay discounting, psychophysics of time perception, and cognitive and behavioral characterization of obsessive compulsive disorder based on information complexity metrics. My research interests lie within gender differences in error monitoring, error monitoring in neuropsychiatric disorders, neuroimaging, evolutionary perspectives on human/animal behavior.

Ece Yallak, PhD student (2nd year)

Metric Error Monitoring

Alihan Erdağı, PhD student (1st year)

Physical Activity and Decision-Making, Chronic Pain and Decision Making

Leman Runyun, PhD student (1st year)

Chronic Pain and Decision Making, Neural basis of Error Monitoring

Gamze Gümüş, MA student in Cognitive Psychology

Merve Erdoğan, MA student in Cognitive Psychology

Pınar Toptaş, MA student in Cognitive Psychology

Egemen Genç, BA student in Engineering

Neural basis of error monitoring using neuromodulation techniques.

Oğuzhan Kadaifçiler, BA student in Engineering
Development of response boxes with pressure sensors to be used in behavioral research.


  • Esin Türkakın (MA, PhD student at Ghent University)

Thesis Title: Modulation of Evidence Accumulation Rate and Decision Criteria via Inhibition and Excitation of Left Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

  • Tutku Öztel (MA)

Thesis Title: The effect of feeling of being watched on temporal awareness

  • Dr. Sertan Arkan (Kocaeli University, Department of Physiology)
  • Ceymi Doenyas (PhD, Instructor at Bahçeşehir University)

Dissertation Title: Understanding Autism: Biological Basis, Cognition, and Behavior

  • Hakan Karşılar (PhD, Assistant Professor, Özyeğin University – previously at Koç University, Yeditepe University)

Dissertation Title: Contextual Modulation of Subjective Time: Effects of Motion Coherence, Biological Motion Speed, and Numerals on Time Perception

  • Ceyla Erhan (PhD)

Dissertation Title: Decision Making In Subclinical And Clinical Populations: How Drift Diffusion Model Variables Relate To Obsessive Compulsive And Related Features

  • Seda Akbıyık (MA – PhD student at Harvard University – recipient of GSSSH excellence award 2018)

Thesis Title: Colored by Language: The Role of Latent Decision Processes and Left Anterior Temporal Cortex in Categorical Color Perception

  • Başak Akdoğan (MA – PhD student at Columbia University – recipient of GSSSH excellence award 2015)

Thesis Title: The Effects of Payoff Manipulations on Temporal Bisection Performance

  • Filiz Çoşkun (MA)

Thesis Title: Adaptive modulation of time-based decisions by probabilistic contingencies

  • Tuğçe Tosun, MA student (Data Scientist at IBM)

Thesis Title: Effects of right pre-SMA rTMS on the Speed-Accuracy Tradeoff in Two Alternative Forced Choice Perceptual Decision Making

  • Bilgehan Çavdaroğlu (MA – PhD student at University of Toronto – recipient of GSSSH excellence 2014 and Connaught international student awards)

Thesis Title: Time Based Reward Maximization

  • Dilara Berkay, MA student (Fulbright Scholar – PhD student at UPenn – recipient of GSSSH excellence award 2015)

Thesis Title: The modulatory role of pre-SMA in decision threshold setting: A bi-directional TMS study

  • Ezgi (Uslu) Özoğlu, MA student (DAAD Scholar – PhD student at University of Freiburg)

Thesis Title: Heart-Rate Variability and Time Perception Under the Effect of Arousal Context

  • Saima Gul (Post-doctoral Researcher – Assistant Professor, Shifa Tameer e Millat University)
  • Ceyda Sayalı (RA – PhD student at Brown University)

Students and trainees supervised prior to 2011 are not listed below.

Supervised Koç University Undergraduate Students:

  • Erim Kızıldere, BA student in Psychology (Associate Editor, Koç University Undergraduate Psychology Journal, Masters student in Cognitive Psychology at Koç University)

  • Parla Buyruk, Honor’s Thesis (PhD student at UCSD, Cognitive Science)

  • Yağmur Deniz Kısa, Independent Study (prospective PhD student at the University of Chicago, Fulbright scholarship recipient)

  • Emine Gürbüz (BA – MS, Leiden University; PhD student at Durham University)

  • Zeynep Şahin (BA – MA, Columbia University; PhD student at Adelphi University)

  • Meltem Yılmaz (BA, MS student at Maastricht University)

  • Hazal Kartalkanat (BA, MA student at Koç University)

  • Tolga Tolgay (School of Medicine & Law)

  • Duru Özbaş (MSW student, Washington University in St. Louis)

  • Ege Bıçaker (BA, RA at University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Eda Öztürk (BA, RA at University of Reading)

  • Ege Ekin Özer (RA at Pompeu Fabra University, Cent. for Brain and Cognition)

  • Begüm Topaloğlu

  • Elifnaz Aslaner

  • Dilek Demiray (Executive Board Member at EFPSA)

  • Eylül Turan (Editor-in-Chief, Koç University Undergraduate Psychology Journal)

  • Can Çarkoğlu (Associate Editor, Koç University Undergraduate Psychology Journal)

  • İpek Tuncel (School of Medicine)

  • Sera Nur Yücesoy (School of Medicine)
  • Arda Kaygan (EEE)

  • Ravit Haleva
  • Cansu Uçansu

  • Aysu Hazar
  • Emir Erhan

Graduate Student Research Interns:

  • Camila Agostino (MS student, UFABC, Brazil) – see Agostino et al. (2017). Atten Percept Psychophys., 79(3):833-840.

  • Melisa Menceloğlu (PhD student, Uni. of North Carolina, North Western Uni., United States)- see Sayalı et al. (2018) Timing & Time Perception, 6, 14–31

  • Ralf Pierson (MS student – University of Cologne, Germany)

  • Silvia Maggi (PhD student – Italian Institute of Technology, Italy) – see Maggi et al (2014). Timing and Time Perception, 2(1), 35-40.

  • Amir Hossein Ghaderi (PhD student – University of Tabriz, Iran) see Ghaderi et al. (2018) Plos ONE

  • Ivana Bussi (Short-term research visit, PhD student – Uni. Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina)

Undergraduate Student Research Interns from Other Universities:

  • Can Türkmenoğlu (McGill University, Canada)
  • Muhammet Öztürk (Üsküdar University)
  • Çağla Aydın (Yıldız Technical University)
  • Derya Selin Işılay (Middle Eastern Technical University)
  • Alican Çağlayan (Middle Eastern Technical University)
  • Rana Kurt (Bilkent University)
  • Gizay Ceylan (Bilkent University)
  • Duygu Özbağcı (Bosphorus University)
  • Nurkut Aksu (McGill University, Canada)
  • Benay Başkurt (Bilkent University)
  • Sibel Evecen (Istanbul Şehir University)
  • Öykü Bulca (Yeditepe University)
  • Belgin Ünal (Bilkent University)
  • İrem Gürsoy (İzmir Economy University)
  • Cemal Akmeşe (Ondokuz Mayıs University)
  • Berfin Aydın (Bilkent University)
  • Aysun Duyar (Bilkent University)
  • Bora Ergün (Bilkent University)
  • Seca Öznergis (Medeniyet University)
  • Yaren Koca (Bilkent University)
  • Beril Kocadereli (Bilkent University)
  • Defne Cezayirli (Northwestern University)

High School Research Interns:

  • Alara Zindancıoğlu
  • Veli Barış
  • May Baho
  • Yasin Alper Kızıloğlu
  • Ezgi Öztelcan
  • Doğa Gülsoy
  • Eylül Naz Baklacı