About Me

Everything is interconnected; hence research that is to have real impact can no longer reside inside a single scientific discipline. Just as Cognitive Science is an outgrowth of a variety of disciplines I believe that the future of exciting research lies in the commingling of ideas from various fields in a new and creative way.

I was born and grown up in Istanbul, Turkey.  I received my B.A. degree in Philosophy from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey in 2005.  Meanwhile I earned my diploma in Piano Performance from Istanbul University State Conservatory, Istanbul, Turkey in 2006. I moved to USA with my husband, Erdem Erdemir, in 2008; and I received my M.Sc. degree in Psychology from Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN in 2010. I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. under the supervision of John Rieser in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience with the Department of Psychology and Human Development, at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College.

My main interest area is how perception & action are linked together and act as a coordinated system. Specifically I am interested in sensory-motor coordination and the feedback mechanisms underlying skilled motor actions. I believe that musicians, with their long-established and rich audio-motor associations are an excellent population to investigate skill acquisition and expertise. Currently, I am investigating singing under varying feedback conditions; trying to understand the role and relative importance of the auditory and kinesthetic feedback mechanisms for skilled audio-motor control of pitch and timing. Another area I am working on is the relationship between music & movement. At this time, using a computational modeling approach we are investigating the relationship between expressive timing in music and the laws of physical motion in the real world. I am also interested in the cross-modal matching between gestures and sound through use of detailed psychoacoustic analysis methods, and high-resolution motion-capture systems, where associations between action kinematics and sound features could be formed. Another line of my research is concerned with using immersive virtual environments to study spatiomotor tasks within an environment that allows sensory perturbations so that the perception-action linkage can be explored. Through series of both real and virtual world experiments, we explore the visuo-motor interactions and the kinematics of throwing motions as a function of the weight of the object thrown and the target distance under conditions of restricted or altered visual feedback. In line with this, my interest concentrates on exploring the parity and differences between actions that are self-performed and observed, in terms of the underlying motor prediction mechanisms and action-effect relations. 

Apart from this I try to enjoy life along with all of its colors. I love ART and have great respect for artists as I have an interest in almost all areas of art. Since my childhood I was involved in various art classes and artistic activities. I paint, I make clay,  I make jewelry, I design logos, I take photographs, I dance (tango & latin), I sing and I play the piano. Music has always played a central role in my life both as a performer and as a listener; and I find it extremely intriguing to investigate the nature of music as well the human mind which produces and processes music.