Postdoctoral Researchers and Graduate Students

Junko Kanero, PhD

Postdoctoral fellow

Junko’s research focuses on language development in infancy and childhood, neural processing of language, and interaction between language and non-linguistic cognition. At Koç University, she primarily works on the L2TOR project, which explores ways in which social robots facilitate second language acquisition in young children.
She basically enjoys anything.   



Demet Özer, MA

PhD Student in Psychology, 3rd year.

Demet is interested in multimodal communication and language processing in general. Her specific area of research is on speech-gesture integration during communication and the possible mechanisms mediating this integration process.

Demet enjoys hiking and travelling.   CV



Ece Yallak, MA

PhD Student in Psychology, 1st year

Ece is interested in language and cognition. She wants to understand how  language comprehension occurs. Some specific areas of interest are semantic  anomaly, semantic illusion, foreign language effect and language processing in disfluent conditions.



Burcu Arslan

PhD Student in Psychology, 1st year

Burcu is interested in bilingualism and second language acquisition as well as effects of languages on developing dementia, especially Alzheimer’s Disease.  She enjoys a lot travelling and learning new languages. CV



Sümeyra Saatçi

MA student in Psychology, 3rd year

Sümeyra is interested in combining clinical and cognitive aspects of psychology. In relation to language and cognition, she works on how neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders are affecting the language and thought interaction as well as the usage of co-speech gesture. The other research topic that she dwells on is associated with stress-related disorders and time-based decision-making processes that is mediated by inflammatory biomarkers in both the central and peripheral nervous system.
She is a fan of Sherlock Holmes, she likes travelling and spending time on handcrafts.  CV



Zeynep Aslan

MA student in Psychology, 3rd year

Zeynep is interested in much-debated language and thought interaction. Especially, she is curious about understanding whether and how language affects the way we perceive and experience emotion.
She enjoys travelling and reading classic novels.  CV


Erim Kızıldere

MA student in Psychology, 1st year

Erim personally believes that play is an important part of human live since it develops shared spheres among humans, invokes happiness and imagination, provides unique experiences along with teaching. From such a reasoning he focuses on play, as a joyful activity engaged by infants to elderly people, and its connection with cognitive abilities including language and theory of mind. Specifically, how pretend play and language development are interrelated with each other and why are the main questions he seeks answers in this laboratory. Other than his academic pursuit, he loves meeting new cultures and getting to  know new friends and languages. CV

Emir Akbuğa

MA student in Psychology, 1st year

Emir is interested in the interaction of language and thought in adults. He  mainly focuses on the relation between language and event perception as well as metaphors and their effects on cognitive processes. He is an avid reader of the crime thriller genre, he likes martial arts, listening to and making music. CV