This summer, CCN Lab hosted 9 summer interns from various universities and departments. They include Bilkent Psychology, METU Psychology, Hacettepe Psychology, and Hacettepe Medical School. The students worked on various projects in the lab that ranged from biological motion perception to social robotics. We are glad to see that they have developed new skills that will be useful for their future careers in research. Specifically, they learned how to program an experiment in Psychtoolbox, run behavioral experiments with human participants and analyze data with Matlab. They also observed (and some even participated in) an ongoing fMRI experiment in the lab. We also had a weekly journal club in which we discussed papers relevant to the projects the interns were working on. Overall, it was a productive summer for all of us. Some of our interns shared their experiences as follows: “I had a great time during my summer internship at CCN Lab. I learned a lot, from both Dr. Ürgen and my fellow interns. I got to experience first-hand the processes involved in creating an experiment. I learned how to code and conduct a study and analyze behavioral data. I participated in other experiments in the lab as well, which allowed me to see other areas of research in this domain. The interns came from a lot of different backgrounds, it was fun to work with a diverse group of students. Overall, this internship was a great way for me to learn about cognitive psychology, computation and experiments, and to shape my ideas about my career.” A.R.
“I was a part of two different projects about social robotics. It was really exciting. Burcu Hoca was so helpful and willing to teach us everything. She answered every single question I had and helped me to figure out everything. I had improved my Matlab skills, practiced what I have learnt in my classes from previous semester, such as statistics and research methods. Projects I was working on were fascinating, and I had the chance to learn more about the field by reading articles and discussing them every Monday. I had the chance to attend thesis presentations which was also a great chance to see what people are doing in these fields after under graduation degree. I can confidently say that I have broadened my view and knowledge about psychology. I also scheduled and ran participants for behavioral experiments. It helped me to learn the procedures of running an experiment in a lab environment. People were so nice and helpful at UMRAM. I had the chance to meet great people from different fields. Overall, I had a great time, improved myself and met great people. If you hesitate to join this lab, do not hesitate and immediately join!! You will earn friendships and good experiences and you will definitely improve yourself.”
“It is the greatest internship I’ve ever experienced. (It is also the first but this is just a negligible detail.) Here are some of the things you can do in this lab: getting hands-on experience in behavioral experiments, widening your vision about researches in neuroscience at journal clubs, learning how to program an experiment and analyzing real experiment data (This one includes writing the code in 20 min and then wondering what is wrong with your code rest of the day.) Dr. Ürgen has a talent for choosing people so you will also find some amazing intern friends which you will experience peer-learning truly.”
“This summer I did my compulsory internship in CCN Lab and this experience helped me grow both mentally and academically. During our internship, Dr. Ürgen was our mentor and her incredible understanding and lovely teaching technique made me very motivated in this process. Our teacher has always supported and motivated us and I am sure that this made not just my internship but also all my lab friends’ internship fruitful. During my internship, I have concentrated to learn running a behavioral experiment, being proficient in Matlab, and analyzing data. To understand the procedure of the experiment, Dr. Ürgen and her collaborators first explained to me the basic procedures and introduced the literature of visual perception studies. We have also participated in a weekly journal club in which we discussed articles related to our projects. This journal club increased my interest in visual perception and neuroscience studies. We had to be competent in Matlab programming and Psychtoolbox for running experiments and analyzing data. Within a month I was able to write simple experiment codes in Matlab and perform experiment analysis. It was a great opportunity for me to work with the other interns and to get help from my lab friends in the process of learning Matlab and writing basic codes. It was a very exciting and fruitful experience for me to work in the CCN lab for one month as an intern student.”
“I am interested in visual perception and was familiar with some concepts and research in the field and with this internship I got the chance to learn more about the topics that I was interested in. Besides, I was able to gain knowledge about different topics such as action perception and sound perception. Dr. Ürgen is always so supportive and open to help whenever you need and provides a wide range of opportunities to everyone in her lab. During my internship, I worked on two different projects which helped me to learn about different topics. I gained experiences on testing a participant, coding and data analysis. Also, Dr. Ürgen conducted weekly meetings where you can discuss different research, concepts and topics. These meetings helped me to learn the field better and get familiar with the topics that I did not know before. Exploring new areas is very important to figure out what you are interested in and want to study in the future. Also, CCN lab is a great place for peer learning, everyone is willing to help and share their experiences with you if you are having difficulty. During my internship at CCN lab, I got the chance to gain new abilities, expand my knowledge about the field and explore my interest areas.”