LEARNING PROCESSES ARE UNDER SCRUTINY
The science world is bringing the process people go through during “learning” to light. The reactions occurring in neurons, the basic information processing structures in the central nervous system, during learning phenomenon are being revealed via image processing system. So that, healthy cells and cells in which learning does not occur will be compared, new approaches will be developed for those who have learning difficulties.
Image processing system, which will allow data obtained from neurons in computer automatically, is being developed as part of the TUBITAK funded research conducted by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Devrim Ünay, Lecturer at IUE Department of Electrical and Electronics. The project is bringing software, electrical and electronics engineers and neurology specialists together. The team of researchers from Izmir University of Economics, Sabancı University, Bahçeşehir University and researchers from Champalimaud Neuroscience Research Institute, Portugal, led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ünay, will be developing the first software within 6 months and putting it into service of world of science.
“The phenomenon of learning in a life process occurs through structural changes during the interaction of neurons. Complex microscopic systems are being developed to study these structural changes. Big data is generated during microscopic imaging process. Image processing algorithms need to be developed in order to study this data automatically and make comparisons. We are currently working on image processing algorithms that can analyze structural changes. We are able to analyze the structural changes in neurons,” reported Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ünay.
‘We’ll get to the bottom of learning problems’
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ünay stated that there may be learning problems due to genetic diseases, and that they could get to the bottom of the problem by analyzing the different shapes of neurons, and comparing them with healthy neurons. He said, “There may be learning problems in some of the autism syndrome cases. We believe that learning problems take place at the level of neurons. We are able to code the data perceived from outer world with the help of neurons. Learning does not occur if there is a problem in the interaction of neurons with each other. We are setting the groundwork to research what it results from.”
‘Power of a single neuron’
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ünay stated that they were able to get an image at a level of single neuron, and they would be able to put the first software package into service in the next 6 months.
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