Asli Ayaz

Vb Asli Ayaz 3
Co-lead Research Scientist


  • Started at NERF: 05/11/2019


We are continuously bombarded with myriad of sensory stimuli. The appropriate selection and integration of sensory information with contextual information is crucial for survival and for creating a unified perceptual representation of the world. ‘How does the brain integrate multimodal information to produce perception and guide behavior?’ remains to be one of the key questions of neuroscience.

My recent research focused on sensory-motor integration in visual (Ayaz et al., 2013; Saleem et al., 2013) and somatosensory cortices (Ayaz et al., 2019) and investigating underlying neural circuits. I used in vivo electrophysiology and state-of-the-art calcium imaging technologies to measure neuronal activity in head-restrained mice that are freely behaving in visual/tactile virtual realities. My on-going work involves investigating brain-wide circuits of visual and multisensory processing during behavior and task-dependent modulation of cortical connectivity.

2019 Nov – present Co-lead Research Scientist, NERF, Belgium
2016 – 2019 Group leader, HIFO, University of Zurich, Switzerland
2012 – 2015 Postdoctoral Research Associate, HIFO, University of Zurich, Switzerland
2009 – 2012 Postdoctoral Research Associate, University College London, UK
2009 PhD, Univ. of California Irvine, US
2004 MSc, Computer Science, Bilkent University, Turkey
2002 BSc, Molecular Biology & Genetics, Bilkent University, Turkey

Fellowships & funding

2016 – 2019 Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) Ambizione Fellowship
2012 – 2015 SNF, Marie-Heim Vögtlin Fellowship


A. Ayaz, A. Stäuble, M. Hamada, M-A.Wulf, A.B. Saleem, and F. Helmchen (2019) Layer-specific integration of locomotion and concurrent wall touching in mouse barrel cortex. Nature Communications. 10: 2585.

A.B. Saleem, A.D. Lein, M. Krumin, B. Haider, M. Roman Roson, A. Ayaz, K. Reinhold, L. Busse, M. Carandini, K.D. Harris (2017) Subcortical Source and Modulation of the Narrowband Gamma Oscillation in Mouse Visual Cortex. Neuron 93, 315–322.

K. Thurley and A. Ayaz. (2016) Virtual reality systems for rodents. Review. Current Zoology 63 (1): 109-119.

G.A. Pilz, S. Carta, A. Stäuble, A. Ayaz, S. Jessberger, F. Helmchen. (2016) Functional imaging of dentate granule cells in the adult mouse hippocampus. Journal of Neuroscience 36:7407–7414.

A.B. Saleem, A. Ayaz, K. Jeffery, K.D. Harris, M. Carandini. (2013) Integration of visual motion and locomotion in mouse visual cortex. Nature Neuroscience 16: 1864-1869.

A.Ayaz, A.B. Saleem, M.L. Scholvinck, M. Carandini. (2013) Locomotion controls spatial integration in mouse visual cortex. Current Biology 23: 890-894.

L Busse, A Ayaz, NT Dhruv, S Katzner, AB Saleem, ML Schölvinck, Laura Busse, AD Zaharia, M Carandini. (2011) The detection of visual contrast in the behaving mouse. Journal of Neuroscience 31: 11351-11361.

Ayaz and F.S. Chance. (2009) Gain modulation of neuronal responses by subtractive and divisive mechanisms of inhibition. Journal of Neurophysiology 101:958-968.