I am a control engineer and an applied mathematician. And currently I work as a neuroscientist in Max Plank Institute for Biological Cybernetics. My decision to focus my research work on Neuroscience was motivated by a general and admittedly naive interest in the field, and also, the general feeling that much is left to be discovered in this area. I have learned a lot about this field, just enough to know how fascinating it is.
I have a habit of working on many different projects at the same time; a habit that it seems I cannot shake off in spite of always feeling overloaded and overwhelmed. I work on a few projects that have little in common, except drawing my attention for one reason or another. But I can categorise the bitter-sweet components of my scientific life into these areas:
Analysis of Molecular fMRI data: This is a collaboration with a group of colleagues with a background in chemistry. I developed a code to analysis the fMRI data obtained from Calcium-sensitive agents, and compare that to non-sensitive agents to show the presence of the effect. I wrote the code in python, so various powerful libraries available in python could be used to analyse the data.
Adaptive Learning: When an animal is faced with a change in the environment, how does it react to such changes. What happens when the reward signal changes (for example the frequency of the auditory stimulus), or more than that, what if the type of reward signal changes (for example, visual stimulus becomes the reward, when the animal has been trained to respond to auditory stimulus). In particular, what role the Locus Coeruleus plays in regulating the arousal state of the animals when a change in their environment occurs. Such questions, are the subject of another ongoing project I am working on.
Eye-tracking and EEG: Motivated by my interest in photography, I have started a project to study how wehumans look at photographs, and how different compositional elements can affect that process. I am using photographs of a master photographer who is an authority on this topic among the artists. Using an Eye-tracking systems while simultaneously recording EEG signals from participants, I am trying to improve our understanding of how we look at art, and how we perceive a photograph, and what makes us pay attention to a certain aspect of a photo more than others.
Control Theory: I have worked on stability analysis of various classes of Monotone Systems in the past;nonlinear, time-delayed and switched monotone systems. The work on monotone nonlinear switched systems led to some results in mathematical epidemiology which is a field I find very interesting. Although I have not faced any direct application of those results in my current work, but every now and then I think and work on those problems, just to indulge myself in control theory, which is one of my favourite topics to read and think about.
I indulge myself in a few hobbies, most joyful of all is photography. You can find samples of my photographs in here.
- PhD in Mathematics from Hamilton Institute, Maynooth, Ireland.
- MSc in Electrical (Control) Engineering from KNTU, Tehran, Iran.
- BSc in Electrical (Control) Engineering from Ferdowsi Univeristy, Mashhad, Iran.
Organisationseinheit (Abteilung, Gruppe, Einrichtung):
- Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes