Ayse Ilkay Isik


Main research areas

  • Neural correlates of aesthetic experience
  • Visual perception
  • Neuroimaging methods
  • Automatized actions



Academic Education


Master of Science (Master of Interdisciplinary Neuroscience) Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main


Exchange semester at Maastricht University, The Netherlands


Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Bilkent University, Ankara


Milli Piyango High School, Bursa, Turkey



since 2016

PhD student, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics


Research Assistant, Institute of Medical Psychology, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main



Belfi, A. M., Vessel, E. A., Brielmann, A., Isik, A. I., Chatterjee, A., Leder, H., Pelli, D. G., Starr, G. G. (2019). Dynamics of aesthetic experience are reflected in the default-mode network. NeuroImage, 188, 584–597. http://doi.org/10.1016/J.NEUROIMAGE.2018.12.017

Esteban O, Markiewicz CJ, Blair RW, Moodie CA, Isik A.I, Erramuzpe A, Kent JD, Goncalves M, DuPre E, Snyder M, Oya H, Ghosh SS, Wright J, Durnez J, Poldrack RA, Gorgolewski KJ.(2018) fMRIPrep: a robust preprocessing pipeline for functional MRI. Nature Methods 1–20. 10.1038/s41592-018-0235-4

Isik A.I., Naumer M.J., Kaiser J., Buschenlange C., Wiesmann S., Czoschke S., et al (2017). Automatized smoking-related action schemata are reflected by reduced fMRI activity in sensorimotor brain regions of smokers. NeuroImage Clin 15: 753-760.


Awards & Grants

Awards & Grants


DAAD, German Academic Exchange Service, Master Scholarship


Bilkent University, Ankara, Comprehensive Scholarship


Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) Grant to Support Scientists at Undergraduate Level


  • Exploring Network Interactions During Aesthetic Experiences

    How does the brain support aesthetic experiences with visual stimuli such as artwork, landscapes, architecture, dance or movies? Finding a painting to be aesthetically moving involves a change away from the typical behavior ...

  • Aesthetic Appreciation Across Multiple Visual Domains

    Individuals can be aesthetically engaged by objects from widely different visual aesthetic domains, such as paintings, mountain vistas, or buildings. The goal of this project is to understand whether aesthetic appreciation of different visual ...