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Esin Yavuz

Computational Neuroscience, Sensory Processing

I am a computational neuroscientist interested in studying how neurons wire together to make sense of sensory signals, how they change their wiring through learning, how their organisation can be revealed by investigating spatiotemporal activity patterns and how their behaviour can be imitated by machines. In order to study realistic scenarios, I also worked on development of tools for simulation of large scale brain models on GPUs, and analysis of high dimensional data.

Currently I am working for Cyanapse, a tech company that I have co-founded. I have been mainly doing R&D with a focus on development of algorithms and pipelines for real-time feature extraction and manipulation of spatio-temporal data using methods that combine brain research, machine learning and computer vision.

Previously I worked at the University of Sussex as a postdoctoral fellow on the Green Brain Project with Prof. Thomas Nowotny. My role in the project involved computational modelling of honeybee olfactory pathways related to reinforcement learning and decision making, and interaction of this model with the world using chemosensors. I have also been a developer of the GeNN simulation environment.

Prior to that, I was a PhD student in Neuroscience at UNIC, CNRS Gif-sur-Yvette under the supervision of Yves Frégnac and Cyril Monier. During my PhD, I performed voltage sensitive dye imaging recordings in-vivo and developed methods to denoise and reduce dimensionality of the imaging data in order to study visual cortical dynamics.


  • Esin Yavuz, Thomas Nowotny: Input-modulation as an alternative to conventional learning strategies. ICANN 2016 DOI:10.1007/978-3-319-44778-0_7
  • Esin Yavuz, James Turner, Thomas Nowotny: GeNN: a code generation framework for accelerated brain simulations. Scientific Reports 01/2016; 6:18854. DOI:10.1038/srep18854

  • Thomas Nowotny, James Turner, Esin Yavuz: More flexibility for code generation with GeNN v2.1. BMC Neuroscience 12/2015; 16(Suppl 1):P291. DOI:10.1186/1471-2202-16-S1-P291

  • Esin Yavuz, Pascale Maul, Thomas Nowotny: Spiking neural network model of reinforcement learning in the honeybee implemented on the GPU. BMC Neuroscience 01/2015; 16(Suppl 1):P181. DOI:10.1186/1471-2202-16-S1-P181

  • Esin Yavuz, James Turner, Thomas Nowotny: Simulating spiking neural networks on massively parallel graphical processing units using a code generation approach with GeNN. BMC Neuroscience 07/2014; 15(Suppl 1):O1-O1. DOI:10.1186/1471-2202-15-S1-O1

  • Thomas Nowotny, Alexander J Cope, Esin Yavuz, Marcel Stimberg, Dan FM Goodman, James Marshall, Kevin Gurney: SpineML and Brian 2.0 interfaces for using GPU enhanced Neuronal Networks (GeNN). BMC Neuroscience 07/2014; 15(Suppl 1):P148. DOI:10.1186/1471-2202-15-S1-P148

  • Esin Yavuz, Thomas Nowotny: A modelling framework for the olfactory system of the honeybee using GeNN (GPU enhanced Neuronal Network simulation environment). Flavour 04/2014; 3(Suppl 1):P23. DOI:10.1186/2044-7248-3-S1-P23

  • Alex Cope, Chelsea Sabo, Esin Yavuz, Kevin Gurney, James Marshal, Thomas Nowotny, Eleni Vasilaki: The Green Brain Project–Developing a Neuromimetic Robotic Honeybee. Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems 2013 Jan 1 (pp. 362-363). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  • Esin Yavuz: Source separation analysis of visual cortical dynamics revealed by voltage sensitive dye imaging. PhD Thesis 2012; UPMC


  • 10/2016 – Present : Co-Founder, Chief Scientist – Cyanapse
  • 10/2016 – Present : Associate Faculty – University of Sussex (Brighton, United Kingdom).
  • 03/2013 – 10/2016: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Green Brain Project – University of Sussex (Brighton, United Kingdom). Modelling of honeybee olfactory system on a GPU, focusing on the neurobiological substrates responsible for multimodal reinforcement learning and decision making. The model will be used to control a flying robot equipped with chemosensors and cameras. Supervisor: Prof. Thomas Nowotny.
  • 2008 – 2012: PhD in Neuroscience – University of Paris VI (UPMC). Source separation analysis of visual cortical dynamics revealed by voltage sensitive dye imaging. Supervisors: Prof. Yves Frégnac, Dr. Cyril Monier. Host lab: Unit of Neuroscience Information and Complexity (UNIC), CNRS UPR3293, (Gif-sur-Yvette, France).
  • 2006 – 2008: MSc in Biomedical Engineering – Boğaziçi University (Istanbul, Turkey), Institute of Biomedical Engineering.
  • 2001 – 2006: BSc in Computer Engineering – Galatasaray University (Istanbul, Turkey).

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