Dr. Ipek Oruc

Principal Investigator

B.Sc. (Boğaziçi University) [Computer Science], M.Sc. (Boğaziçi University) [Computer Science), Ph.D. (New York University) [Psychology, Cognition, and Perception]
Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, Faculty of Medicine,  University of British Columbia

Research Interests

; ;

Dr. Oruc’s research focuses on understanding the brain mechanisms behind higher-level vision to inform development of paradigms that can reverse and rehabilitate visual dysfunction caused by various brain disorders such as prosopagnosia (face blindness) and autism spectrum disorder.

In one such line of research, she studies visual adaptation, an experience-dependent form of neuroplasticity that Dr. Oruc believes can be used as a way to restore high-level cortical visual function, such as recognition of objects and faces. Indeed, she has shown that visual adaptation produces a temporary benefit, a moment of hypersensitivity, to one’s ability to identify faces. An ongoing large-scale web-based study in her lab investigates the factors underlying the population variance in these adaptation-induced benefits. You can check this experiment out (and even participate) here.

Dr Oruc uses adaptation and other behavioural paradigms to investigate visual dysfunction in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Her group has recently discovered characteristic signatures of visual abnormalities that help to parse the diverse autism spectrum into true etiological subgroups. Ultimately such visual profiles can be used to improve diagnosis and lead to better treatment options. Dr. Oruc hopes to develop an early detection system for these characteristic visual signatures using EEG. Dr. Oruc also welcomes any collaboration with fellow ICORD researchers in studies that involve EEG recording or visual psychophysical testing.

Please visit her website for more information.

Current Lab Members

Masters Students Ph.D. Students Ophthalmology Residents Research Staff
Mahmoud Khademi Todd Kamensek Gulcenur Ozturan Morteza Mousavi
Morteza Mousavi* Aaoran Berk

*has graduated in the past year

Trainee Awards

Year Name Award
2020 Hugo Zylberajch Graduate Research Award (PIMS-MITACS Globalink)
2019 Aaron Berk Margaret L. Adamson award (UBC Ophthalmology)
2017 Fakhri Shafai Margaret L. Adamson award (UBC Ophthalmology)
2017 Amy Chen MITACS Globalink award
2016 Morteza Mousavi NSERC USRA
2015 Shyam Murthy MITACS Globalink award
2014 Christina Zhang Summer Student Research Award (UBC Faculty of Medicine)
2014 Stella (Qishuo) Luo Globalink International Research Internship (MITACS)
2013 Fakhri Shafai Autism Research Training Award (Canadian Institutes of Health Research)


Recent publications

  • Mousavi, SM, Oruc, I. 2020. Size Effects in the Recognition of Blurry Faces.. Perception. doi: 10.1177/0301006619899574.
  • Oruc, I, Balas, B, Landy, MS. 2019. Face perception: A brief journey through recent discoveries and current directions.. Vision Res. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2019.06.005.
  • Oruc, I, Balas, B, Landy, MS. 2019. Introduction to the special issue on face perception: Experience, models, and neural mechanisms.. Vision Res. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2019.06.001.
  • Albonico, A, Furubacke, A, Barton, JJS, Oruc, I. 2018. Perceptual efficiency and the inversion effect for faces, words and houses.. Vision Res. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2018.10.008.
  • Oruc, I, Shafai, F, Iarocci, G. 2018. Link Between Facial Identity and Expression Abilities Suggestive of Origins of Face Impairments in Autism: Support for the Social-Motivation Hypothesis.. Psychol Sci. doi: 10.1177/0956797618795471.
Search PubMed