Ayla Arslan was born in Istanbul and studied at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. In 2002, she was awarded the scholarship of the German Research Foundation (DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) to pursue her doctorate at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (Heidelberg University), Germany. In 2006, she completed it under the supervision of Hilmar Bading. During this time, Ayla Arslan worked on the molecular factors involved in the trafficking of GABA (A) receptors using methodologies of genetic engineering, biochemistry, cell biology, and bioinformatics.
In 2007, Dr. Arslan worked as a visiting scientist at the Yale University School of Medicine (the USA) in the laboratory of David McCormick. During this time, her focus was on applying a voltage-sensitive dye imaging system on the pyramidal neurons layer V in vitro.