People Details

Principal Investigator Noa Ofen

Noa Ofen

Noa Ofen is an associate professor in the Institute of Gerontology, Merril Pallmer Skillman Institute, and the department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

She earned her PhD in 2004. In her doctoral thesis at the Weizmann Institute of Science ("Cognitive Skill Learning: How Repetition Determines Acquisition", advisors: Yadin Dudai and Avi Karni), she studied ways to create effective learning by addressing key elements of the practice experience.

For example, she found that spacing the same amount of practice over a few days resulted not only in better learning of the specific task, but also in better general learning of related aspects that were not part of the training.

She earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Haifa in 1996.

Her current research focus is investifating the development of memory systems in the brain. In particular, she aims to understand, via cognitive neuroscience, the age-related change in brain function and structure that contributes to improvement in memory ability between childhood to adulthood. Dr. Ofen uses behavioral methods and multiple brain imaging methods, including fMRI and structural imaging.

Dr. Ofen's IOG profile  Dr. Ofen's CV


Lab Manager

David Chen, Ph. D.

David Chen received his Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Missouri, Columbia and completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto Mississauga in Canada. His research interests are in the cognitive and neuroal mechanisms of working memory capacity and chunking strategies.  

Email: by0300 AT wayne DOT edu




Lab Coordinator

Bryn is a fifth-year senior at Wayne State University. Her major is Biology with a minor in Health Psychology. She plans on attending medical school in 2019 to pursue Pediatric Neurology. Her main focus is how epilepsy/TLE affects memory function in young children.
bryn.thompson AT wayne DOT edu



Post-Doctoral Collaborator


Elizabeth (Lisa) Johnson, Ph.D.

Dr. Johnson studies how this organ in our heads can make us so smart and so human, with   emphasis on memory. She has dual appointments with Dr. Noa Ofen (Wayne State University), where she leads the intracranial EEG program, and Dr. Robert Knight (University of California, Berkeley), and is also a Science Mentor for the journal Frontiers for Young Minds. She holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA from the University of Chicago.

Email: eljohnson AT berkeley DOT edu


 Lingfei Tang, Ph.D.

Dr. Tang is interested in the cognitive neuroscience of memory and emotion.

Email: tang.lingfei AT wayne DOT edu 





 Kelsey Canada, Ph.D.

Dr. Canada's research focuses on improving our understanding of typical structural development of the brain and how developmental changes in the brain relate to the impressive improvements in cognitive abilities observed during early childhood. She has a focused interest in the development of children's episodic memory and the relation between memory abilities and changes in the hippocampus and other neural substrates. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, M.S. from the University of Maryland, and a B.S. from Grand Valley State University. 




Graduate Students

Qijing Yu

Qijing is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience program. She received her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Zhejiang Normal University (2012) and spent the following year working in the Institute of Psychology in China. Her interests are in cognitive and brain development in both typically and atypically developing populations, such as people with schizophrenia. Her work mainly involves manual demarcation to characterize the differential developmental trajectories of the hippocampal subfields/subregions and how they relate to memory development.

Email: qijing.yu AT wayne DOT edu


Qin Yin

Qin Yin is a second-year Ph.D. graduate student in the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience program. She is interested in brain development and how brain development relates to cognitive development. She is now focusing on memory network development.

Email: qin.yin AT wayne DOT edu      




Roya Homayouni 

Roya is a second-year PhD student in the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience program. She is interested in the development of the brain and cognition. Her primary focus is on the structure of the hippocampus and its relationship with the memory.

Email: rhomayouni AT wayne DOT edu

Morgan M. Glover

Morgan is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience program in the Psychology Department. Originally from California, she gave a TEDx Talk about memory at her alma mater. Morgan then received her M.A. from New York University in 2020 while working in the Hartley Lab on a motivated encoding and retrieval study across development using fMRI. Her research focuses on utilizing neuroimaging and computational techniques to study the relationship between brain and behavior changes through childhood to adulthood with an emphasis on memory retrieval, vividness of memories, and recall reliability.

Email: morganglover AT wayne DOT edu


Undergraduate Assistants


Asiimwe is a junior undergraduate student in the Honors College at Wayne State University. She is a member of ReBUILD Detroit, majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in Public Health. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school and pursue her PhD.

Email: cp9781 AT wayne DOT edu




Gabrielle is a senior pursuing a degree in Psychology with a minor in Linguistics at Wayne State University. She is a member of a biomedical research program for undergraduate students called ReBUILD Detroit. Her extracurricular activities are predominantly focused on reducing public health disparities. After her graduation, she plans to address the public health needs of the Metro-Detroit area during her post-baccalaureate studies and later as a medical student.

Email: gabrielle.gordon AT wayne DOT edu



Sam is a senior at Wayne State University in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She is a psychology major and an active volunteer around the Detroit community. She is very interested in mental health and is contemplating future graduate programs related to this.

Email: samantha.fershin AT wayne DOT edu



Urvashi is a junior undergraduate student in the Honors College at Wayne State University. She is a part of the MedStart program and is majoring in Biochemistry with a double minor in Math and Anthropology. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school and pursue a career in trauma surgery.

Email: urvashi.gupta2 AT wayne DOT edu



Da' Jonae is a sophomore undergraduate student at the University of Detroit Mercy. She is majoring in Psychology. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school for Clinical Psychology, focusing on Neuropsychology. She hopes pursue a career in Child Neuropsychology.

Email: fosterdd2 AT udmercy DOT edu

Jennifer Kesler

Jenn is an undergraduate majoring in psychology and minoring in communication studies. Her interests include mental health and developmental psychology.

Email: gg9496 AT wayne DOT edu




Jasmein Minhas

Jasmein is a sophomore undergraduate student in the Honors College studying psychology with a minor in history. She's interested in pursuing a career in mental health care and hopes to continue her graduate studies in medical school, specializing in of psychiatry where she can work on expanding her knowledge of mental health.

Email: jasmeinminhas AT gmail DOT com



Jenny Nguyen

Jenny is a senior undergraduate student in the Honors College at Wayne State University and is pursuing a Psychology (Honors) major and Chemistry minor. She has general interests in the mind in terms of memory and consciousness. Her main overall goal involves the deeper understanding of the human condition specifically for improving daily individual stressors and problem-solving skills, driven by her research interests in the analytical and developmental psychology of personality. After graduation, she aims to obtain her PhD in Clinical Psychology and seeks to achieve her goals and career through the utilization and integration of several approaches in therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral, humanistic, and neuroscience psychology.

Email: er0151 AT wayne DOT edu