Wayne State University

Aim Higher



Principal Investigator

Jessica S. Damoiseaux, Ph.D.

Jessica Damoiseaux

Dr. Damoiseaux is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Gerontology and the Department of Psychology. Her main research goal is to understand the changes in brain function and cognition that accompany normal and abnormal aging. She is particularly interested in examining the influence of biological and cognitive predisposition on cognitive and brain network connectivity changes in healthy older adults. The primary approach Dr. Damoiseaux uses to study brain network connectivity is functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In addition, she uses other neuroimaging techniques, such as structural MRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to study brain structure and structural brain connectivity.

Dr. Damoiseaux completed her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2008 (advisors: Dr. Serge Rombouts and Dr. Philip Scheltens). She completed her undergraduate studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands where she received her M.Sc. in Psychology in 2003. Before her assistant professorship at Wayne State, Dr. Damoiseaux worked at Stanford University as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Functional Imaging in Neuropsychiatric Disorders (FIND) Laboratory under PI Michael Greicius M.D.

IOG | Psych | CV

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sanneke van Rooden, Ph.D.


Dr. Sanneke van Rooden is a post-doc researcher at the department of Radiology at the Leiden University Medical Center and Faculty of Social Sciences in Leiden, the Netherlands. She completed her Ph.D. in 2015 on Alzheimer’s disease imaging using ultra-high field MRI (7 Tesla) at the department of Radiology at the LUMC in the Netherlands (advisors: Prof. Dr. Mark van Buchem, Prof. Dr. Andrew Webb and Dr. Jeroen van der Grond). In 2001 she started her undergraduate study Psychology at the University of Utrecht, specialized in Clinical Neuropsychology and received her M.Sc. in 2006. Before she started her Ph.D. research, she worked as research assistant and teacher at the University of Utrecht and as a neuropsychologist at the LUMC.

Sanneke is interested in exploring which MRI techniques and cognitive tests are best able to detect the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease and sporadic cerebral amyloid angiopathy (both diseases caused by deposition of amyloid-beta in the brain). In her current project she studies patients with subjective cognitive impairment and mild cognitive impairment (potentially early stages of Alzheimer’s disease) using functional and structural MRI. Sanneke is the Connect Lab’s only remote member, as she is located in Leiden, the Netherlands, where she oversees the data collection for the Dutch part of our research study.

Patrick Pruitt, Ph.D.

Patrick Pruitt

Dr. Patrick Pruitt is a postdoctoral researcher in the Institute of Gerontology. In 2017, he completed his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Michigan, working with Dr. Jon-Kar Zubieta. His dissertation research used fMRI and PET neuroimaging modalities to investigate the neurobiology underlying disrupted reward processing in patients with Major Depression. Patrick previously earned a B.S. in Psychology from Michigan State University. He also worked as a research assistant at Wayne State with Dr. Vaibhav Diwadkar in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences.

Broadly, Patrick's current research interests are focused on using a multimodal neuroimaging approach to investigate altered brain connectivity in neurological disease. He is passionate about science outreach for K-12 students and educational opportunities for STEM undergraduates.

Graduate Students

Raymond P. Viviano

Raymond Viviano

Ray is currently a Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Graduate student with a broad interest in memory and aging. Throughout his studies, Ray hopes to learn more about functional connectivity dynamics in the resting brain; in other words, whole brain communication patterns that occur over short time periods. Additionally, Ray hopes to apply machine learning algorithms to fMRI data to answer cognitive neuroscientific questions and to assess the feasibility of Resting State fMRI scans as a predictive or diagnostic tool (brain age classification, disease classification, etc.). Ray received his B.S. with a dual concentration in Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of Michigan in May 2013; he also worked in the Connect Lab as a Lab Manager from July 2013 to August 2015.

Jessica M. Hayes

Jessica Hayes

Jessica is a graduate student concentrating on Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience within the Department of Psychology. She is interested in a wide variety of topics relating to cognition, but is especially passionate about the use of neuroimaging to investigate such questions. Her previous work has focused on the analysis of task fMRI data and she hopes to soon begin incorporating longitudinal data as well as task connectivity analyses into this work. Jessica received her B.S. in Psychology from Wayne State University in May of 2015. She first became involved with the Connect Lab as an undergraduate volunteer and then worked as a Lab Manager for the Connect Lab from July 2015 until August 2017. Through her recruitment efforts as Lab Manager, Jessica became involved in educational outreach at local senior centers and she hopes to remain active in the community throughout her graduate education.

Youjin Jung

Youjin Jung

Youjin is currently a graduate student in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience Program. Her interest in cognitive neuroscience during her undergraduate studies led her to pursue Master’s Degree in Brain and Cognitive Engineering at Korea University in South Korea. While doing her master’s degree, her studies were focused on cognitive control of cravings and emotion. After Youjin received her master’s degree, she worked in Dr. Pyun’s lab at Korea University Hospital. Her experience there led her to expand her interests into age-related changes in cognition and their relationship to functional and structural connectivity of the brain. Throughout her graduate studies, she hopes to learn more about functional and structural neural characteristics that underlie age-related changes in cognition. She is also interested in interactions between different brain networks during resting-state and their relationship with cognition.

Research Assistants

Nikki Tracy

Nicole Tracy

Nikki graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014 where she double majored in Cognitive Science and Psychology. During her time at UVA, she worked in a few psychology labs, including one that focused on a longitudinal study analyzing the impact of aging on a variety of cognitive functions. This lab sparked Nikki's interest in cognitive aging research. As the Connect Lab’s Lab Manager, Nikki hopes to expand her knowledge of high-level research, and gain experience in neuroimaging and processing fMRI data. In the future, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology.

Student Assistants

Shelby Darichuk


Shelby is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree at Wayne State University, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Neuroscience. She has conducted research in a previous lab that focused on working closely with the Detroit community and mental health. This hands-on research drove her passion to attempt to find solutions and explanations for cognitive disorders. By working in the Connect Lab, Shelby wishes to expand her knowledge of neuroscience and gerontology through fMRI data analysis. She will carry this knowledge with her to attend graduate school, and ultimately aims to receive a PhD in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience.


Rebekah Ham

     Graduate Student, Bioethics and Medical Humanities, Case Western Reserve University


Safwaan Mir

     Biomedical Physics, Wayne State University


Zachary J. Fernandez

     Graduate Student, Department of Neuroscience, Michigan State


Toni Lewis

     Social Cognitive Affective Neurodevelopment Laboratory, Wayne State


Kalyan C. Yarraguntla

     Research Assistant, Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine


Jesse A. Riojas

     Lead Behavior Technician, Gateway Pediatric Therapy


Joseph A. Ostrow

     Research Assistant, Neurorehabilitation Lab, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital


Veronica L. Archer

     Doctoral Candidate, Department of Psychology, Central Michigan University

     Neuropsychology Intern, John D. Dingell VA Medical Center


Riana Ura

     Research Assistant II, Public Health Sciences, Henry Ford Health Systems


Cindy V. Temali

     Certified Nurse Assistant, Progressive Care and Cardiac Telemetry Department, Crittenton Hospital


Gregory A. Norville

     Graduate Student, Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, Wayne State University


Marisa S. Mills

     Graduate Student, Clinical Health Psychology, Department of Behavioral Sciences, University of Michigan at Dearborn