Principal Investigator

Jessica S. Damoiseaux, Ph.D.

Jessica Damoiseaux

Dr. Damoiseaux is an Associate 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

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.

Adriana L. Ruiz Rizzo, Ph.D.

Adriana L. Ruiz Rizzo

Dr. Adriana Ruiz-Rizzo is a postdoctoral researcher in the Chair of general and experimental psychology at LMU Munich in Germany. Her research focuses on resting-state functional connectivity and how it supports cognition and behavior in different populations. She is currently interested in investigating neurocognitive markers of subjective cognitive decline, based on functional and structural connectivity. Therefore, she will be happily joining the Connect Lab for one year.

Adriana completed her Ph.D. in Systemic Neuroscience in 2018 at GSN LMU Munich, working with Dr. Kathrin Finke, Dr. Christian Sorg, and Prof. Hermann Mueller. During her Ph.D., she investigated neural and behavioral correlates of visual processing speed decline in healthy and pathological aging. Adriana earned a B.A. in Psychology in 2008 from the Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia, where she later worked as neuropsychologist and research assistant with Prof. Francisco Lopera in familial Alzheimer's disease research. In 2013, Adriana received her M.Sc. in cognitive and clinical neuroscience from Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

Graduate Students

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.

Rachel Scott

Rachel Scott

Rachel is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience program. She received her B.A. with a triple concentration in Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal Studies from Salem College in May 2018. Prior to obtaining her M.A. in Psychology from Union College KY in August 2020, Rachel worked as a volunteer research assistant in Dr. Cassidy’s Social Cognition lab at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Her experience at this lab influenced her research interests, causing them to shift to the cognitive neuroscience of aging. Presently, during her time at the Connect Lab, Rachel aims to use fMRI to explore her primary research interests in the evolution of selfhood, belief maintenance, and autobiographical memory during healthy and abnormal aging. Her long-term goals are to promote intersectional aging research that highlights underrepresented groups and to ultimately share gained knowledge through active community engagement.

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.


Raymond P. Viviano, Ph.D.


Sanneke van Rooden, Ph.D.

     Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Radiology, Leiden University Medical Center


Nikki Crane

     Graduate Student, Clinical Psychology, Drexel University


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