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.


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.

Research Assistant

Jessica M. Hayes

Jessica Hayes

Jessica received her B.S. in Psychology from Wayne State University in May of 2015. She volunteered in the Connect Lab as an undergraduate and currently works in the lab as a Lab Manager. Jessica is interested in a wide variety of topics relating to cognition but is especially passionate about the use of neuroimaging to investigate such questions. In the future she hopes to pursue a graduate education in cognitive neuroscience with a strong focus on neuroimaging methods.

Student Assistants

Cindy V. Temali

Cindy Temali

Cindy is recent graduate from Wayne State University, where she earned a B.S. in Psychology. Her passion for science led her to pursue a minor in Biology as well. Cindy is interested in changes in brain functionality and cognitive ability throughout the human lifespan. She is particularly interested in exploring how aging relates to changes in memory. In the future, Cindy plans to further her education and pursue her dreams of becoming a Physician Assistant.

Zachary J. Fernandez

Zac Fernandez

Zac is a recent graduate of Wayne State University, where he majored in Psychology and minored in Biology. His passion is in the field of neuroscience and he is interested in many aspects of cognition, particularly cognitive degeneration. Zac hopes to learn more about neuroimaging and how to process fMRI data while working with Connect Lab. In the future he plans to continue his studies in order to achieve his goal of becoming a Neuropsychologist.

Gregory A. Norville


Greg is an ex-marine, small business owner, holds a BIS in ‘Philosophy of Technology’ from Oakland University and is currently in the final year of his BA in Psychology at Wayne State University. He is particularly interested in the hard question of consciousness; why do we have phenomenal experience at all? During his time with the Connect Lab Greg hopes to obtain a meaningful, practicable understanding of the neurocognitive research process. His current task is to acquire hands on research experience in pursuit of his goal of becoming a cognitive or neurocognitive researcher.

Marisa S. Mills


Marisa received her B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan in May 2016. She has a broad interest in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, and the way in which we can use the knowledge gained in this area to combat neuropsychological deficits. Within the Connect Lab, she hopes to learn more about the differentiation between “normal” cognitive decline (that results from aging), and abnormal cognitive decline, that could be an indication of Alzheimer’s disease. In the future, she aspires to become a Neuropsychologist.


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