Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging Lab

Principle Investigator: Naftali Raz, PhD
Research in this lab explores how the brain changes with age and how these changes are related to changes in memory and problem solving skills in healthy adults. We are especially interested in finding out how individual differences in predisposition to vascular disease affect age-related changes in brain and cognition. Since 2001, we have been conducting a long-term follow-up longitudinal investigation, in which we use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study changes in brain structure in healthy adult volunteers within a wide age range (18 – 90 years). We also conduct studies on age-related differences in various cognitive abilitities such as memory, problem solving, and spatial navigation.

ConnectLab: Brain Connectivity and Aging

Principle Investigator: Jessica S. Damoiseaux
This Lab seeks to elucidate how brain morphology and function change over time in healthy older adults with and without memory complaints. Changes in functional brain connectivity and brain structure are measured with resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI), diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The lab aims to detect possible early biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementias.

Ofen Lab: Cognitive and Brain Development Lab

Principle Investigator: Noa Ofen, PhD
313-664-2644, 2645 or 2646
Research focused on how children and adults learn and remember information. We are particularly interested in understanding the brain basis for learning and memory, and how changes in the brain as children mature into adulthood are linked to changes in behavior.

SCANLAB: Social Cognitive Affective Neruodevelopment Laboratory

Principle Investigator: Moriah Thomason, PhD
Our lab examines the development of large scale brain networks in children. Our theoretical thrust follows from what developmental psychologists have long noted: that cognitive and affective operations improve in parallel and that complex high-order operations are reliant upon foundational improvements in more basic, general, and distributed processes. We use fMRI and structural MRI technologies to advance network level hypotheses of neural development.

Using multi-modal brain imaging we are working to uncover the connectional architecture of the developing human brain. We examine relationships between aspects of functional connectivity and white matter integrity (measured using diffusion tensor imaging) to better understand parallel processes of anatomical and functional maturation.

We also study how genetic information can be used to test specific hypotheses about how neurotransmitter systems or growth factors can enhance or impede the processes of development.