Noa Ofen


Dr. Ofen is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Gerontology, the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute, and the Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She is also a faculty member at the Translational Neuroscience Program at the School of Medicine.

Dr. Ofen is the Director of the Cognitive and Brain Development Laboratory and with her program of research she investigates structural and functional brain development across a wide age range of typically developing children and adults. Using tests of cognitive abilities combined with neuroimaging techniques, Dr. Ofen probes how brain structure and function shape human cognitive functioning across development. She focuses on individual differences as expressed through behavior and biological measures (e.g., brain measures, genetic polymorphism). In particular, she has worked to explore the structure and function of the hippocampus, a crucial brain structure for learning and memory that is altered in a number of psychiatric disorders with a neurodevelopmental basis. In identifying neural correlated of memory development using functional neuroimaging she is using cutting edge methodology to investigate the neuronal activity that supports memory in typically and atypically developing populations (including pediatric epilepsy and preterm born children). More broadly Dr. Ofen has written about, and is interested in exploring how new insights gained from developmental cognitive neuroscience may have practical implication in education settings.

Dr. Ofen studied with the world's top researches in the fields of cognitive neuroscience and memory, at MIT, Stanford University, Harvard University, the Weizmann Institute of Science, and Haifa University. In her PhD work, thesis titled: "Cognitive Skill Learning: How Repetition Determines Acquisition" (with Yadin Dudai, and Avi Karni) she studied ways to enhance learning by addressing key elements of the practice experience. For example, she found that spacing the same amount of practice over a few days results not only in better learning of the specific task but also in improvements of related aspects that were not part of the training.

Dr. Ofen provides extensive service to professional societies and participates in peer-review of reviewing of grants and scientific manuscripts. In 2014 she has been selected as a Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow by the National Academy of Science.


PhD, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (2004)
MSc, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (1998)
BA, University of Haifa, Israel (1996)


R01 NIH/NIMH MH107512 Ofen (PI) 06/20/2016 - 03/31/2022 (NCE)
'Development of Memory Networks in Children'


Postdoctoral, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2005-2011)
Postdoctoral, Stanford University (2004-2005)

Teaching positions prior to joining Wayne State University:
Teaching Fellow, Harvard University (2008-2009)
Lecturer, Northeastern University (2010)



Office Location

257 Knapp Building, 87 East Ferry Street, Detroit, 48202 MI

Areas of Expertise

For more information please visit the lab website:

Professional Service

Panelist, Grant Review Panel, National Science Foundation
Special Emphasis NIH Study Section member
Grant Reviewer, multiple international and foundation funding sources
Journal Editorial Board (Frontiers in Psychology, Review Editor)
Ad-hoc manuscript reviewer (multiple Journals)
Conference Program/Abstracts Reviewer (SRCD, HBM, CDS)

Research Focus

Cognitive and brain development: how do changes in brain gives rise to changes in cognition

The development of memory systems in the human brain 

The interplay of perception and memory across development

Spatial-temporal dynamics of memory systems measured using intracranial recordings

Office Phone

(313) 664-2643 | Lab: (313) 664-2644/5/6

Professional Associations

Memory Disorders Research Society (MDRS)
Society for Neuroscience (SFN)
Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS)
Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)
Cognitive Development Society (CDS)
Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM)

Training Offered

See more information about Dr. Ofen's research and training opportunities at:

Honors and Awards

 2020-2021 Career Developmnet Chair, Wayne State University

Courses Taught

PSY1010: Introduction to Psychology (Undergraduate)

PSY8050: Cognitive Neuroscience (Graduate)

PYC7515: Adv Tpc Imaging, Neurodevelopment and Psychitric Disorders (Graduate)

PYC7140: Fundamentals of Neuroimaging (Graduate)


Homayouni, R., Yu, Q., Ramesh, S., Tang, L., Daugherty, A.M., Ofen, N. (2021). Test-retest reliability of hippocampal subfield volumes in a developmental sample: Implications for longitudinal developmental studies. Journal of Neuroscience Research

Pruitt, P.J., Tang, L., Hayes, J.M., Ofen, N., Damoiseaux, J.S. (2021). Age moderation of the association between negative subsequent memory effects and episodic memory performance. Aging Brain

Yin, Q., Johnson, E.L., Tang, L., Auguste K.I., Knight, R.T., Asano, E., Ofen, N. (2020). Direct brain recordings reveal occipital cortex involvement in memory development. Neuropsychologia 148, 107625.

Tang, L., Pruitt, P.J., Yu, Q., Homayouni, R., Daugherty, A.M., Damoiseaux, J., Ofen, N. (2020). Differential functional connectivity in anterior and posterior hippocampus supporting the development of memory formation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 14, 204.

Olsen, R.K., Carr, V.A., Daugherty, A.M., … Ofen, N., … Wisse, L.E.M. on behalf of the Hippocampal Subfields Group (2019). Progress update from the hippocampal subfield group. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring 11, 439-449.

Ofen, N., Yu, Q., Tang, L., Johnson, E.L. (2019). Memory and the developing brain: From description to explanation with innovation in methods. Dev Cognitive Neuroscience 36, 100613.

Johnson, E.L., Tang, L., Qin Yin, Q., Asano, E., Ofen, N. (2018). Direct brain recordings reveal prefrontal cortex dynamics of memory development. Science Advances. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat3702

Progovac, L., Rakhlin, N., Angell, W., Liddane, R., Tang, L., Ofen, N. (2018). Neural correlates of syntax and proto-syntax: evolutionary dimension. Frontiers in Psychology 9, 2415.

Yu, Q., McCall, D.M., Homayouni, R., Tang, L., Chen, Z., Schoof, D., Nishimura, M., Raz, S., Ofen, N. (2018). Age-associated increase in mnemonic strategy use is linked to prefrontal cortex development. NeuroImage 181, 162-169.

Tang, L., Shafer, A.T., Ofen, N. (2018). Prefrontal cortex contributions to episodic memory development. Cerebral Cortex 28(9), 3295-3308.

Yu Q., Daugherty, A.M., Anderson, D.M., Brush, D., Hardwick, A., Lacey, W., Nishimura, M., Raz, S., Ofen N. (2018). Socioeconomic status linked to differences in hippocampal volume in childhood. Developmental Science 21(3), e12561.

Hayes, J.M., Tang, L., Ofen, N., Damoiseaux, J.S. (2017). Subjective memory complains are associated with brain activation supporting successful memory encoding. Neurobiology of Aging 60, 71-80.

Daugherty, A.M., Flinn, R., Ofen, N. (2017). Hippocampal CA3-dentate gyrus volume uniquely linked to improvement in associative memory from childhood to adulthood. NeuroImage 153, 75-85.

Wisse, L., Daugherty, A.M., … Ofen, N., …, la Joie, R. for the Hippocampal Subfields Group (2017). A harmonized segmentation protocol for hippocampal and parahippocampal subregions: why do we need one and what are the key goals? Hippocampus 27, 3-11.

Ofen, N., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S., Chai, X.J, Schwarzlose, R.F., Gabrieli, J.D.E. (2017). Neural correlates of deception: lying about past events and personal beliefs. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 12, 116-127.

Ofen, N., Yu Q.J., Chen D. (2016). Memory and the Developing Brain: Are insights from cognitive neuroscience applicable to education? Current Opinions in Behavioral Sciences 10, 81-88.

Daugherty, A.M., Bender, A.R., Raz, N., Ofen, N. (2016). Age differences in hippocampal subfield volumes from childhood to late adulthood. Hippocampus 26, 220-228.

Daugherty, A.M., Ofen, N. (2015). That's a good one! Belief in the efficacy of mnemonic strategies contributes to age-related increase in associative memory. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 136, 17-29.

Daugherty, A.M., Yu, Q.J., Flinn, R., Ofen, N. (2015). A Reliable and valid method for manual demarcation of hippocampal head, body and tail. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience 41, 115-122.

Matsuzaki, N., Schwarzlose, R., Nishida, M., Ofen, N., Asano, E. (2015). Upright face-preferential high-gamma responses in lower-order visual areas: evidence from intracranial recordings in children. Neuroimage 109, 249-259.

Chai, X.J., Ofen, N., Gabrieli, J.D.E., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S. (2014). Selective development of anticorrelated networks in the intrinsic functional organization of the human brain. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 26, 501-513.

Chai, X.J., Ofen, N. (CXJ NO equal contribution), Gabrieli, J.D.E., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S. (2014). Development of deactivation of the default-mode network during episodic memory formation. Neuroimage 84, 932-938.

Ofen, N., Shing, Y.L. (2013). From perception to memory: Changes in memory systems across the lifespan. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 37, 2258-2267.

Ofen, N., Chai, X.J., Schuil, K.D.I., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S. Gabrieli, J.D.E. (2012). The development of brain systems for successful memory retrieval of scenes. Journal of Neuroscience 32, 10012-10020.

Ofen, N. (2012). The development of neural correlates for memory formation. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 36, 1708-1717.

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