Noa Ofen

Noa Ofen

Assistant Professor

Noa Ofen

Bio Sketch

Dr. Ofen is an Assistant 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 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.  She is also using cutting edge methodology to investigate the neuronal activity that supports memory in pediatric epilepsy patients, and extending her research of typical developing children to study atypical populations (such as individuals prematurely born). Dr. Ofen is also interested in exploring how new insights gained from developmental cognitive neuroscience can result in practical implication in education.

Other projects that Dr. Ofen conducted in the past focused on brain mechanism for cognitive control (such as those involved in deception) and the integration of cognitive control and memory. Dr. Ofen worked 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 cenhance 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 improvemnets of related aspects that were not part of the training. 

Dr. Ofen serves as grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation and in 2014 she has been selected as a Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow by the National Academy of Science.


Ph.D., Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (2004)

M.Sc., Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel (1998)

B.A., University of Haifa, Israel (1996)

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 Location

257 Knapp

Areas of Expertise

For more information please visit the lab website: 


Postdoctoral, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2005-2011)

Postdoctoral, Stanford University (2004-2005)



RO1 MH-107512-01     Ofen (PI)

Development of Memory Networks in Children 


R01 MH-080344-02      Gabrieli (PI)

Development of Declarative Memory in the Human Brain.

The goals of this project are to discover the underpinnings of the normal development of declarative memory using cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of memory encoding and retrieval.

Role: Co-Investigator

Courses Taught

PSY1010: Introduction to Psychology (Undergraduate)

PSY8050: Cognitive Neuroscience (Graduate)

PYC7140: Fundamentals of Neuroimaging

PYC7515: Adv Tpc Imaging, Neurodevelopment and Psychitric Disorders

Office Phone

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

Professional Service

Panelist, Grant Review Panel, National Science Foundation

Ad-hoc Grant Reviewer (multiple federal and internations funding sources)

Journal Editorial Board (Frontiers in Psychology, Review Editor)

Ad-hoc reviewer (multiple Journals)

Conference Program/Abstracts Reviwer (SRCD, HBM, CDS)

Training Offered

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

Professional Associations

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

Honors and Awards

Fellow 2014 German American Kavli Frontiers of Sceince Symposiyoum organized by the National Academy of Sciences 


   Selected list of peer-reviewed publications:

   Daugherty, A.M., Bender, A.R., Raz, N., Ofen, N. (in press). Age differences in hippocampal subfield volumes from 

childhood to late adulthood. Hippocampus.

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. Selective development of anticorrelated networks in the intrinsic functional organization of the human brain. (2014). Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 26, 501-513.

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

Ofen, N., Shing, Y.L. From perception to memory: Changes in memory systems across the lifespan. (2013). 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.

Chai, X.J., Ofen, N., (CXJ NO equal contribution) Jacobs, L.F., Gabrieli, J.D.E. (2010). Developmental changes in medial temporal lobe associated with forming complex memories. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 4, 21:1-10.

Ofen, N., Kao Y.-C., Sokol-Hessner, P., Kim, H., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S. & Gabrieli, J.D.E. (2007). Development of the declarative memory system in the human brain. Nature Neuroscience 10, 1198-1205.