Director: Scott M. Hayes, Ph.D.

Dr. Hayes graduated from Skidmore College (Biology, Psychology) and completed his doctoral work in Clinical Psychology (Neuropsychology) at the University of Arizona.  He completed an NRSA-funded cognitive neuroscience-clinical neuropsychology postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University and the Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Duke University Medical Center.  As a Department of Veterans Affairs Career Development Awardee, Dr. Hayes worked at the Boston University Memory Disorders Research Center and served as the Associate Director for the Neuroimaging Research for Veterans Center at VA Boston Healthcare System. A licensed psychologist, Dr. Hayes clinical interests include neuropsychological assessment of age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, microvascular disease, and frontotemporal dementia, as well as medial temporal lobe amnesia. Outside of the lab, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing basketball, competing in Spartan races, and watching the Buckeyes! email: twitter: @scotthayesphd

Graduate Students

Jessica Stark is a clinical psychology graduate student. Her research interests are focused on early identification of cognitive decline and interventions to promote healthy aging. Jessica’s goal is to promote individualized treatments to prevent or ameliorate cognitive dysfunction, and to educate our aging population through community outreach. In her free time, Jessica enjoys spending time with friends and family, running, and exploring new cities.


Research Assistants

Kelly Hiershe, B.S. joined the B-BAL in the summer of 2019. She completed her undergraduate degree in Physics at Adelphi University and then spent two years teaching high school math at Middlesboro High School in KY. Her research interests include the role of computational approaches to advance our understanding of neural processes supporting learning and memory and the connection between physical fitness and neurological health. In her free time, Kelly enjoys reading, knitting, and traveling.

Alex Hasselbach, B.S. joined the B-BAL in 2019 after graduating from the Ohio State University with a B.S. in biomedical engineering. He previously co-authored A Novel Methodology for Extracting and Evaluating Therapeutic Movements in Game-Based Motion Capture Rehabilitation Systems (2018) with the Brain and Neurorecovery lab at Ohio State. He is interested in clinical applications of neuroscience research and its potential to create new and better treatments. When he isn’t in the lab, he likes running, traveling, and building computers.


Undergraduate Students

Laney Saggar is a sophomore undergraduate student studying neuroscience at The Ohio State University. She is interested in exploring the complex relationships between physical fitness, diet, stress, and neurological health, as well as their applications for improving quality of life. In particular, she is fascinated by the ways in which these factors play a role in the prevention and treatment of traumatic brain injury. Outside of the lab, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing tennis, traveling, and hiking.

Nicole Tacsar is a junior undergraduate student studying psychology with a minor in neuroscience at The Ohio State University. In the future she plans on pursuing graduate school. She is interested in looking at how physical fitness impacts memory and cognition. She is also interested in how diet and fitness impacts brain development. She believes that understanding these relationships is important for individuals overall health. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends, reading, hiking, and traveling.


Alexis Berry is a junior undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a minor in neuroscience at The Ohio State University. She currently conducts behavioral health research at the VA Chalmers P. Wylie Ambulatory Center and is the president of OSU’s chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honors Society for Psychology. Alexis is interested in both the normal and clinical aging of the brain and factors that impact this including diet, physical activity, substances, sleep and education. In her free time, she enjoys ballet, photography, playing the violin, going to the gym, hanging out with her friends and spending time outdoors.


Jasmeet Hayes, The MINDSET Lab at The Ohio State University

William Kraemer, Neuroscience/Neuromuscular Lab at The Ohio State University

Mieke Verfaellie, Memory Disorders Research Center at VA Boston