Top of page
Skip to main content
Main content

Alexandra CohenAssistant Professor


Dr. Ali Ochoa Cohen received her Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience (2012) from Duke University and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience (2017) from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. She then completed her postdoctoral training at New York University from 2017 to 2022. Dr. Cohen joined the Department of Psychology at Emory University as an Assistant Professor in 2022. 


Research Interests

Cognitive neuroscience, development, learning, memory, motivation, emotion 

Research Areas 

Dr. Cohen’s research focuses on understanding the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying how motivationally salient learning experiences shape lasting memories across development. Her work lies at the intersection of affective, computational, and developmental cognitive neuroscience and is grounded in insights from behavioral neuroscience in non-human animals. She uses a multimodal approach, including behavioral paradigms, neuroimaging, psychophysiology, and computational modeling.  

Current work in the Learning, Understanding, Memory, & Neurodevelopment (LUMeN) Lab aims to determine how reward states – both in the lab and in the real world – modulate the formation of memories that can carry over to guide future behaviors across development. A related area of research focuses on how emotional experiences influence memory formation from childhood to adulthood. The lab also investigates how the complexity of the learning environment influences motivated learning, memory, and brain function across age. This research may ultimately inform strategies that leverage adaptive developmental changes in motivated learning and memory mechanisms to improve learning, decision-making, and outcomes for young people. 


Dr. Cohen's course schedule will be announced shortly.