Graduate Studies Faculty

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Barry S. Oken, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Depts of Neurology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Biomedical Engineering
OR Center for Complementary & Alternative in Neurological Disorders
Admin Unit: SOM-Neurology Department
Phone: 503-494-8873
Lab Phone: 503-494-5650
Office: HRC12D50
Mail Code: CR120
Behavioral Neuroscience
Neuroscience Graduate Program
Research Interests:
cognitive neuroscience attention stress human neurophysiology EEG/ERP mind-body medicine cognitive changes with aging and neurodegenerative diseases » PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Academic Term Available Summer 2016 Yes Fall 2016 Yes Winter 2016 Yes Winter 2017 Yes Spring 2017 Yes
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Oken is not available as a mentor for 2016-2017.


Dr. Oken received a B.A. degree in math from the University of Rochester in 1974 and an M.D. degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1978. After completing a medical internship at the University of Illinois Affiliated Hospitals, he served as resident in Neurology from 1980-1983 at Boston University Medical Center. From 1983-1985 he was a Fellow in Electroencephalography and Evoked Potentials at Massachusetts General Hospital and Fellow in Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Since 1985, he has been a member of the faculty at Oregon Health & Science University. He has a strong interest in quantitative analysis of data from human experiments and obtained a PhD in Systems Science in 2016 from Portland State University.

Research Interests

Dr. Oken’s research interests include cognitive changes related to aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and complementary and alternative medicine therapies for neurological disorders. Research methodologies he utilizes center in cognitive neuroscience with a focus on attention, stress, and on human neurophysiology. In addition to directing a collaborative complementary medicine center, Dr. Oken is associate director of the Oregon Health & Science University Layton Aging and Alzheimer Disease Center. He is an active researcher who also regularly sees people with various cognitive disorders, primarily dementia and is medical director of the OHSU Clinical Neurophysiology Department. Dr. Oken has published 150 articles, abstracts and book chapters in his areas of interest.

Selected Publications

Oken, BS, Zajdel D, Kishiyama S, Flegal K, Dehen C, Haas M, Kraemer DF, Lawrence J, Leyva J. Randomized controlled 6-month trial of yoga in healthy seniors: effects on cognition and quality of life. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 2006, 12:40-49. 

Oken BS, Salinsky MC, Elsas SM. Vigilance, alertness, or sustained attention: Physiological basis and measurement. Clinical Neurophysiology 2006, 117:1885-1901. 

Oken BS, Flegal K, Zajdel D, Kishiyama S, Haas M, Peters D. Expectancy effect: impact of pill administration on cognitive performance in healthy seniors. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 2008, 30:7-17. 

Wahbeh H, Kishiyama SS, Zajdel D, Oken B. Salivary cortisol awakening response in mild Alzheimer's disease, caregivers, and non-caregivers. Alzheimer's Disease & Related Disorders 2008, 22:181-183. 

Dodge HH, Zitzelberger T, Oken BS, Howieson D, Kaye J. A randomized placebo-controlled trial of ginkgo biloba for the prevention of cognitive decline. Neurology 2008, 70:1809-1816. 

Wahbeh H, Elsas S-M, Oken B. Mind-body interventions: applications in neurology. Neurology 2008, 70:2321-2328. 

Oken BS. Placebo effects: Clinical aspects and neurobiology, Brain 2008, 131:2812-2823. 

Oken BS, Fonareva I, Haas M, Wahbeh H, Lane JB, Zajdel D, Amen A. Pilot controlled trial of mindfulness meditation and education for dementia caregivers. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2010, 16:1031-1038.

Mukherjee S, Yadav R, Yung I, Zajdel D, Oken BS. Sensitivity to Mental Effort and Test-Retest Reliability of Heart Rate Variability Measures in Healthy Seniors. Clinical Neurophysiology 2011, 122:2059-2066.

Fonareva I, Amen A, Zajdel D, Ellingson R, Oken B. Assessing sleep architecture in dementia caregivers at home using an ambulatory polysomnographic system.  Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology 2011, 24:50-59.

Oken BS, Fonareva I, Wahbeh H. Stress-related cognitive dysfunction in dementia caregivers. Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology 2011, 24:192-199.

Fonareva I, Amen A, Ellison, RG, Oken B. Differences in stress-related ratings between research center and home environments in dementia caregivers using ecological momentary assessment. International Psychogeriatrics 2012, 24:90-98.


University of Rochester, BA (Mathematics), 1974

Medical College of Wisconsin, MD (Medicine) 1978

Boston University (Neurology Residency), 1980-1983

Harvard University (Fellowship in EEG and Evoked Potentials), 1983-1985

Previous Positions

Assistant and Associate Professor, OHSU

Non-Academic Interests

bicycling, yoga, hiking, travel, movies


Clinical Profile

Layton Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Center

Behavioral Neuroscience Department

Department of Neurology