CENTER FOR SLEEP AND COGNITION
Murray Barsky, M.A.
Ina Djonlagic, M.D.
Cagri Yuksel, M.D.
Bob Stickgold is an Associate Professor of Harvard Medical School and the PI of the Center for Sleep and Cognition. His research seeks to describe the nature of cognition during sleep, and to explain the role of sleep in memory and emotional processing. His studies of sleep and memory have provided definitive evidence demonstrating the importance of sleep in learning and memory consolidation.
Pictured: Elaine Parr lookin' content, and behind her, a human.
Elaine holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Furman University. When she first started in the lab, she spent most of her time running participants and preprocessing data. She can now be found desperately fighting entropy in the lab, looking for excuses to practice her newly-acquired Python skills ("It will save time in the long run, I promise!"), doing more data preprocessing and analyses, and answering the same question for the 9th time this week.
Alex Morgan is currently deep undercover working on a "secret project," which may or may not involve stealing the Declaration of Independence and using it as a map to find buried treasure. When not bribing the lab manager with baked goods, Alex helps with "everyone else's computer programming" and technical issues around the lab. A whiz with C++, Java, Python, Perl, and more, Alex is an indispensable member of the Stickgold research team. Feeling ambitious, Alex recently earned her master's degree, her thesis investigating the influence of a nap on transitive inference learning.
Eileen graduated with a B.A. in Neuroscience from Wellesley College. Eileen works on scripting various tasks and drinking copious quantities of tea.
Erina received an MA in Mental Health Counseling from Boston University. She is currently working on the SPARCS study, as well as a study examining emotional memory consolidation during sleep in healthy controls and depressed patients. In her free time, Erina eats macarons and changes her hair color. She claims she dyes it, but we suspect she has secret chameleon-like abilities.
Roy received his PhD from the University of Amsterdam. Roy's main interest concerns the role of neural oscillations in memory processing during both wake and sleep — and the role of sleep spindles and slow waves in memory consolidation in particular. He takes a comprehensive view at the enormous amount of data yielded by high-density EEG data, relating the spatial, temporal, and spectral dimensions of oscillatory activity in various ways. Specific oscillatory features and analysis approaches include: power, phase- and amplitude-based connectivity, cross-frequency coupling, spindle and slow wave detection, graph theory, multivariate classification and representational similarity techniques. By characterizing the complex landscape of all this oscillatory activity in detail, Roy hopes to come to a better understanding of the communication lines at play and the neural mechanisms underlying sleep's role in memory.
Anna has three ongoing projects at the lab: she is running an object category learning experiment assessing changes in generalization ability to novel exemplars across a night of sleep versus a day awake. She is also running a study with amnesic patients in collaboration with Mieke Verfaellie at the VA to test the extent to which sleep-dependent improvement in the motor sequence task may depend on the hippocampus. Finally, she is developing a neural network model of hippocampal-cortical interactions during sleep that aims to provide a mechanistic explanation for a range of sleep-dependent learning effects. Please get in touch if you would like to learn more about any of these projects!
Dan Denis earned his PhD in Psychology from the University of Sheffield. He enjoys enabling friends to eat junk food and buy board games they can't afford, in addition to teaching us new British words, such as "faffy."
Dan's main research interest is in understanding how the brain prioritizes which information learned during the day is selected for subsequent consolidation during sleep. He is examining this through behavioral experiments, high density EEG recordings (particularly ERP and time/frequency analyses), and targeted memory reactivation paradigms. He is also working on a project looking at sleep spindle deficits in schizophrenia, and how it relates to memory performance in this group.
Dan also holds an interest in ‘anomalous’ sleep experiences, and in his previous lab he conducted research into phenomena such as sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming. His work in this area seeks to understand the variables that predict these experiences and their outcome on the individual.
Mollie is a research assistant at The Center for Sleep and Cognition. She is interested broadly in studying sleep and memory in humans using neuroscience techniques.
Massachusetts Mental Health Center
Massachusetts General Hospital
Kiran Maski, M.D.
Boston Children's Hospital
Maarten Bos, Ph.D
Maryann Deak, M.D
Jeffrey Ellenbogen, M.D
Edward Pace-Schott, Ph.D
Eliza Park, M.D
Samata Sharma, M.D
Philippe Stenstrom, Ph.D
Rebecca Allen, M.D.
Catherine McCall, M.D.
Marthe van Bronkhorst
Updated March 2017