Research Projects

Thoughts and sleep

Did you ever experience problems sleeping when you had an important exam or appointment the next day? How deep do you sleep if you would be on call or if you would not want do miss the crying of your baby? How fast do you fall asleep when something is bothering you?

Our mind and imagination affect our sleep. Mostly in a negative way. But can we use our thoughts and imaginations to positively influence our sleep? And if yes, what are the mechanisms underlying this influence of our mind on our sleep? These and other questions we are currently investigating in the context of the European research funding.

Sleep and memory

How does our memory work?? And what is the role of sleep for consolidating memories? Sleep after learning has positive effects on our memory. In a series of studies, we are examining how sleep supports memory consolidation and how we can influence this process. For example, does better sleep quality leads to better memory? Can we manipulate the process of memory consolidation during sleep? How are emotional memories processed during sleep? And what is the role of sleep for memory in old age?

We examine these questions in our sleep laboratory. Methodically we are using behavioral memory paradigms and we are using brain imaging such as electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure brain activity during sleep.