The Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory (CNL) is a multidisciplinary research laboratory that studies the neural underpinnings of human behavior primarily using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Our two focus areas are cognition in the setting of sleep and sleep deprivation, and the cognitive neuroscience of aging. In addition to our own research, we support a number of other investigators.

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Of Interest

Parenting Made Easy - Good Sleep Habits
Sleep hygiene and encouraging good sleeping habits is our focus this week. The importance of children getting enough sleep. How can this help children learn better, and lead a healthy lifestyle?

Parenting Made Easy | 2 Jun 2017

F1: How crashing out helps win races

"F1 drivers are looking for every edge, every advantage and sleep is one of the tools they can use to make sure they are at optimal performance." - Steven Lockley, Harvard Medical School

CNN | 14 Sep 2017

Sleep regularity is important for the happiness and well-being of college students

We found that week-long irregular sleep schedules are significantly associated with lower self-reported morning and evening happiness, healthiness, and calmness during the week even after controlling for weekly average sleep duration," said lead author Akane Sano, PhD, research scientist in the Media Lab Affective Computing Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Medical Xpress | 5 Jun 2017

Later school start times in the U.S. : An economic analysis

Recent report by RAND corporation showed that delaying school start times to 8:30 a.m. is a cost-effective, population-level strategy which could have a significant impact on public health and the U.S. economy.

RAND Corporation | 31 Aug 2017

Fatigue and Training Gaps Spell Disaster at Sea, Sailors Warn

In interviews, more than a dozen current and former ship commanders who served in the western Pacific said the strain on the Navy's fleet there had caused maintenance gaps and training shortfalls that had not been remedied or had received only cursory attention as leaders focused on immediate missions.

The New York Times | 27 Aug 2017

NeuroImage is third ranked in the category of Health and Medical Sciences under the subcategory of Neurology and is 64 in the overall list. Within NeuroImage, one of our better-known works within the last 5 years is our piece on functional connectivity in sleep deprived persons (De Havas).

Google Scholar Metrics 2017

Voices Of Youth : No downside to starting school late

"I am more awake in class and able to concentrate better. I can last longer before feeling tired."

The Straits Times | 19 Jul 2017

More schools should take leaf out of Nanyang's book

I support Professor Michael Chee's call for more schools to emulate Nanyang Girls' High School by implementing a later start time. Given the scientific evidence in favour of this, there is no time to lose. The scale-up of such a scheme, however, can succeed only if the interests of other stakeholders, such as parents, teachers and transport operators, are also considered.

TODAY | 2 Jun 2017

Letting students sleep in is a move worth emulating

Despite numerous medical studies supporting links between short sleep duration and diabetes, obesity, and the metabolic syndrome, many doctors are largely unaware or indifferent to these findings. The focus of medicine in Singapore is on screening, early diagnosis, early and cost-effective treatment, not prevention. As such, there is widespread ignorance of well-established facts like the mid-adolescent shift in preference for later sleep times and its subsequent reversal in early adulthood.

TODAY | 29 May 2017

Do parents' support behaviours predict whether or not their children get sufficient sleep? A cross-sectional study

Pyper et al. found that on weekdays, enforcing rules about child bedtime was a significant positive predictor of children meeting sleep guidelines. Furthermore, the importance of children getting a good night's sleep, and the capacity of parents to help them do so, should be emphasized in public health efforts promoting healthy child development.

BMC Public Health | 24 May 2017

A big difference in students, after Nanyang Girls starts school later at 8.15am

"At the end of the day I would find myself losing focus and not really catching what the teacher was saying. But now, for my last lesson, I'll still be paying attention"

Channel NewsAsia | 10 May 2017


Recent Publications

27 January 2017


Achievement-oriented adolescents often study long hours under conditions of chronic sleep restriction, adversely affecting cognitive function. Here, we studied how napping and rest breaks (interleaved off-task periods) might ameliorate the negative effects of sleep restriction on processing speed. [Download Article]

16 December 2016


Prioritization is helpful in keeping the volume of information we encounter each day to a manageable level. This may include presenting information in bold or highlighted text, explicitly telling individuals to remember information, and/or offering rewards for later memory. While these strategies are used commonly, it is unclear how their benefit evolves and for how long these enhancing effects persist. Of specific interest to the present work is whether sleep modulates the retrieval of these prioritized versus non-prioritized memoranda over time. Overall, we found that the benefits of prioritization on memory are enhanced over time, requiring time and sleep to unfold fully. [Download Article]

16 December 2016


Memories of an event rarely provide a literal record of that experience. Instead, they involve the integration of elements of that episode with prior experience or knowledge. When the memory of a specific episode is confused with prior similar experiences, and/or fails to be distinctly encoded, errors in subsequent memory retrieval can occur. Sleep is important for memory, but voluntary sleep curtailment is becoming more rampant. Here, the misinformation paradigm was used to investigate false memory formation after 1 night of total sleep deprivation in healthy young adults and 7 nights of partial sleep deprivation (5 h sleep opportunity) in these young adults and healthy adolescents. We found that sleep-deprived individuals were more likely than well-rested persons to incorporate misleading post-event information into their responses during memory retrieval. [Download Article]


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