My research focuses on the relationship between sleep and cognition. During my PhD, I investigated the role of REM sleep and emotional memory consolidation in depression vulnerability. This research aimed to improve our understanding of the cognitive, physiological, and genetic risk-factors underlying emotional memory bias in major depressive disorder.
Sleep deprivation and memory control. Sleep has remarkable benefits for multiple aspects of cognition. However, the influence of sleep on the ability to actively avoid thinking about previous experiences is poorly understood. We are currently investigating memory suppression ability in both well-rested and sleep-deprived participants.
REM sleep theta and memory processing. Theta waves that occur during REM sleep are thought to facilitate overnight memory processing. However, evidence demonstrating that REM sleep theta is causally related to memory consolidation in humans is lacking. We are currently developing novel interventions to enhance theta power during REM sleep, and measuring the impact of these interventions on memory consolidation.
Emotion Processing and Offline Consolidation (EPOC)
Dr Scott Cairney