Accessibility statement

Marcus O. Harrington
Research Associate



  • PhD in Psychology, University of Lincoln, UK, 2014-2018
  • BSc in Psychology, University of Lincoln, UK, 2011-2014



My research interests are broadly related to sleep, memory, and emotion.

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.

As a Research Associate, I have been addressing several important research questions:

  • How does sleep help us to control our thoughts and regulate our emotions?
  • What are the mechanisms that underlie sleep-associated memory consolidation?
  • Can we enhance the emotional and cognitive benefits of sleep?
  • Is there a relationship between consolidation and subsequent learning?

My research uses behavioural testing, functional neuroimaging, and psychophysiology.

Research group(s)


  • Scott Cairney
    University of York
  • Michael Anderson
    MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
  • Hong-Viet Ngo
    University of Lübeck
  • Simon Durrant
    University of Lincoln
  • Kyla Pennington
    University of Lincoln


Selected publications

  • Harrington, M. O., Ashton, J. E., Sankarasubramanian, S., Anderson, M. C., & Cairney, S. A. (2021). Losing Control: Sleep Deprivation Impairs the Suppression of Unwanted Thoughts. Clinical Psychological Science, 9(1), 97–113.
  • Harrington, M. O., & Cairney, S. A. (2021). Sleep Loss Gives Rise to Intrusive Thoughts. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 25(6), 434–436.
  • Harrington, M. O., Ashton, J. E., Ngo, H. V. V., & Cairney, S. A. (2021). Phase-locked auditory stimulation of theta oscillations during rapid eye movement sleep. Sleep, 44(4), 1–9.
  • Harrington, M. O., Ngo, H.-V. V., & Cairney, S. A. (2021). No benefit of auditory closed-loop stimulation on memory for semantically-incongruent associations. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 183, 107482.
  • Harrington, M. O., & Cairney, S. A. (2021). Sounding it out: auditory stimulation and overnight memory processing. Current Sleep Medicine Reports, 7(3), 112-119.
  • Ashton, J. E., Harrington, M. O., Langthorne, D., Ngo, H. V. V., & Cairney, S. A. (2020). Sleep deprivation induces fragmented memory loss. Learning and Memory, 27(4), 130–135.

Full publications list

Google Scholar Profile

Contact details

Marcus O. Harrington
Research Associate
Department of Psychology
University of York
Room PS/C/222