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Emma Sullivan
PhD Student



  • BSc Psychology, University of York, UK, 2013-2016
  • Research Assistant, University of Sheffield, UK, 2017
  • MSc Psychological Research, University of Oxford, UK, 2017-2018
  • Research Assistant, University of Oxford, UK, 2018
  • Research Assistant, King’s College London, UK, 2018-2020
  • Research Assistant, University College London, UK, 2019-2022

Departmental roles

  • ReproducibiliTea Coordinator (2021 – Present)
  • PhD Buddy (2021 – Present)
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant (2020 – Present)

University roles

  • Academic Assignment Tutor YorJourney (June 2021-July 2021)



Investigating the role of sleep in emotional processing  


Chronic sleep disturbances are a common feature of nearly all psychiatric conditions, affecting up to 90% of depressed patients Relatedly, in healthy adults, acute sleep deprivation impairs brain networks governing affect regulation and emotional memory. Therefore, a full understanding of how sleep contributes to emotional processing is vital for gaining insights into the mind, learning more about the fundamental biology of mental health and disease, and identify novel targets for therapeutic intervention. Combining virtual reality with non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (PSG and fMRI) my PhD aims to investigate the mechanisms by which sleep supports emotional processing in healthy adults.  

Research group(s)


  • Departmental Scholarship, Department of Psychology University of York, UK


  • Dr Scott Cairney
  • Dr Cade McCall
  • Dr Lisa-Marie Henderson




  1. Perception and Cognition II
  2. Development and Language II
  3. Social, Personality and Abnormal Psychology II


Selected publications

  • Halstead, E. J., Sullivan E., Zambelli, Z., Ellis, J. G., & Dimitriou, D. (2021). The Treatment of Sleep Problems in Autistic Adults in the United Kingdom. Autism.
  • Halstead, E. J., Joyce, A., Sullivan, E., Tywyn, C., Davies, K., Jones, A., & Dimitriou, D. (2021). Sleep disturbances and patterns in children with neurodevelopmental conditions. Frontiers in Paediatrics9, 91.
  • Blakey, E., Matthews, D., Cragg, L., Buck, J., Cameron, D., Higgins, B., ... & Carroll, D. J. (2020). The role of executive functions in socioeconomic attainment gaps: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Child Development, 91(5),1594-1614.

Contact details

Emma Sullivan
PhD student
Department of Psychology
University of York

External activities


  • Postgraduate Member of the British Psychological Society