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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, 2019-2021



Using Virtual Reality to Understand the Memory Function of Sleep


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 memory 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 memory in healthy.

Research group(s)

Emotional Processing and Offline Consolidation Research lab (


  • Dr Scott Cairney
  • Dr Cade McCall



Selected publications

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.

Contact details

Emma Sullivan
PhD student
Department of Psychology
University of York