I study the relationship between sleep and cognition, including effects of sleep loss, memory consolidation functions of sleep, causes and possible functions of dreaming, nightmares, and lucid dreams.

  • MA, Natural Sciences, Cambridge University
  • PhD, Brunel University

Areas of Expertise

  • sleep
  • dreaming
  • memory
  • learning
  • REM sleep

Publications

  1. & Characteristics of the memory sources of dreams: A new version of the content-matching paradigm to take mundane and remote memories into account. PLOS ONE 12(10), e0185262
  2. & Sleep-dependent memory consolidation is related to perceived value of learned material. Journal of Sleep Research
  3. & Sleep does not cause false memories on a story-based test of suggestibility. Consciousness and Cognition 52, 39-46.
  4. & The dream-lag effect: Selective processing of personally significant events during Rapid Eye Movement sleep, but not during Slow Wave Sleep. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 122, 98-109.

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Teaching

  • PSY319 Final Year Independent Research Project

    Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. The research topic is decided in conjunction with supervisors and Research topics. Students must obtain ethical approval, design, conduct, analyse and write up a piece of research in order to achieve Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

  • PSY325 Independent Research Project - Joint Honours

    Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. Students must obtain ethical approval, design, conduct, analyse and write up a piece of research in order to achieve Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society.

  • PSY357 Sleep and Dreaming

    The module provides an in depth look at the psychology and neuroscience of dreaming. It addresses the relationship between dreaming and the stages of sleep, and the relationship with waking life events and concerns. The module covers research conducted in sleep laboratories as well as research on dreams collected at home. Different types of dreams are explored, such as lucid dreams and nightmares. The relevance of Freud to current work in experimental psychology on dreaming is critically evaluated, including claims that dreams can be a source of personal insight. Finally, students will be able to explore the current debated issue of whether dreaming has a function, and whether this function is related to proposed functions for sleep.

Supervision

  • Exploring visual attention eith eye-tracking and pupilometry (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Johnston

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
1989 1991 Research Fellow Loughborough University
1991 Present Lecturer/Senior Lecturer/Reader/Professor Swansea University

External Responsibilities

  • Fellow, British Psychological Society

    2013 - Present

  • Peer Review College Member, Economic and Social Research Council

    2012 - Present

Key Grants and Projects

  • Dream content as a measure of memory consolidation across multiple periods of sleep 2012 - 2013

    £100k award, with J-B. Eichenlaub, E. van Rijn, P. Lewis, G. Gaskell, M. Walker, ESRC

Research Groups

  • Sleep Lab

    The Swansea University Sleep Laboratory investigates sleep, dreaming, and what happens when people are deprived of sleep. Undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Department of Psychology are involved in this work.