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Developmental aspects of sleep, memory and emotion


Research Aims

Early human development is characterized by rapid and tremendous psychological and neurophysiological changes due to maturation and learning. Specifically, compared with adults, infants and children show a distinctly increased need for sleep. We hypothesize that this is partly related to the increased need to form memory. Against this backdrop we investigate how sleep and memory consolidation develop from infancy to childhood, as well as the interplay between sleep, learning, memory, and emotion processing during this period. Additionally, we investigate sleep and memory formation renatally, in the fetus, using fMEG.



1.) Elaina Bolinger
2.) Frederik Weber
3.) Hannes Noack
4.) Jingyi Wang
5.) Katharina Zinke
6.) Tamara Matuz



Current projects
  • Early (Social) Learning and Sleep in Infants - Katharina Zinke, Tamara Matuz
  • Development of Sleep - Hannes Noack, Frederik Weber
  • Emotion Detection in Infants - Elaina Bolinger, Katharina Zinke, Tamara Matuz
  • Object-Place-Memory and Sleep in Toddlers - Hannes Noack, Kathrin Imhof
  • Spatial Orientation and Sleep in Toddlers - Hannes Noack
  • Episodic Memory and Sleep in School-Aged Children - Jingyi Wang, Katharina Zinke, Frederik Weber, Marion Inostroza
  • Sleep and Emotion in School-Aged Children - Elaine Bolinger, Katharina Zinke, Ines Wilhelm
  • Procedural Learning and Sleep in School-Aged Children - Katharina Zinke, Ines Wilhelm
  • Working Memory Training and Sleep - Katharina Zinke



Key publications
  • Huber R, Born J (2014) Sleep, synaptic connectivity, and hippocampal memory during early development. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 18(3): 141-152.
  • Wilhelm, I., Rose, M., Imhof, K. I., Rasch, B., Büchel, C., & Born, J. (2013). The sleeping child outplays the adult's capacity to convert implicit into explicit knowledge. Nature Neuroscience, 16(4), 391-393.
  • Matuz, T., Govindan, R. B., Preissl, H., Siegel, E. R., Muenssinger, J., Murphy, P., ... & Eswaran, H. (2012). Habituation of visual evoked responses in neonates and fetuses: a MEG study.Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 2(3), 303-316.
  • Wilhelm, I., Prehn-Kristensen, A., & Born, J. (2012). Sleep-dependent memory consolidation-What can be learnt from children? Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 36(7), 1718-1728.
  • Wilhelm, I., Diekelmann, S., & Born, J. (2008). Sleep in children improves memory performance on declarative but not procedural tasks. Learning & Memory, 15(5), 373-377.



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