Project Details


The importance of sleep to human health and well-being has long been recognized. Contemporary research emphasizes two central processes by which sleep affects our daily lives: Memory-consolidation and emotional regulation. However, the ability of lab-based sleep research to fully characterize the role of sleep in brain function has been hampered by experimental requirements that heretofore have necessitated subjects spending a night or two in a sleep lab wired to an EEG recorder, a setting of limited ecological validity that is usually practical for only one or two nights. These requirements limit our ability to answer important questions regarding the long-term effects of sleep on cognition and mood. This project aims to answer these questions using: (i) Long-term Mobile Sleep and Activity Monitoring to enable the economical, practical, and parallel assessment of sleep patterns of multiple participants in their own homes for several weeks; and (ii) Mobile Individualized Cognitive Assessment to deliver twice-daily short cognitive tests and other self-assessments in participants' homes. The project aims to develop a smart health approach that integrates these two technologies to assess the effect of sleep-wake patterns on the cognitive performance of participants for a period of several weeks, thus obtaining the necessary data needed to answer the research questions regarding the long-term effects of sleep on cognition and mood including: (i) What is the cumulative effect, over many days, of fluctuations in sleep patterns on cognitive and emotional wellbeing? (ii) What are the effects of sleep on the gradual consolidation of memory in activities which require ongoing practice for days or weeks to master? Intellectual Merit: Anticipated results of the project include answers to important unanswered questions about the complex interactions between natural fluctuations in sleep and their influence on cognitive and emotional well-being through innovations in (i) Utilization of mobile sleep, activity, and cognitive assessments to allow long-term studies to take place in participants' homes, (ii) Use of cognitive tasks that have previously been validated in a wide range of clinical populations, and which measure subtle variations in two key brain regions involved in sleep-related changes in cognition: the basal ganglia and medial temporal lobe. (3) Application of mathematical model-based methods for deriving learning strategies used by participants to provide a novel and parsimonious approach to analyzing and interpreting large sets of learning data from the cognitive assessments to extract the key neuro-cognitive parameters which can be related to variations in sleep patterns.Broader Impacts: Integrating mobile sleep monitoring with cognitive and emotional assessments will further the SHB goal of empowering patient-centric wellness using unobtrusive monitoring of individual baselines. Mobile sleep monitoring may be especially useful for impaired individuals for whom a sleep-lab is not viable. The project offers enhanced research-based training opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students, including members of under-represented groups, at Rutgers University. All of the research results, data, publications, mathematical models, will be made freely available to the larger research community.
Effective start/end date9/1/128/31/15


  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))


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