Netherlands, Nijmegen

Cognitive Neuroscience of Sleep

when 8 July 2019 - 12 July 2019
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 ECTS
fee EUR 480

Sleep is an enigma: why do we spend a third of our lives shut off from the world? We will explore the cognitive functions of sleep, including memory consolidation, emotional processing, and dreaming.

Sleep is an enigma; we spend a third of our lives asleep, yet the functions sleep subserves are still unclear. In this Radboud Summer School at the Donders Institute, we will explore in particular the cognitive functions of sleep.

We will focus on five different research areas. 1) After a general overview of the principles/ practices of sleep research, we will introduce advanced sleep research methodology including sleep spindle analyses, neuroimaging of sleep, and the new SleepTrip sleep analysis toolbox. 2) We will then focus on the association between sleep and memory processing, overviewing classical and current animal research on neural replay and memory systems consolidation. 3) We will further investigate human research on sleep-related memory consolidation, particularly highlighting methods of memory manipulation and enhancement during sleep. 4) We will then highlight the clinical value of sleep research, tapping into several topics of sleep medicine including sleep’s role in stress-related disorders such as major depression or post-traumatic stress disorders, or in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. 5) Finally, we will elucidate conscious cognitive processing during sleep, i.e. dreaming. We will target the neural mechanisms underlying dream generation, the neural simulations of novel behaviors as a potential biological function of dreaming; and the elusive phenomenon of lucid dreaming.

Taken together, the summer school will provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of the art of the cognitive neuroscience of sleep. The program will target both participants who joined the field just recently as well as more advanced sleep researchers. Interactive lectures by international leaders in the field will be complemented by hands-on sessions at the facilities of the Donders Institute and interaction between summer school participants, fostering networking with established research leaders and potential new collaborators from all over the world.

Course leader

Martin Dresler
Assistant Professor
Cognitive Neuroscience
Radboud UMC

Target group

Master, PhD, post-doc and professional. Advanced students and early career neuroscientists, biologists, psychologists who aim to develop their sleep research skills and understand higher-level biological functions of sleep including memory consolidation, emotional processing, and dreaming. If you don't have the required background, we highly recommend following the course Introduction To Cognitive Neuroscience first. You can apply for both courses, since the Introduction course will be held one week earlier.

Course aim

After this course you are able to:
1.Evaluate and apply basic and advanced sleep research methodology,
2.Evaluate and design experiments testing sleep-related processing of memories and emotions,
3.Understand/explain the neural mechanisms and biological function of dreaming,
4.Understand/explain the role of sleep in the genesis of psychiatric and neurological disorders.

Fee info

EUR 480: Normal fee


€ 432 early bird discount – deadline 1 March 2019 (10%)
€ 408 partner + RU discount (15%)
€ 360 early bird + partner + RU discount (25%)

Register for this course
on course website