The Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory (CNL) is a multidisciplinary research laboratory that studies the neural underpinnings of human behavior primarily using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Our two focus areas are cognition in the setting of sleep deprivation, and the cognitive neuroscience of aging. In addition to our own research, we support a number of other investigators.

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Kelly Bennion, PhD exchange student, has just concluded her 3-month attachment with our lab. Thank you for all your contributions during this time; it’s been a wonderful experience working with you! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Come back soon!


Professor Chee gave a talk at Nanyang Girls’ High School on sleep management and learning

Slides can be found here.


Sleep Research Society Trainee Day: June 7th 2015
Functional Imaging of Sleep Loss


Talking About The Walk With Singaporean Clinician Scientists

In this series, we follow the career journeys of Dr Michael Chee, Dr Ong Sin Tiong, Dr Tai E-Shyong, and Dr Ooi Eng Eong.

Click here to read more and for links to the videos.


Perils of sleep deprivation

Professor Chee is featured in the recent issue of International Innovation, The Enigma. Download full article here.




1 September 2015


Temporal expectation enables us to focus limited processing resources, thereby optimizing perceptual and motor processing for critical upcoming events. We investigated the effects of total sleep deprivation (TSD) on temporal expectation by evaluating the foreperiod and sequential effects during a psychomotor vigilance task (PVT). We also examined how these two measures were modulated by vulnerability to TSD. [Download Article]

8 July 2015


Making decisions about rewards that involve delay or effort requires the integration of value and cost information. The computation of the integrated value of a reward with its associated cost in the brain (subjective value) is thought to be critical in guiding choice behavior. The primary aim of the present study was to explore the neural substrates underlying cognitive effort discounting during the period when decisions are made. [Download Article]

24 May 2015


Spontaneous eye-closures that herald sleep onset become more frequent when we are sleep deprived. Although these are typically associated with decreased responsiveness to external stimuli, it is less clear what occurs in the brain at these transitions to drowsiness and light sleep. We posit that that hallucinatory or dream-like mentation occurring at sleep onset could be what underlies the multiple sensory cortex activation previously attributed to the act of eye closure alone. To investigate this, task-free fMRI of sleep-deprived participants was acquired and BOLD activity associated with periods of spontaneously occurring eye closures were marked and analyzed. [Download Article]

1 May 2015


Recent studies demonstrate that baseline PVT performance carries information about vulnerability to subsequent sleep deprivation. But it remains unclear whether features of rested PVT performance can be used to classify a person’s relative performance in the sleep deprived state. In this study, we identified measures derived from baseline psychomotor vigilance task performance that can reliably predict vulnerability to sleep deprivation. [Download Article]

17 February 2015


Significant inter-individual differences in vigilance decline following sleep deprivation exist. We characterized functional connectivity in 68 healthy young adult participants in rested wakefulness and following a night of total sleep deprivation. [Download Article]

1 January 2015


Pathogenic effects of stress show interindividual variation and may be influenced by situational variables such as sleep loss. Here, we probed how the sympathetic nervous system might contribute to altered reactivity in sleep deprived persons. [Download Article]

25 October 2014


Voluntary sleep loss arising from lifestyle choices is prevalent despite it producing an unpleasant mental fog, fatigue and sleepiness that elevate the likelihood of accidents, cognitive errors and emotional dysregulation. Here, Professor Chee discusses the neural mechanisms underlying behavioral changes in the sleep-deprived state, more specifically on aspects of attention and visual processing. [Download Article]


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