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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20 October 2016 - Part of our community outreach efforts- assisting Team Z3 at SOTA (school of the arts) in their efforts to raise awareness about sleep in schools

CNL at the 23rd Congress of the European Sleep Research Society

June Lo and Michelle Short at ESRS
James Cousins presents his poster

22 July 2016 - Professor Ken Paller visit to Duke-NUS
It was a memorable learning experience. Thank you for visiting us!

16 June 2016, TODAY - Note to my sleep self: Do something about it
We know that not having enough sleep has negative impacts on various aspects of life. But what can we do about it? Professor Chee shared a few tips to help us re-evaluate our ways of life. Read more here.

25-27 May 2016
CNL’ers at the 6th Society for Biological Decision Making Meeting at Paris

Stijn busy explaining his poster
Mike, Stijn and Amitai Shenhav at the SBDM social




16 December 2016


Prioritization is helpful in keeping the volume of information we encounter each day to a manageable level. This may include presenting information in bold or highlighted text, explicitly telling individuals to remember information, and/or offering rewards for later memory. While these strategies are used commonly, it is unclear how their benefit evolves and for how long these enhancing effects persist. Of specific interest to the present work is whether sleep modulates the retrieval of these prioritized versus non-prioritized memoranda over time. Overall, we found that the benefits of prioritization on memory are enhanced over time, requiring time and sleep to unfold fully. [Download Article]

16 December 2016


Memories of an event rarely provide a literal record of that experience. Instead, they involve the integration of elements of that episode with prior experience or knowledge. When the memory of a specific episode is confused with prior similar experiences, and/or fails to be distinctly encoded, errors in subsequent memory retrieval can occur. Sleep is important for memory, but voluntary sleep curtailment is becoming more rampant. Here, the misinformation paradigm was used to investigate false memory formation after 1 night of total sleep deprivation in healthy young adults and 7 nights of partial sleep deprivation (5 h sleep opportunity) in these young adults and healthy adolescents. We found that sleep-deprived individuals were more likely than well-rested persons to incorporate misleading post-event information into their responses during memory retrieval. [Download Article]

11 October 2016


Although East Asia harbors the largest number of aging adults in the world, there is currently little data clarifying the longitudinal brain-cognition relationships in this group. Here, we report structural MRI and neuropsychological findings from relatively healthy Chinese older adults of the Singapore-Longitudinal Aging Brain Study cohort over 8 years of follow up. [Download Article]

1 September 2016


Many adolescents are exposed to sleep restriction during school days. This behavior could have negative consequences for learning of skills and facts, hence eroding the value of formal education. Most research on the role of sleep in declarative memory has focused on recall performance after a single study opportunity, while in real life students usually learn across days. We found that adolescents exposed to sleep restriction exhibited greater forgetting of items that were learned during single study sessions, but not when items were studied over multiple days. Students with insufficient sleep who cram for exams might be especially prone to forgetting newly learned material, but deficits in learning can be minimized by spacing study sessions over time. [Download Article]

10 August 2016


Fluctuations in resting-state functional connectivity occur but their behavioral significance remains unclear, largely because correlating behavioral state with dynamic functional connectivity states (DCS) engages probes that disrupt the very behavioral state we seek to observe. In this study, we monitor spontaneous eyelid closures following sleep deprivation that permits nonintrusive arousal monitoring and we found that fluctuations in functional connectivity are associated with changes in arousal. [Download Article]

4 August 2016


Maintaining sustained attention over time is an effortful process limited by finite cognitive resources. Recent theories describe the role of motivation in the allocation of such resources as a decision process: the costs of effortful performance are weighed against its gains. We examined this hypothesis by combining methods from attention research and decision neuroscience. We found that higher rewards led to improved performance and enhanced attentional effort. [Download Article]


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