Sleep and Cognition Laboratory – Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore

Sleep and Cognition Laboratory - Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore

Centre for Sleep and Cognition

Sleep and Cognition Laboratory

Contact: Michael  
Position: Professor
Address: 12 Science Drive 2, Level 13
City: Singapore
Country: Singapore
Contact Email: Contact laboratory
RESEARCH DOMAIN: Basic Human, Methodology / Technology
KEYWORDS: Learning, Memory, Cognition, Epidemiology of Sleep, Sleep and Ageing


The Centre for Sleep and Cognition at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, is recruiting tenure-track faculty (at all ranks) interested in contributing to one or more of the following areas:

  • Population health studies intended to improve sleep health, cognition and/or mental wellbeing.
  • Sleep, and /or cognitive / brain development in adolescents.
  • Sleep, and/or cognitive and multi-modal imaging studies intended to reduce the burden of age-related cognitive decline, or dementia.

The team has an extensive network of local and international collaborations and is renowned for work on sleep restriction/ deprivation across the lifespan as well as human MRI based functional, brain structure and connectivity studies. The use of wearable technology in population health study is an area of particular interest.

The CSC is equipped with two research MRI scanners, ~70 portable EEG systems, wearable sleep and physical activity monitors, computing infrastructure, associated lab space and core research support services.

Candidates should be post-doctorate or post MD/MBBS for at least 3 years and have a good record of high-quality research publications. Interest in translational research (as opposed to purely theoretical approaches) is favored.

Note that faculty salaries / stipends are paid using school funds i.e. they are not dependent on ‘soft’ money obtained from grants

Applicants should submit dossiers (cover letter, CV, research and teaching statements, key publications, and three references) to the search committee through Review of applications begins 1stAugust 2023.

Laboratory Description:

The Sleep and Cognition Lab originally called the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab was established in 1997. We are a multi-disciplinary, multi-nationality team that seeks to contribute knowledge that furthers our understanding of sleep, its cognitive functions and how to optimize it to further health, cognitive performance and wellbeing. From modest beginnings, we have grown to have about 20-members, with many fulfilling collaborations and affiliations as well as several well-placed alumni.

From 1997 to the end of 2003, the CNL performed functional imaging research in the domain of bilingualism and language processing. It was our goal to elucidate the neural basis for differentiating persons adept at learning a second language from cognitively-matched persons who have difficulty doing this.

The lab switched focus to studying sleep deprivation at the end of 2003. We investigated the mechanisms underlying neurobehavioral changes occurring after a night of total sleep deprivation. We contributed numerous empirical studies examining attention, processing capacity, distractor inhibition, decision making and working memory using a mixture of behavioral tasks and fMRI.

In 2013, the lab took its work on sleep deprivation into a more translational realm with our ‘Need for Sleep Studies’ on adolescents. Working with June Lo  and Joshua Gooley, we mapped out cognitive performance following exposure to multi-night sleep restriction using different sleep timings, some of which incorporated naps. These studies, conducted over 6 years have greatly added to our understanding of which aspects of cognition are affected  with multi-night sleep restriction over two cycles. Other efforts to study adolescent sleep include investigations on starting school later and sleep education. We have also been extremely active in advocating for sleep as a key component in improving health and wellbeing.

Alongside these efforts we investigated acoustic stimulation to boost sleep slow oscillations. To support the high throughput PSG evaluations in the NFS studies, we developed an automated sleep staging system that has been spun off into a start-up.

We have a long standing interest in studying naps from adolescence into late adulthood.

In 2018, we began to use consumer sleep trackers to evaluate population sleep patterns. This was extended through collaboration with the Health Promotion Board over a span of 5 years, resulting in studies on sleep pre-COVID-19, during COVID-19 and transition to normality,  In 2019 we started combining sleep and activity tracking with smartphone based apps to better understand sleep and its effects on cognition, health and wellbeing.


Additional Descriptors, Keywords:

Sleep Restriction, Sleep Deprivation, Memory, Attention, Napping, Sleep and Ageing, Adolescent Sleep, Consumer Sleep Trackers,

KEY Publications of the Laboratory:

Listing of publications related to sleep only till Feb 2023; For a more complete listing see

  1. Leong LFR, Lau TY, DicomAR, Teo TB, Ong JL & Chee MWL. Influence of Mid-Afternoon Nap Duration andSleep Parameters on Memory Encoding, Mood, Processing Speed and Vigilance. Sleep zsad025. zsad025,
  2. Leong RLF & Chee MWL. Understanding the Need for Sleep to Improve Cognition. Annual Review of 2023 Jan; 74 032620-034127
  3. Qin S, Leong RLF, Ong JL & Chee MWL. Associations between objectively measured sleep parameters andcognition in healthy older adults: A meta-analysis. Sleep Medicine Reviews. 2023 Feb 1; 67, 101734.
  4. Ong JL, Massar SAA, Lau TY, Ng BKL, Chan LF, Koek D, Cheong K & Chee MWL. A RandomisedControlled Trial of a Digital, Small Incentive-based Intervention for Working Adults with Short Sleep. Sleep. 2022 Dec 21;zsac315.
  5. Leong RLF, Lo JC & Chee MWL. Systematic review and meta-analyses on the effects of afternoon napping on cognition. Sleep Medicine Reviews. 2022 Oct; 65,
  6. Massar SA, Chua XY, Soon CS, Ng ASC, Ong JL, Chee NIYN, Lee TS, Ghosh A, & Chee, MWL. Trait-likenocturnal sleep behavior identified by combining wearable, phone-use, and self-report data. NPJ digital medicine. 2021 Jun 2; 4(1), 1-10.
  7. Ong JL, Lau TY, Massar SAA, Chong ZT, Ng BKL, Koek D, Zhao W, Yeo BTT, Cheong K, Chee MWL. COVID-19 Related mobility reduction: Heterogenous effects on sleep and physical. Sleep. 2020 Sep 11. DOI: 1093/sleep/zsaa179
  8. Patanaik A, Ong JL, Gooley JJ, Ancoli-Israel S, Chee MWL. An end-to-end framework for real-time automatic sleep stage classification. Sleep. 2018 Mar 26; doi: 1093/sleep/zsy041
  9. Lo JC, Lee SM, Teo LM, Lim J, Gooley JJ, Chee MWL. Neurobehavioral Impact of Successive Cycles ofSleep Restriction With and Without Naps in Sleep. 2017 Feb 1. 40(2): zsw042. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsw042
  10. Wang C, Ong JL, Patanaik A, Zhou J, Chee MW. Spontaneous eyelid closures link vigilance fluctuationwith fMRI dynamic connectivity Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2016;113:9653-9658.
  11. Lo JC, Ong JL, Leong RL, Gooley JJ, Chee MW. Cognitive Performance, Sleepiness, and Mood in Partially Sleep Deprived Adolescents: The Need for Sleep Study. Sleep 2016;39:687-698. doi: 5665/sleep.5552
  12. Lo JC, Groeger JA, Cheng GH, Dijk DJ, Chee MW. Self-reported sleep duration and cognitiveperformance in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Med 2016;17:87-98. DOI: 1016/j.sleep.2015.08.021
  13. Yeo BT, Tandi J, Chee MW. Functional connectivity during rested wakefulness predicts vulnerability to sleep deprivation. Neuroimage 2015;111:147-158. DOI: 1016/j.neuroimage.2015.02.018
  14. De Havas JA, Parimal S, Soon CS, Chee MW. Sleep deprivation reduces default mode network connectivity and anti-correlation during rest and task performance. Neuroimage. 2012 59(2):1745-51. DOI: 1016/j.neuroimage.2011.08.026
  15. Venkatraman V, Huettel SA, Chuah LY, Payne JW, Chee MW. Sleep deprivation biases the neuralmechanisms underlying economic J Neurosci. 2011;31(10):3712- 8. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4407-10.2011
  16. Chee MW, Tan Lapsing when sleep deprived: neural activation characteristics of resistant and vulnerable individuals. Neuroimage. 2010;51(2):835-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.02.031
  17. Chuah LY, Chee MW. Cholinergic augmentation modulates visual task performance in sleep-deprived young adults. J Neurosci. 2008;28(44):11369-77. DOI: 1523/JNEUROSCI.4045-08.2008
  18. Chee MW, Tan JC, Zheng H, Parimal S, Weissman DH, Zagorodnov V, et al. Lapsing during sleepdeprivation is associated with distributed changes in brain J Neurosci. 2008;28(21):5519-28. DOI:
  19. Chee MW, Chuah Functional neuroimaging and behavioral correlates of capacity decline in visualshort-term memory after sleep deprivation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007;104(22):9487-92.
  20. Venkatraman V, Chuah YM, Huettel SA, Chee MW. Sleep deprivation elevates expectation of gains andattenuates response to losses following risky Sleep. 2007;30(5):603-9. DOI: 10.1093/sleep/30.5.603
  21. Chuah YM, Venkatraman V, Dinges DF, Chee MW. The neural basis of interindividual variability in inhibitoryefficiency after sleep J Neurosci. 2006 ;26(27):7156- 62. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0906-06.2006
  22. Chee MW, Choo Functional imaging of working memory after 24 hr of total sleep deprivation. J Neurosci. 2004;24(19):4560-7. DOI:



  • Title:  PhD Name:  June C Lo Position:  Institution: National University of Singapore Email: 
  • Title:  PhD Name:  Joshua J Gooley Position:  Institution: Duke-NUS Medical School Email: 
  • Title:  PhD Name:  Bei Bei Position:  Institution: Monash University Email: 
  • Title:  PhD Name:  Thomas BT Yeo Position:  Institution: National University of Singapore Email: 
  • Title:  PhD Name:  Helan J Zhou Position:  Institution: National University of Singapore Email: 
  • Title:  PhD Name:  Reto Huber Position:  Institution: University of Zurich Email: 
  • Title:  PhD, MD Name:  Phyllis C Zee Position:  Institution: Northwestern University Email: 
  • Title:  PhD Name:  Arko Ghosh Position:  Institution: University of Leiden Email: