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Brain and Mind Institute launches world’s largest sleep study

October 1, 2017

Western neuroscientist Adrian Owen has launched the world’s largest sleep-and-cognition study to help researchers learn the effects on our brains of sleep and sleep deprivation.

“Many of us are working more erratic hours and sleeping less, while the pace of our lives seems to be accelerating,” said Owen, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at The Brain and Mind Institute at Western and Chief Scientific Officer at Cambridge Brain Sciences. “We know that this sleep disruption affects us in some ways, and that some people feel the impact more than others, but there’s surprisingly little research into exactly how our brains deal with these sleep deficits.”

The testing, conducted entirely online, has participants track their sleep over a three-day period, while playing a set of scientifically valid tests of brain function. They can check in after their three days to see how their sleep values and performance compare with the other volunteers. Researchers will then analyze sleep and cognition data with the intention of sharing the results of the study six months after launch.

To learn more and join the study, visit

This article appeared in the Fall 2017 edition of Alumni Gazette
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