Lauren Whitehurst

lnwh230's picture
  • Assistant Professor
  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
123 Kastle Hall
Research Interests:

My research explores how the body and the brain interact during sleep to produce regulatory effects on cognition and health. I ask questions about how good sleep and perturbations to sleep (due to drugs, stress/discrimination, etc.) impact our ability to think, learn and remember. I use experimental methodologies, like electroencephalography, electrical stimulation and pharmacology, to approach these questions.

I am also interested in how the lack of access to restorative sleep can play a role in creating or exacerbating disparities in cognitive health for communities historically underserved by science and medicine. For these questions, I use mobile, app-based technologies to expand sleep and cognitive science out of the laboratory and into individuals’ everyday lives.

The lab is accepting undergraduate research assistants in Fall 2020.

I will be accepting graduate trainees to begin the Fall of 2021.

For interested students:

1. My goal is to provide an immersive and emergent research environment that stokes and focuses your scientific curiosities.

2. Being a scientist is not a talent, but a set of skills that empower you to question phenomena. Said a different way, you are not inherently "bad" or "good" at science. In your training with me, you will be introduced to a set of tools that you will need to practice and refine.

3. You are valued and you belong. Who you are matters, and I will work to affirm you as you work to affirm those who share our research environment (e.g. participants, colleagues, other peers).

Selected Publications: 

Whitehurst LN, Chen P, Naji M & Mednick SC (2020). New directions in sleep and cognitive research: the role of autonomic activity. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 33, 17-24.  

Chen P, Whitehurst LN, Naji M, Mednick SC (2020). Autonomic/Central coupling benefits working memory in healthy young adults. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 173, 107267.

Chen P, Whitehurst LN, Naji M, Mednick SC. (2020). Autonomic activity during a daytime nap facilitates working memory improvement. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Zhang J, Yetton B, Whitehurst LN, Naji M, Mednick SC (2020). The effect of zolpidem on memory consolidation over a night of sleep. SLEEP. doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsaa084

Whitehurst LN, Agosta S, Castanos, R, Batteli L & Mednick SC. (2019). The impact of psychostimulants on sustained attention across a 24-hr period. Cognition, 193, 104015.

Tselha T*, Whitehurst LN*, Yetton, BD, Vo T, Mednick SC. (2019). Morning stimulant administration reduces sleep and overnight working memory improvement. Behavioral Brain Research, 370, 111940.

Sattari N, Whitehurst LN, Ahmadi M, Mednick, SC. (2019). Does working memory improvement benefit from sleep in older adults? Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, 6, 53-61.

Whitehurst LN Naji, M & Mednick SC. (2018). Comparing the cardiac autonomic activity profile of daytime naps and nighttime sleep. Neurobiology of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, 5, 52-57.

Malerba P, Whitehurst LN, Simons SB & Mednick SC. (2018). Spatio-temporal structure of sleep slow oscillations on the electrode manifold and its relation to spindles. SLEEP, 42, zsy197.

McDevitt EA, Sattari N, Duggan KA, Cellini N, Whitehurst LN, Perera C, Reihanabad N, Granados S, Hernandez L, Mednick SC. (2018). The impact of frequent napping and nap practice on sleep-dependent memory in humans. Scientific Reports, 8, 15053.

Duggan KA, McDevitt EA, Whitehurst LN, Mednick SC. (2018). To nap, perchance to DREAM: A factor analysis of self-reported reasons for napping. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 16, 135-153, doi: 10.1080/15402002.2016.1178115.

Whitehurst LN*, Cellini N*, McDevitt EA, Duggan, KA, & Mednick SC. (2016). Autonomic activity predicts memory consolidation in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, 7272-77, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1518202113.

Cellini N*, Whitehurst LN*, McDevitt EA, Mednick SC. (2016). Heart rate variability during daytime naps in healthy adults: autonomic profile and short-term reliability. Psychophysiology, 53, 473-481, doi: 10.1111/psyp.12595.

Yetton BD, Niknazar M, Duggan KA, McDevitt EA, Whitehurst LN, Sattari N, Mednick SC. (2016). Automatic detection of rapid eye movements (REMs): A machine learning approach Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 259, 72-82. doi:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2015.11.015

Whitehurst LN, Fogler KA, Hall, M.K., Hartmann, M. & Dyche JS. (2015). The effects of chronic marijuana use on circadian entrainment. Chronobiology International, 32, 561-57. doi:10.3109/07420528.2015.1004078.

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