The AWAKE lab focuses on several related aspects of human behaviour, cognition, and performance. We are particularly interested in mindfulness and its relation to sleep and mental fatigue. in these topic areas, we use a variety of approaches (fMRI, EEG and behavioural experiments) to interrogate the neural bases of psychological phenomena.
Mindfulness, broadly defined as the awareness and acceptance of moment-to-moment thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations through enhanced control over metacognitive processes, is gaining increasing popularity as a means to improve cognition, mental health, and general well-being. In our lab, we investigate the effects of mindfulness mediation on attention and performance on both healthy and clinical populations. We also conduct randomized trials to study the effects of mindfulness training on subjective and objective sleep quality. Beside this, we also have a particular interest in exploring and developing objective ways to measure state and trait mindfulness.
The feeling of being "mentally drained" is a familiar one in the modern classroom and workplace, but what are the biological substrates of these sensations? Despite decades of research, competing theories of mental fatigue are still being debated, and out hope is that neuroimaging experiments may resolve some of the outstanding questions in the field. In our work, we primarily study individual differences in vulnerability to fatigue, as well as difference in how individuals recover from the state of fatigue. A long-term goal of this work is to discover and craft effective interventions to reduce the negative effects of mental fatigue so as to prevent workplace accidents, increase productivity and enhance well-being.