Humans spend one-third of their lives sleeping, but most of us know very little about it. The primary goals of this course are to: 1) introduce the study of sleep, 2) understand how the character and patterns of sleep change throughout one’s lifespan and, 3) perhaps most importantly, answer “Why do we sleep?” To this end, we will focus specifically on the intersection between sleep and memory consolidation. We will seek scientifically informed answers to questions like: Why do we dream? What happens in our brains and bodies when we go to sleep? How are the sleep stages different from each other? And, how does sleep help us learn?
Sleep and Memory
Group Leader: JING ZHANG
Venue: The Cathedral Church of St. Paul
Meets on: Thursdays 3:30 to 5:30 PM
Class Size: 25
Teaching Style: Lecture and discussion
Weekly Preparation: 1 hour
Group Leader Biography:
Jing Zhang is a postdoctoral researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School whose work employs brain-imaging techniques to focus on how different brain oscillations during sleep contribute to memory in the healthy population and in patients with schizophrenia. She received her Ph.D. in cognitive science from the University of California Irvine and has broad research interests centering around neural mechanisms underlying sleep and memory as well as the role of factors like aging and hormones in this process.