Essential functions of sleep: learning, memory and changing your mind

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Tuesday 9 March

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Credit: Cdd20 via Pixabay


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Event description

Sleep is vital to our wellbeing. The stages of deep and dreamless slow wave sleep and vivid dreaming REM sleep both have important traits. They each have their role to play in cleaning, up, putting away, and integrating new items into our knowledge schema after the wild party that is waking in our brains

Join Gina Poe as she explores the recent discoveries of how sleep serves to alter our brains and how the brain waves and neurotransmitters are timed perfectly to deliver the right information into the right circuits at the right time.

In this talk, Gina discusses how even slight perturbations of this exquisitely tuned system lead to developmental disorders, mental health syndromes and aging deficits. Followed by some possible ways to make sleep more efficient or to optimize these cognitive, emotional, and developmental processes for a better life.

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About the speaker

Prof Gina Poe has been working since 1995 on the mechanisms through which sleep serves memory consolidation and restructuring.

Gina is a southern California native who graduated from Stanford University then worked for two post-baccalaureate years at the VA researching Air Force Test Pilots’ brainwave signatures under high-G manoeuvres. She then earned her PhD in Basic Sleep in the Neuroscience Interdepartmental Program at UCLA under the guidance of Ronald Harper then moved to the University of Arizona for her postdoctoral studies with Carol Barnes and Bruce McNaughtons looking at graceful degradation of hippocampal function in aged rats as well as hippocampal coding in a 3-D maze navigated in the 1998 space shuttle mission.

Moving first to Washington State University then to the University of Michigan before joining UCLA in 2016, Poe has over 80 undergraduates, 6 graduate students, and 6 postdoctoral scholars, and has served in university faculty governance as well as leading 5 different programs designed to diversify the neuroscience workforce and increase representation of people of the global majority in the STEM fields.

At UCLA she continues research and teaching and Directs the COMPASS-Life Sciences and BRI-SURE programs and co-Directs the MARC-U*STAR program. Nationally she is course director of the Marine Biological Lab’s SPINES course and co-Directs the Society for Neuroscience’s NSP program which earned the nation’s highest mentoring honour in 2018. These programs have served over 600 PhD level trainees over the years.


The live stream will go live at 6.55pm, and the introduction will begin at 7.00pm. If you register but miss the live stream, the video will be available to you via the same link for up to a week after the event date.

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