Sleep, Mood and Cognition Laboratory
General Laboratory Description
Dr. Lau directs the Sleep, Mood and Cognition Laboratory, which aims to develop accessible, precise, and effective rehabilitation in self-management, health promotion, and participation enhancement among stroke survivors living in the community. The laboratory focuses on understanding the dynamic relationships among sleep disturbances, mood impairment, and cognitive dysfunctions following stroke and developing evidence-based behavioral interventions that effectively prevent and mitigate these stroke symptoms and improve participation in meaningful daily activities. Technologies (e.g., ecological momentary assessment, wearable sensors, teleconferencing, mobile cognitive testing) will be leveraged in research activities of the Sleep, Mood and Cognition Laboratory to enhance precision, efficiency, effectiveness, and reach of assessments and interventions. Projects will focus on quantitative approaches but may include qualitative approaches if needed.
General Description of Student Activities
Students are important members of the Sleep, Mood and Cognition Laboratory. Learning activities are centered on each student's unique learning goals. Through an interactive and collaborative process, students will engage in all phases of the research process to generate high-quality research while also learning about the research process and enhancing research skills. Students will have the opportunity to participate in new and ongoing research activities including literature reviews, recruitment, interacting with and testing study participants, delivering interventions, data collection and analysis, and scholarly writing (as primary or co-author) and presentations in local and national conferences. Students will also have the opportunity to collaborate with other scientists and clinicians (neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists). Students should consider this laboratory if they are interested in gaining and generating knowledge about sleep and circadian rhythm, mood, and cognitive functioning after stroke, and if they are interested in applying mobile health technologies in research and clinical practice. Students from all backgrounds are encouraged to join the Sleep, Mood and Cognition Laboratory, including students with disabilities and from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and gender identities. Time requirements are in line with the Program in Occupational Therapy expectations. Flexible hours and locations are available based on the nature of research activities and the needs of the student.
Examples of Projects
- Developing an innovative intervention to improve sleep after stroke: a pilot randomized controlled trial
- Investigating the momentary associations between cognition, sleep disturbances, and depressive symptoms after stroke: an ambulatory monitoring study
- Systematic review and meta-analysis on sleep disturbances and sleep interventions for stroke survivors.
PhD Mentor Information
Dr. Lau’s research is committed to developing accessible, precise and effective rehabilitation in self-management, health promotion and participation enhancement among stroke survivors living in the community. He seeks to understand the dynamic relationships among sleep disturbances, mood impairment and cognitive dysfunctions following stroke and develop evidence-based behavioral interventions that effectively prevent and mitigate stroke symptoms and improve participation in meaningful daily activities. His research leverages mobile health technologies (ecological momentary assessment and wearable sensors) to provide real-time in vivo monitoring that leads to the identification of factors contributing to adverse stroke consequences, thereby informing his work to develop and test complex behavioral interventions that effectively improve stroke survivors’ circadian, cognitive and emotional functioning and continue their recovery in the community.
- Monitoring fluctuations of stroke symptoms during the day and how they impact stroke survivors’ participation in everyday life
- Investigating the real-time relationships among sleep disturbances, cognitive impairment, and mood problems after stroke using mobile health assessments
- Developing and testing novel behavioral interventions informed by these relationships to improve sleep health and cognitive and mental functioning among people with stroke