Reilly Center Forum - Jessica Payne. "Sleep on it! There’s More to It Than Just the Old Adage"


Location: 200 McKenna Hall

Jessica Payne, “Sleep on it! There’s More to It Than Just the Old Adage”

People spend up to 1/3 of their lives sleeping, yet scientists are still trying to determine sleep’s function. One of the best theories to date is that sleep is by and for the brain, in the service of cognition. In this talk, we will learn about the sleeping brain, and how it influences memory, emotion, decision making, creativity and insight. The broad question is, “What is sleep and what does it do for us?”

About Jessica Payne, PhD
Dr. Jessica Payne holds appointments at Harvard Medical School and the University of Notre Dame, where she is currently Assistant Professor and Nancy O’Neill Collegiate Chair in Psychology, and Director of the Sleep Stress and Memory (SAM) Lab. Payne’s research focuses on how sleep and stress independently and interactively influence human memory, emotion, performance and creativity. She teaches various courses in Psychology and Neurobiology, including a popular course entitled “The Sleeping Brain” for which she won Harvard University’s Bok Center Award for teaching excellence and Notre Dame’s Frank O’Malley award for undergraduate teching and service. She also recently won the Laird Cermak Award for her contribution to memory research.

Payne has recently become interested in applying her research findings to business organizations, striving to help leaders understand how to work with, rather than against, the natural abilities of the human brain. Dr. Payne is currently the H. Smith Richardson Jr. Fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina. She has also served since 2009 on the Medical Advisory Board for Humana, Inc, a fortune 100 company that markets and administers health insurance with a focus on holistic wellness.

Dr. Payne’s postdoctoral fellowship was split between Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard University’s Psychology Department. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology/Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Arizona, a Master’s Degree in Experimental Psychology from Mount Holyoke College, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of San Diego.

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