BA(Hons), MSc, PhD
Departmental Lecturer in Sleep Medicine
Nicola is involved in the development and delivery of the Oxford Online Programme in Sleep Medicine, and is based in the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute (SCNi) of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences.
Nicola is interested in investigating the factors accounting for the individual variation in sleep quality and insomnia.
Using quantitative genetic techniques, her research investigates i) the magnitude to which genetic and environmental factors influence sleep quality, insomnia and associated phenotypes (such as diurnal preference/ circadian rhythmicity); ii) specific social determinants of sleep quality and insomnia; and iii) the possibility of statistical gene-environment interaction (GxE). Using molecular genetic techniques, Nicola is interested in identifying specific genetic polymorphisms (such as serotonin, PER and CLOCK genes) associated with sleep disturbance and indices of circadian rhythmicity, and investigating measured GxE in the onset of sleep problems. Nicola is also currently interested in understanding cognitive biases associated with sleep disturbances in adolescence and young adulthood; as well as investigating the effects of sleep deprivation on attentional processing.
Anticipated next-day demand affects the magnitude of the cortisol awakening response, but not subjective or objective sleep
Elder GJ. et al, (2018), Journal of Sleep Research, 27, 47 - 55
Externalizing Behaviors and Callous-Unemotional Traits: Different Associations With Sleep Quality
Denis D. et al, (2017), Sleep, 40
Preferential attention towards the eye-region amongst individuals with insomnia
Akram U. et al, (2017), Journal of Sleep Research, 26, 84 - 91
Sustained wakefulness and visual attention: moderation by chronotype
Barclay NL. and Myachykov A., (2017), Experimental Brain Research, 235, 57 - 68
Anxiety mediates the relationship between multidimensional perfectionism and insomnia disorder
Akram U. et al, (2017), Personality and Individual Differences, 104, 82 - 86