Robert Glosemeyer successfully defended his medical doctor thesis today!
In 2017 Robert participated as a subject in an fMRI study of our group. After scanning he openly asked whether we would supervise his medical doctor thesis as he was interested in fMRI and social cognitive processes.
We agreed and Robert started with the question on how REM sleep suppression would affect next-day emotionality and the ability to regulate one’s emotions as well as their neural correlates. For his thesis he analyzed data of healthy participants undergoing SWS suppression, REM suppression or no suppression at night and then performing a Cyberball game during fMRI scanning the next morning. He could show that, on the morning following sleep suppression, REMS increased general negative affect, enhanced amygdala responses and altered its functional connectivity with anterior cingulate cortex during passively experienced experimental social exclusion. The findings support the notion that REM sleep is important for affective processes, but that there is need for future research to systematically investigate how REMS impacts different domains of affective experience.
Robert’s thesis was published in Scientific Reports in 2020:
Selective suppression of rapid eye movement sleep increases next-day negative affect and amygdala responses to social exclusion. Sci Rep. 2020 Oct 14;10(1):17325. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-74169-8.