Photo of Stanford student and Stanford Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant Nicholas Gessner.
2020 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Biology
Mentor: H. Craig Heller, Biology

“Sleep’s Significance in Memory Consolidation”

Sleep – a recurring state characterized by physical quiescence and a reduced response to external stimuli – is a highly conserved behavior observed throughout the animal kingdom. While sleep’s function largely remains a mystery, an abundance of information corroborates its role in memory consolidation. Studies pioneered by the Heller Lab also implicate the circadian clock in memory formation, but the mechanism by which the circadian system modulates neural plasticity to afford the memory consolidation remains a novel research area. Nicholas will be conducting an exhaustive literature review of studies that might elucidate the relationships between circadian rhythms, sleep, and memory.