Kimberly Fenn is the Principal Investigator at the Michigan State University Sleep and Learning Lab, which investigates the acquisition and consolidation of complex skills and episodic memory. The lab focuses primarily on how a period of sleep or sleep deprivation can affect cognition and memory. One line of work focuses on memory consolidation, the processing of memory after initial acquisition. This processing can serve to change memory, often strengthening and stabilizing memory, and increasing resistance to forgetting. We approach this question from several different perspectives, with a special emphasis on the role of sleep in consolidating memory. While we do not understand much about the biological and psychological functions of sleep, there is growing evidence that sleep plays a role in the process of memory consolidation. The other major line of work focuses on how sleep deprivation affects cognitive processing and investigates interventions to remediate these cognitive deficits. The lab uses basic behavioral paradigms as well as implementing polysomnography during sleep.
Psychonomic Society Eary Career Award (2016), Fellow, Association for Psychological Science (2018)