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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology

Hans Van Dongen

Director, Sleep and Performance Research Center
Professor, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Ph.D. Leiden University, The Netherlands, 1998

Contact Information

Office: Center for Clinical Research and Simulation 702, (Spokane Campus)
Phone: (509) 358-7755

More Information…

Classes Taught

  • Psychology 472: Neurobiology
  • Psychology 572: Psychology of Sleep

Research Interests

My research focuses on the effects of sleep and sleep deprivation on cognitive functions. I conduct experiments with human volunteers staying in the laboratory for multiple days (up to 2 weeks). This provides insight into the interactions of time awake versus time asleep (i.e., sleep homeostasis), circadian rhythms, and other regulatory mechanisms that affect fatigue and cognitive performance. My main interest is investigating how sleep deprivation affects the distinct underlying cognitive processes involved in task performance, and what can be learned from this about cognition and brain function. I am also interested in inter-individual differences in sleep and in the cognitive responses to sleep loss, having demonstrated that these inter-individual differences constitute physiological and neurobehavioral traits. In addition, I am engaged in mathematical and statistical modeling of the temporal changes in performance across time awake, and the application thereof in fatigue risk management systems in operational settings. Many students are actively involved in conducting the experiments and analyzing the data resulting from this research.

Selected Publications

Ratcliff, R., & Van Dongen, H.P.A. (2011). Diffusion model for one-choice reaction time tasks and the cognitive effects of sleep deprivation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, 11285-11290.

Tucker, A.M., Whitney, P., Belenky, G., Hinson, J.M., & Van Dongen, H.P.A. (2010). Effects of sleep deprivation on dissociated components of executive functioning. Sleep, 33, 47-57.

McCauley, P., Kalachev, L.V., Smith, A.D., Belenky, G., Dinges, D.F., & Van Dongen, H.P.A. (2009). A new mathematical model for the homeostatic effects of sleep loss on neurobehavioral performance. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 256, 227-239.

Van Dongen, H.P.A., Baynard, M.D., Maislin, G., & Dinges, D.F. (2004). Systematic interindividual differences in neurobehavioral impairment from sleep loss: Evidence of trait-like differential vulnerability. Sleep, 27, 423-433.

Van Dongen, H.P.A., Maislin, G., Mullington, J.M., & Dinges, D.F. (2003). The cumulative cost of additional wakefulness: Dose-response effects on neurobehavioral functions and sleep physiology from chronic sleep restriction and total sleep deprivation. Sleep, 26, 117-126.

Hans Van Dongen