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  Research Associate Professor of Sleep and Chronobiology in Psychiatry
Perelman School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry
1019 Blockley Hall
423 Guardian Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021
phone: (215) 573-5866
fax: (215) 573-6410


1998-1999: University of Pennsylvania - Postdoctoral Researcher
1994-1998: Leiden University - Ph.D. (Sleep and Chronobiology)
1989-1993: Leiden University - M.S. (Astrophysics)

RESEARCH INTERESTS:Six regulatory mechanisms appear to determine human sleep and wakefulness: homeostatic sleep-wake regulation (i.e., the homeostatic build-up of a drive for sleep during wakefulness and the dissipation of that drive during sleep), circadian rhythmicity (i.e., 24-hour or near-24-hour variation of a drive for wakefulness), sleep inertia (i.e., tendency to return to sleep and reduced performance capability immediately after waking up), trait vulnerability to neurobehavioral impairment (e.g., from sleep loss or circadian disruption), endogenous stimulation (e.g., motivation, fear), and exogenous stimulation and context (e.g., noise, ambient temperature, workload). My research interests focus on disentangling how homeostatic regulation, circadian rhythmicity, sleep inertia, trait vulnerability and some of the endogenous and exogenous stimulation factors contribute to healthy subjects' temporal profile of sleep, wakefulness and neurobehavioral performance. By conducting experiments in the controlled environment of an isolated laboratory, and by using intensive neurobehavioral testing and monitoring, exogenous and endogenous stimuli are eliminated, held constant, or manipulated. Furthermore, by restricting, displacing or disallowing sleep across multiple days in the laboratory, as well as through the application of pharmaceutical and other countermeasures, many combinations of homeostatic, circadian and sleep-inertia states are investigated systematically for their separate and combined contributions to sleep-wake regulation. Thus, a thorough mapping and understanding of these regulatory mechanisms is being pursued, taking inter-individual differences into account.

Representative recent publications:

Van Dongen HPA, Dinges DF. Investigating the interaction between the
homeostatic and circadian processes of sleep-wake regulation for the
prediction of waking neurobehavioural performance. Journal of Sleep
Research 12: 181-187, 2003.

Van Dongen HPA, Maislin G, Mullington JM, Dinges DF. 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, 2003.

Van Dongen HPA, Baynard MD, Maislin G, Dinges DF. Systematic
interindividual differences in neurobehavioral impairment from sleep
loss: Evidence of trait-like differential vulnerability. Sleep 27:
423-433, 2004.