Sleep to be social: Sleep-dependent processing of social information about the self and others

Project: DFG ProjectsDFG Individual Projects

Project Details


The learning and abstraction of social information from complex and highly dynamic social interactions is a central human capacity. In order to navigate the social environment, human beings need to understand others’ behaviors and at the same time adapt their own behavior based on social feedback. Processing and abstraction of social gist-like information thereby has an essential function in various domains of social behavior. The overarching goal of this proposal is to study the functional role of human sleep in the processing of social information about oneself and others and what is abstracted during sleep as gist from such complex social information. Specifically, we aim to show that learning of social information about oneself and others is enhanced through sleep-dependent memory consolidation and that such enhancement will be stronger than for the processing of non-social information. We will further show how these processes can be modified by manipulating the reactivation of information about oneself, others or a non-social computer algorithm during sleep via learning-associated cues. Finally, we will reveal the neural mechanisms underlying sleep-dependent memory consolidation of social information. The findings of this project will open new avenues for sleep-based treatments in patients who suffer from disorders of social information processing, e.g. in Autism Spectrum Disorder, Borderline Personality or Social Anxiety Disorders.
Effective start/end date01.01.19 → …

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 110-04 Social Psychology, Industrial and Organisational Psychology
  • 206-04 Cognitive, Systemic and Behavioural Neurobiology
  • 206-08 Cognitive and Systemic Human Neuroscience


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