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Sean Drummond, PhD

Sean Drummond, PhD

Associate Professor in Residence
Department of Psychiatry

Contact Information

Phone: 858.642.1274

VA Medical Center, Building 13

Mailing Address:
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive #9151-B
La Jolla, CA 92093

I am an Associate Professor at University of California, San Diego, as well as Director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program and Associate Director of the Mood Disorders Psychotherapy Program at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. I have been involved in sleep research since 1991 when I was an undergraduate at the University of Arizona. My program of research has two main foci: 1) the impact of experimental and operational sleep and sleep deprivation on cognitive performance, brain function, clinical symptoms and quality of life; and 2) the treatment of sleep difficulties in comorbid psychopathology.

Typically, my experimental studies manipulate sleep deprivation in healthy adults and measure the consequent cognitive and cerebral changes through behavioral and cognitive testing, functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI), and/or EEG. In addition to experimental studies in young healthy normal control subjects, my work has included healthy older adults and clinical populations such as obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia. I am interested in a number of cognitive performance domains, particularly learning and memory, executive function, attention, and decision making. The overall goals of this line of work are to: 1) better understand the impact of sleep and sleep loss on cognition; 2) predict individual vulnerability and resiliency to sleep loss; and 3) design interventions to mitigate against the negative effects when sleep deprivation is unavoidable. My clinical studies currently examine treatment of sleep difficulties in Posttraumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), and I also have an interest in the treatment of insomnia in mood disorders. My research has been funded by several sources, including the NIH, NSF, Army, Navy, DARPA and industry.

Drummond S.P.A., Bischoff-Grethe, A., Dinges, D.F.Ayalon, L., Mednick, C.M., Meloy, M.J. The Neural Basis of the Psychomotor Vigilance Task. SLEEP 2005 28(9):1059-1068.

Drummond, S.P.A., Meloy, M.J., Yanagi, M.A., Orff, H.J., Brown, G.G. Compensatory Recruitment after Sleep Deprivation and the Relationship with Performance. Psychiatry Research Neuroimaging. 2005 140(3):211-223.

Drummond, S.P.A., Paulus, M.P., Tapert, S.F. Effects of 2 Nights Sleep Deprivation and 2 Nights Recovery Sleep on Response Inhibition. Journal of Sleep Research. 2006 15(3):261-265.

Stricker, J.L., Brown, G.G., Wetherell, L.A., Drummond, S.P.A. Sleep Deprivation, Task Difficulty and Brain Connectivity: The Impact of Sleep Deprivation and Task Difficulty on Networks of FMRI Brain Response. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. 2006, 12: 591-597.

McKenna, B.S, Dickinson, D.L., Orff,H.J., Drummond, S.P.A. The Effects of 24 Hours of Sleep Deprivation on Risky and Ambiguous Decision Making. Journal of Sleep Research. 2007, 16:245-252.

Turner, T.H., Drummond, S.P.A., Salamat, J.S., Brown, G.G. Effects of 42-hours Total Sleep Deprivation on Component Processes of Working Memory. Neuropsychology. 2007, 21(6):787-795.

Mednick SC, Drummond SP, Arman AC, Boynton GM. Perceptual deterioration is reflected in the neural response: fMRI study of nappers and non-nappers. Perception. 2008;37(7):1086-97.

Ayalon L, Ancoli-Israel S, Drummond SP. Altered brain activation during response inhibition in obstructive sleep apnea. Journal Sleep Research. 2009 Jun;18(2):204-8. Epub 2009 Mar 12.

Orff HJ, Ayalon L, Drummond SP. Traumatic brain injury and sleep disturbance: a review of current research. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. 2009 May-Jun;24(3):155-65. Review.

Cohen-Zion M, Drummond SP, Padula CB, Winward J, Kanady J, Medina KL, Tapert SF. Sleep architecture in adolescent marijuana and alcohol users during acute and extended abstinence. Addictive Behaviors. 2009 Nov;34(11):976-9. Epub 2009 May 23.