Kristine A. Wilckens, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Psychiatry

Education & Training

  • BA, Psychology, Rutgers University, Douglass College (New Brunswick, NJ), 2006
  • MA, Psychology, New York University (New York, NY), 2008
  • PhD, Cognitive Psychology, University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA), 2012
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Geriatric Psychiatry T32, University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA), 2012-2015

Research Interests

Dr. Wilckens investigates the role of sleep in promoting brain health and cognitive fitness. Her research program focuses on 1) neural processes during sleep that restore cognitive function and mitigate neurodegeneration and 2) sleep enhancement interventions that improve functioning of brain networks and mitigate cognitive impairments and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Sleep enhancement methods include behavioral interventions and laboratory-based techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation.


Representative Publications:

1. Wilckens, K.A., Tudorascu, D.L., Snitz, B.E., Price, J.C., Aizenstein H.J., Lopez, O.L., Erickson, K.I., Lopresti, B.J., Laymon, C.M., Minhas, D., Mathis, C.A., Buysse, D.J., Klunk, W.E., Cohen, A.D. Sleep efficiency moderates the relationship between beta amyloid and memory retention in older adults. Neurobiology of Aging. 2018. 71, 142-148.

2. Wilckens, K.A., Ferrarelli, F., Walker, M.P., Buysse, D.J. Slow-wave sleep enhancement to improve cognition. Trends in Neurosciences. 2018; 41(7), 470-482.

3. Wilckens, K.A., Hall, M., Erickson, K.I., Germain, A. Nimgaonkar, V.L., Monk, T.H., Buysse, D.J. Task-switching in older adults with and without insomnia. Sleep Medicine. 2017; 30, 113-120. PMCID: PMC5321623

4. Wilckens, K.A., Erickson, K.I., Wheeler, M.E. Physical activity and executive function: a mediating role of efficient sleep. Behavioral Sleep Medicine. 2016; 1-18. PMCID: PMC5466488.

5. Kay, D.B., Karim, H.T., Soehner, A., Hasler, B.P., Wilckens, K.A., James, J.A., Aizenstein, H.J., Price, J.C., Rosario, B.L., Kupfer, D.J., Germain, A., Hall, M.H., Franzen, P.L., Nofzinger, E.A., Buysse, D.J. Sleep-wake differences in relative regional cerebral metabolic rate for glucose among patients with insomnia compared with good sleepers. Sleep. 2016. 2016. 1(39), 1779-1794. PMCID: PMC5020360

6. Wilckens, K.A., Aizenstein, H.J., Nofzinger, E.A, James, J.A., Hasler, B.P., Rosario-Rivera, B.L., Franzen, P., Germain, A., Hall, M.H., Kupfer, D.J., Price, J.C., Siegle, G.J., Buysse, D.J. The Role of non-rapid eye movement slow-wave activity in prefrontal metabolism across young and middle age adults. Journal of Sleep Research. 2016; 25(3), 296-306. PMCID: PMC5354539

7. Wilckens, K.A., Nebes, R., Hall, M., Monk, T., Buysse, D.J. Changes in Cognitive Performance are Associated with Changes in Sleep in Older Adults with Insomnia. Behavioral Sleep Medicine. 2016; 1-16. PMCID: PMC4775463

8. Wilckens, K.A., Woo, S.G., Kirk, A.R., Erickson, K.I., Wheeler, M.E. The role of sleep continuity and total sleep time in executive function across the adult lifespan. Psychology & Aging. 2014; 29(3). PMC4369772

9. Wilckens, K.A., Woo, S.G., Erickson, K.I., Wheeler, M.E. Sleep continuity and total sleep time are associated with task-switching and preparation in young and older adults. Journal of Sleep Research. 2014; 23 (5). PMC4177284

10. Wilckens K.A., Erickson KI, Wheeler ME. Age-related decline in controlled retrieval: The role of the PFC and sleep. Neural Plasticity. 2012. PMC3434414

Research Grants

Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Donations Program, University of Pittsburgh

Accepting Graduate Students