Laura Kurdziel

Academic Title

  • Associate Professor, Psychology

Administrative Support

  • Cognition
  • Emotion
  • Memory
  • Neuroscience
  • Sleep

I research the neurological and behavioral functions of sleep. I particularly examine the role of sleep, and especially napping, in learning, memory and emotion, and how sleep physiology changes throughout development. My current research also examines factors that might influence or affect sleep, such as mTBIs (concussions), nutrition, exercise or brain disorders.

  • Ph.D. Neuroscience UMass Amherst
  • M.S. Animal Behavior Bucknell University
  • B.S. Zoology University of Maryland
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Child Development
  • Concussions
  • Decision Making
  • Society for Research on Child Development

Cremone, A., de Jong, D., Kurdziel, L. B. F., Desrochers, P., Sayer, A., LeBourgeois, M., Spencer, R. M. C., and McDermott, J. (2017). “Sleep Tight, Act Right: Negative Affect, Sleep and Behavior Problems During Early Childhood.” Child Development.

Alhassan, S., Sirad, J., Kurdziel, L. B. F., Merrigan, S., Greever, C., and Spencer, R. M. C. (2017). “Cross-Validation of Two Accelerometers for Assessment of Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in Preschool Children.” Pediatric Exercise Science.

Cohen, J., Gorski, M., Gruber, S., Kurdziel, L., and Rimm, E. (2016). “The Effect of Healthy Dietary Consumption on Executive Functioning in Children and Adolescents: a Systematic Review.” British Journal of Nutrition, 116, 6, 989-1000.

Kurdziel, L.B.F, Mantua, J. Spencer R.M.C. (2016). “Novel Word Learning in Older Adults: A Role for Sleep?” Brain and Language.

Spencer, R.M.C., Campanella, C. deJong, D., Desrochers, P., Root, H., Cremone, A., Kurdziel, L.B.F. (2016). “Sleep and Behavior of Preschool Children Under Typical and Nap-Promoted Conditions.” Sleep Health, 2, 1, 35-41.

Cremone, A., Kurdziel, L.B.F., Fraticelli, A., Spencer, R. M. C., McDermott, J. (2016). “Napping Reduces Emotional Attention Bias During Early Childhood.” Developmental Science.

De Jong, D.M., Cremone, A., Kurdziel, L.B.F., Desrochers, P., LeBourgeois, M., Sayer, A., Ertel, K., Spencer, R.M.C. (2016). “Maternal Depressive Symptoms and Household Income in Relation to Sleep in Early Childhood.” Journal of Pediatric Psychology.

Desrochers, P., Kurdziel, L.B.F., Spencer, R.M.C. (2015). “Benefits of a Nap on Procedural Memory Consolidation in Preschool Children Manifest 24 Hours After Learning.” Experimental Brain Research.

Kurdziel, L.B.F., Long, B., and Spencer, R.M.C. (2015). “Sleep-Related Changes of Novel Word Learning in Native English Speakers.” Memory.

Kurdziel, L.B.F., Dempsey, K., Zahara, M., Valera, E. and Spencer, R.M.C. (2015). “Impaired Visuomotor Adaptation in Adults With ADHD and ADHD-like Symptoms.” Experimental Brain Research.

Sonni, A., Kurdziel, L.B.F., baran, B., and Spencer, R. M. C. (2014). “The Effects of Sleep Dysfunction on Cognition, Affect and Quality of Life in Individuals with Cerebellar Ataxia.” Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 10, 5, 535-543.

Kurdziel, L.B., Duclos, K., and Spencer, R.M.C. (2013). “Learning Benefits From Classroom Naps in Preschools.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110, 43, 17267-17272.

  • Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award, Society for Research in Child Development, 2015
  • Young Investigator Award, Pediatric Sleep Medicine, 2013
  • Vincent G. Dertier Award for Scholarship and Service , Neuroscience and Behavior Program, UMass Amherst, 2012
  • Distinguished Teaching Award, UMass Amherst, 2010