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Dr Penny (Penelope) Lewis

Photograph of Penny (Penelope) Lewis

Senior Lecturer

NARU (Neuroscience of Aphasia Research Unit)
Room T17, Zochonis Building
Brunswick Street
M13 9PL

Google Scholar account (all publications and citation report)

Sleep and Memory Lab
Science Journalism Activities (somewhat out of date...)


Off-line learning during sleep and wakefulness:

My research investigates brain plasticity, focussing specifically on the changes in behaviour and neural activity which occur after initial learning. I’m particularly interested in ‘off-line’ consolidation, or changes occurring while a memory is not being encoded, practiced, or recalled. These can happen both during sleep and during wakefulness. 

Current interests in the lab fall into three main categories:

  • consolidation of procedural skills
  • emotional episodes
  • semantic knowledge

(Please see above for a link to the Sleep and Memory Group).

Methodological Knowledge

  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
  • Voxel Based Morphometry (VBM)
  • Polysomnography (PSG) 
  • Behavioural Psychophysics



  • 1st year: Brain and Behaviour
  • 2nd year: Cognition
  • 3rd year: Sleep and Memory Consolidation

PhD students:

Nora Hennies - studying the impact of sleep upon the formation of new semantic memories

James Cousins - studying the impact of triggered replay during sleep upon overnight memory consolidation

Tia Tsimpanouli - studying sleep, emotional memory and depression

Isabel Hutchison - studying the impact of direct current stimulation on sleep and memory

Hikaru Tsujimura - studying the impact of sleep on generalisation of face representations

Jules Schneider - studying ways to trigger SWS 


Postdoctoral consultant:

Suliman Belal - studying the application of multivariat classifiers to sleep EEG data


Lab Alumni:

Simon Durrant: Did a 3 year postdoc in the Manchester Sleep and Memory Lab and is now a Lecturer at the University of Lincolin

Scott Cairney: Did his PhD in the Manchester Sleep and Memory Lab and is now a postdoc at York

Jakke Tamminen: Did a 1 year postdoc in the Manchester Sleep and Memory Lab and is now a postdoc at Royal Holloway

Marleen Kempkes -  6 month internship studying sleep and emotional memory (finished Sept 2014)

Collaborators and affiliated staff

The lab collaborates extensively with:



  • Simon J Durran; Scott A Cairney; Cathal McDermott; Penelope A. Lewis. (2015).

    Schema-Conformant Memories are Preferentially Consolidated During REM Sleep. Neurobiol Learn Mem, eScholarID:259872

  • van Rijna, E; Eichenlauba, JB; Lewis, PA: Walkerc, M; Gaskell, M; Malinowskie, J; Blagrovea, M. (2015).

    The dream-lag effect: Selective processing of personally significant events during rapid eye movement sleep, but not during slow wave sleep. Neurobiol Learn Mem, eScholarID:259874


  • Cairney S.A; Durrant, S.D.; Jackson, R.; Lewis, P.A. (2014).

    Sleep spindles provide indirect support to the consolidation of emotional encoding contexts. Neuropsychologia, eScholarID:233577

  • Cousins J.N.; El-Deredy W.; Parkes L.; Hennies N.; Lewis P.A. (2014).

    Cued memory reactivation during slow-wave sleep promotes explicit knowledge of a motor sequence. J Neurosci, eScholarID:233576

  • Lewis, P.A. (2014).

    What is dreaming and what does it tell us about memory? Scientific American, eScholarID:230068

  • N. Hennies, P. A. Lewis, S. J. Durrant, J. Cousins, M. A. Lambon Ralph. (2014).

    Time- but not sleep-dependent consolidation promotes the emergence of cross-modal conceptual representations. Neuropsychologia, eScholarID:231927


  • Penelope A. Lewis. (2013).

    The secret world of sleep. Palgrave Macmillan. eScholarID:206171

  • Cairney, S; Durrant, S; Hulemann, J; Lewis PA. (In-press). Targeted memory reactivation during slow-wave sleep facilitates emotional memory consolidation. SLEEP, eScholarID:213468
  • Cairney, S; Durrant, S; Power, R; Lewis, PA. (In-press). Complimentary roles of slow-wave sleep and rapid eye movement sleep in emotional memory consolidation. Cerebral Cortex, eScholarID:214160
  • Durrant SJ; Cairney S; Lewis PA. (2013).

    Overnight Consolidation Aids the Transfer of Statistical Knowledge from the Medial Temporal Lobe to the Striatum. Cerebral Cortex, 23(10), 2467-2478. eScholarID:164662 | DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhs244

  • Lewis, P.A. (2013).

    How sleep can make you smarter. BBC Focus, 9, 34-40. eScholarID:206433

  • Tamminen, J; Lambon-Ralph, M; Lewis, P. A. (2013).

    The role of sleep spindles and slow-wave activity in integrating new information in semantic memory. Journal of Neuroscience, in press, eScholarID:205308


  • Lewis, P.A.; Meck, W.H. (2012).

    Does sleep contribute to degeneracy in neural timing? The Psychologist, eScholarID:132140

  • Powell JL, Lewis PA, Dunbar RI, García-Fiñana M, Roberts N. (2012).

    Orbital prefrontal cortex volume predicts social network size: an imaging study of individual differences in humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279(1736), 2157. eScholarID:155135 | DOI:10.1098/rspb.2011.2574


  • Cairney, S; Durrant, SJ; Musgrove, H; Lewis PA. (2011).

    Sleep and environmental context: Interactive effects for memory. Experimental Brain Rsearch, eScholarID:127639 | DOI:10.1007/s00221-011-2808-7

  • Lewis, PA; Cairney, S; Manning, L; Critchley, HD. (2011).

    The impact of overnight consolidation upon memory for emotional and neutral encoding contexts. eScholarID:123020 | DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.05.009

  • Lewis, PA; Rezaie, R; Browne, R; Roberts, N; Dunbar, RIM. (2011).

    Ventromedial prefrontal volume predicts understanding of others and social network size. NeuroImage, eScholarID:122886 | DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.05.030

  • SJ Durrant; C Taylor; S Cairney; PA Lewis. (2011).

    Sleep-dependent consolidation of statistical learning. Neuropsychologia, eScholarID:118540 | DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.02.015

  • Wuerger, SM; Parkes, L; Lewis, PA; Crocker-Buque, A; Rutschmann, R; Meyer G. (2011).

    The role of the premotor cortex in the processing of auditory-visual biological motion. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, eScholarID:136253 | DOI:10.1162/jocn_a_00173


  • Javardi, AH; Walsh, V; Lewis, PA. (2010).

    Off-line consolidation of procedural skill learning is enhanced by negative emotional content. Experimental Brain Research, eScholarID:94081

  • Lewis, PA; Couch, T; Walker, MP. (2010).

    Keeping time in your sleep: Overnight consolidation of temporal rhythm. Neuropsychologia, eScholarID:92935 | DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.10.025

  • Powell JL, Lewis PA, Dunbar RI, García-Fiñana M, Roberts N. (2010).

    Orbital prefrontal cortex volume correlates with social cognitive competence. Neuropsychologia, 48(12), 3554-3562. eScholarID:92934 | DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2010.08.004


  • Durrant, S; Lewis, PA. (2009).

    Consolidation: tracking transfer with functional connectivity. Current Biology, 19, R860-R862. eScholarID:29962 | DOI:10.1016/j.cub.2009.08.019

  • Lewis, PA; Miall, RC. (2009).

    The precision of temporal judgement: milliseconds, many minutes, and beyond. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1525), 1897-1905. eScholarID:29759 | DOI:10.1098/rstb.2009.0020


  • Critchley H, Lewis PA, Orth M, Josephs O, Deichmann R, Trimble M, Dolan R. (2007).

    Vagus nerve stimulation for treatment-resistant depression: behavioral and neural effects on encoding negative material. Psychosom Med, 69( 1), 17-22. eScholarID:1d32253

  • Holland P, Lewis PA. (2007).

    Emotional memory: selective enhancement by sleep. Curr Biol, 17( 5), R179-81. eScholarID:1d31888

  • Lewis PA, Critchley H, Rotshtein P, Dolan R. (2007).

    Neural correlates of processing valence and arousal in affective words. Cereb Cortex, 17( 3), 742-8. eScholarID:1d31994


  • Lewis PA, Miall R. (2006).

    A right hemispheric prefrontal system for cognitive time measurement. Behav Processes, 71( 2-3), 226-34. eScholarID:1d31791

  • Lewis PA, Miall R. (2006).

    Remembering the time: a continuous clock. Trends Cogn Sci, 10( 9), 401-6. eScholarID:1d31889


  • Lewis PA, Critchley H, Smith A, Dolan R. (2005).

    Brain mechanisms for mood congruent memory facilitation. Neuroimage, 25( 4), 1214-23. eScholarID:1d32072

  • Lewis PA, Walsh V. (2005).

    Time perception: components of the brain's clock. Curr Biol, 15( 10), R389-91. eScholarID:1d31790


  • Lewis PA, Wing A, Pope P, Praamstra P, Miall R. (2004).

    Brain activity correlates differentially with increasing temporal complexity of rhythms during initialisation, synchronisation, and continuation phases of paced finger tapping. Neuropsychologia, 42( 10), 1301-12. eScholarID:1d32254


  • Lewis PA, Critchley H. (2003).

    Mood-dependent memory. Trends Cogn Sci, 7( 10), 431-3. eScholarID:1d31890

  • Lewis PA, Miall R, Daan S, Kacelnik A. (2003).

    Interval timing in mice does not rely upon the circadian pacemaker. Neurosci Lett, 348( 3), 131-4. eScholarID:1d32566

  • Lewis PA, Miall R. (2003).

    Brain activation patterns during measurement of sub- and supra-second intervals. Neuropsychologia, 41( 12), 1583-92. eScholarID:1d32565

  • Lewis PA, Miall R. (2003).

    Distinct systems for automatic and cognitively controlled time measurement: evidence from neuroimaging. Curr Opin Neurobiol, 13( 2), 250-5. eScholarID:1d31854


  • Lewis PA, Miall R. (2002).

    Brain activity during non-automatic motor production of discrete multi-second intervals. Neuroreport, 13( 14), 1731-5. eScholarID:1d32071

  • Lewis PA, Walsh V. (2002).

    Neuropsychology: time out of mind. Curr Biol, 12( 1), R9-11. eScholarID:1d31855

  • Lewis, PA. (2002).

    Finding the timer. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6, 195-196. eScholarID:29812 | DOI:10.1016/S1364-6613(02)01906-X

  • Lewis, PA. (2002).

    Musical Minds. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6, 364-366. eScholarID:29834 | DOI:10.1016/S1364-6613(02)01955-1

Research projects