Principal investigator, affiliated researchers, doctoral students and staff.
Anu-Katriina Pesonen

Group leader

My idea of leading a research group is based on collaborative work and learning, where my role is in actively inviting new openings, finding ways to implement them through experiments, and empowering individual competences. All team members equally contribute to the excellency of our work.




Risto Halonen

Postdoctoral researcher

I study how neural oscillatory activity during sleep reflects processes related to memory, stress and emotional regulation. Especially I have engrossed into sleep spindles and their synchrony with slow oscillations. As a psychologist, I am interested in how human cognition binds with emotional factors. Studying sleep provides a powerful lens to understand how brain and autonomous nervous system responds to the environment and helps to cope with challenges.

Liisa Kuula

Visiting scientist (former post-doctoral researcher)

I’m a cognitive scientist with an interest in optimal sleep, and finding ways to measure it (accelerometers, EEG, thermologgers, consumer gadgets, etc.). My current interests include different sleep structures and health outcomes.


Pirita Jääkallio

PhD student

I am a medical doctor interested in how physical and mental health are intertwined. My PhD project centers around sleep, physical activity and mental health in the transition from adolescence to early adulthood. It is grounded on the SleepHelsinki study - a longitudinal population based-cohort which is optimal to investigate the developmental paths of individuals with circadian regulation problems in adolescence.


Emil Hein

PhD student

The overarching goal of my PhD research is to increase our understanding of the interplay between specific states of arousal, sleep, and emotional processing. My research will provide further experimental evidence on the consequences of presleep arousal manipulations on sleep processes and brain activity during sleep. My background is in neurosciences.


Maikki Selin

Research assistant

I work as a research assistant in the sleep lab and study psychology at the University of Helsinki. My main responsibilities are related to the practical implementation of the research, such as recruiting the participants and making sure everything runs smoothly for them, night-time sleep measurements and other data collection. I enjoy working at the grassroots level in the sleep lab and getting hands on experience in sleep research! 

Sanni Luokkala

Research assistant

I’m a psychology master’s student and I wrote my thesis on the lateralization of sleep-related neural oscillations. Currently I’m extremely interested in how brain oscillatory activity relates to cognition and how these parameters might differ in clinical groups. In the sleep lab my tasks include data collection and analysis, which offer a great way to get familiar with different steps in the research process.  

Neea Vuorenhela

Research assistant

My work in the sleep lab involves practical PSG measurements and other tasks relating to experiments. 

Ilona Merikanto

Visiting scientist (former post-doctoral researcher)

My main research interests focuses on how individual circadian rhythm profile associates with life habits, sleep, mental health and chronic disease risks. I also study sleep architecture, sleep spindles and genetics in relation to circadian profile, cognitive function and psychiatric problems.