The Cognition, Aging, Sleep, and Health Lab (CASH Lab) studies the bidirectional relationship between sleep and cognition in healthy and pathological aging populations. The CASH Lab is specifically interested in evaluating cognitive interventions for improving sleep, cognition, and associated functions.

The CASH Lab also examines risk (e.g., pain, medication) and demographic factors (e.g., sex) that alter sleep and cognitive profiles across the lifespan. The lab uses behavioral (e.g., cognitive testing, daytime functioning assessment, sleep) and physiological (e.g., polysomnography, heart rate variability, neuroimaging) methods to answer novel research questions in these areas.

CASH Lab News


  • Congratulations Angela Atkinson for accepting the position Research Specialist I for the Spine Department at the Missouri Orthopedic Institute.
  • Joshua Perry is continuing his education through the Master’s in Legal Studies program at the University of Arizona State. Way to go Joshua!
  • Congratulations to our previous research coordinator, Kenda Eberhardt, who is now a Clinical Research Coordinator for the University of Kansas Cancer Center.
  • Congratulations Puja Halder for accepting a Clinical Spine Research Coordinating position at the Missouri Orthopedic Institute. She will be working closely with Dr. Choma.
  • Congratulations Puja Halder for her oral presentation titled "Anxiety and Sleep in Middle-aged and Older Adults: Moderating Roles of Rurality and Nutrition" at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum.
  • Welcome Chloe Rzeppa to her new role as project coordinator of the CASH Lab!
  • Welcome new undergraduate research assistant Aliza Ahmed!
  • Our undergraduate research assistant Jenny Park was accepted to the Oxford Direct Enrollment program at Catherine’s College. Way to go!
  • Congratulations undergraduate research assistant Puja Halder for her poster titled Anxiety and Sleep in Middle-aged and Older Adults: Moderating Roles of Rurality and Nutrition being accepted to the Midwest Psychological Association conference.
  • Graduate students Amy Costa and Madison Musich presented posters at the 2022 Cognitive Aging Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Their posters are titled “Personality Moderates Associations Between Objective Cognition and Subjective Memory in Middle-Aged and Older Adults” and “Sex-specific Contributions of Alcohol and Hypertension on Everyday Cognition in Middle-aged and Older Adults”, respectively.
  • Dr. Curtis presented a virtual talk at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center 2022 Sleep Symposium in March 2022: “COVID-19 Anxiety and Sleep in Mid-to-Late Life: Impact and Moderating Factors.”
  • Dr. Curtis was featured on Missouri Health Talks, KBIA discussing “Insomnia and Sleep Hygiene”.
    Listen to the podcast
  • Congratulations to graduate student Amy Costa, MA, for defending master’s thesis (in the Cognition and Neuroscience Psychology program) titled “Paradoxical Relationship Between Subjective and Objective Cognition: The Role of Sleep”. Way to go Amy!
  • Undergraduate research assistant Jenny Park was awarded an Undergraduate Research and Creativity Mentorship Program award, to be carried out in the CASH Lab.  Her project is entitled: “Cognitive Training: Determining Optimal Games to Improve Cognition & Sleep in Middle-aged and Older Adults”. Way to go Jenny!
  • The CASH lab’s manuscript “COVID-19 related anxiety and cognition in middle-aged and older adults: Examining sex as a moderator” was published in Psychological Reports.


  • Undergraduate research assistant Angela Atkinson presented her poster at MU School of Medicine’s Health Science Research Day. The poster was titled Sex-specific Patterns of the Association Between Pain, Sleep, and Cognition. Great work Angela!
  • Dr. Curtis was awarded a Focused Projects Award from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Foundation Grant! This year long project will evaluate the impact of different types of cues (visual and auditory cues) on attention functioning in older adults with and without insomnia.
  • Congratulations undergraduate research assistant Dakota for graduating Mizzou with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology!
  • Congratulations Amy for successfully proposing her MA thesis in Psychological Sciences (Cognition & Neuroscience stream) department!
  • Graduate students Anthony Schmiedeler and Amy Costa presented their posters at virtual Psychonomics. Their projects were titled (respectively): “Anxiety and Cognition in Middle-Aged and Older Adults Moderated by Smoking Status” & “Characteristics of Sleep Moderate Associations Between Objective and Subjective Cognition”. Congrats!
  • Dr. Curtis presented a talk at virtual Psychonomics entitled: “Cognitive training in middle-aged adults with Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Preliminary impact on sleep and daytime functioning”.
  • Madison Musich is our newest graduate student, who has begun her doctoral degree in Cognition & Neuroscience in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Mizzou.  Welcome to the CASH Lab Maddie!
  • Welcome to new undergraduate Honors Capstone psychology student/research assistant Puja Halder!
  • Welcome to new undergraduate research assistant Dakota Knous!
  • Summer undergraduate research assistant Adriana Coman presented her poster at the 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievements Forum. Her project was titled “Sex Differences in Physical Activity Moderating the Association between Pre-Sleep Arousal and Pain Intensity”. Congrats!
  • Welcome to new undergraduate research assistants Ellieana Merideth and Victoria Salathe!
  • The CASH Lab’s manuscript “The impact of sex on COVID-19 media exposure, anxiety, perceived risk, and severity in middle-aged and older adults” was published in the Journal of Aging and Health!
  • Welcome to new URAs Karina Liu and Jackson Weller!
  • Graduate student Anthony Schmiedeler and Undergraduate Research Assistant Sadhika Jagannathan presented their posters at Virtual Sleep 2021. Their projects were titled (respectively): “The Relationship Between Personality and Sleep: Subjective Cognition as a Mediator” & “COVID-19 Anxiety and Sleep in Middle-aged and Older Adults: Impact of Age and Sex”. Way to go!!
  • Dr. Curtis presented her poster “Subjective Sleep and Objective Cognition in Middle-aged and Older Adults: Does Sex Matter” at Virtual Sleep 2021.
  • Dr. Curtis presented her talk “Sleep and gray matter volume: The role of physiological arousal”, a collaboration with the Mizzou Sleep Research lab, at Virtual Sleep 2021.
  • Congratulations to undergraduate research assistant Angela Atkinson, who received the Arts & Science Research and Creativity Mentorship Program Award (URCAMP). This award provides funding to Angela for her summer research project investigating the role of sex in the associations between sleep, pain and cognition. Way to go Angela!!
  • Welcome to new undergraduate research assistants Chloe Rzeppa and Jenny Park!
  • Graduate student Amy Costa presented her research at the Cognition and Neuroscience seminar in the Department of Psychology in May. Her talk was entitled: “Characteristics of Sleep Moderate Associations Between Objective and Subjective Cognition”
  • Dr. Curtis was awarded a School of Medicine TRIUMPH grant! This two year project will evaluate cognitive training in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Co-Is on this project include: Drs. Christina McCrae, Nelson Cowan and David Beversdorf.
  • The CASH lab had 3 posters accepted for presentation at the Virtual SLEEP conference in June. Congrats to lead authors Anthony and Sadhika, as well as the rest of the CASH lab team!
  • Dr. Curtis presented at a talk entitled “Cognitive Training and Sleep” at the Translational Neuroscience Seminar Series at the University of Missouri on Feb. 1st.
  • Welcome to our new graduate research assistant - Amy Costa from the Cognition and Neuroscience Doctoral Program. Amy will be examining the role that sleep and other factors play in the discrepancy between subjective and objective cognition.
  • Welcome to our new lab members - Project Coordinator Kenda Eberhardt and new URA Derek Lang!


  • Dr. Curtis was interviewed by the Healing Sanctuary OC to discuss Sleep Health and Aging.
    Watch the interview
  • CASH Lab graduate researcher (Anthony) and undergraduate researchers (Grant, Maggie, Mikayla) presented posters at the University of Missouri School of Medicine’s Health Sciences Research Day during the month of October 2020. Their projects looked at data from the CAGES study in middle-aged and older adults. Topics included: sex differences in social media use and COVID-19 anxiety, sex differences in COVID-19 and cognition, and associations between physical activity and sleep. Congrats team!
  • Dr. Curtis’ new manuscript (a collaboration with Mizzou Sleep Research Lab) looking at interactive associations between sleep and pain on cognition in middle-aged and older adults is now published online at the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
    Read more
  • Dr. Curtis presented her collaborative work with Mizzou Sleep Research Lab at the SLEEP 2020 Virtual Conference. Her talk was entitled: “Associations between physiological arousal and executive function in adults with chronic widespread pain and insomnia complaints.”
    Read more
  • Dr. Curtis was featured on the BrainShape Podcast discussing sleep, cognition, and aging.
    Listen to her interview
  • Dr. Curtis was awarded a grant from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Foundation. Her focused projects award will examine cognitive training in older adults with insomnia.
    Read more


  • Dr. Curtis presented at Psychiatry Grand Rounds on October 23rd, 2019. The talk was titled, “Sleep and Cognition in Older Adults: Moderators and Training Strategies.
    View Presentation
  • Dr. Curtis presented two posters at the inaugural Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine Conference on Sept 12-16th in Birmingham, AL.

Staff Recruitment

Graduate Students: Dr. Curtis will be considering graduate students for the upcoming academic year. Visit the Mizzou graduate psychology program for details on how to apply.

Undergraduate Students: If you would like to join our lab, send a cover letter outlining experience and research interests as well as a CV to Dr. Curtis at Please note that undergraduate students are expected to volunteer 8-10 hours per week in the lab.

For all other inquiries please email Dr. Curtis.