My research interests are broadly based on the effects of stress and fatigue on humans - our ability to function, our health, and our well-being. Almost any topic that relates to stress and fatigue can capture my interest. I use a wide range of measures to assess the effects of stress and fatigue including performance measures, subjective measures, emotional cognition/recognition measures, and physiological measures.
- Work and Exercise. This research program uses FitDesks (stationary bikes with a desk top) in college study areas, K-12 classrooms, and in office spaces to examine how being active while working or studying can positively affect performance, health, and well-being. We are placing FitDesks around the Clemson campus and are working with the FitDesk's FitStudent initiative to place FitDesks in K-12 educational settings nationwide. The goal of this research is to document the effects of combining work with low-level of exercise. This research effort could ultimately change how our society views work and exercise.
- Sleep and Sleep Loss. This research effort includes two main research paradigms. (1) Examining the effects of sleep loss and sleep deprivation on performance, health, and well-being. (2) Examining the effects of sleep habits (including sleep timing, sleep quantity, sleep quality, and day-time sleepiness) on daily functioning, performance, health, and well-being. In both areas, we are interested in a broad range of measures including many different performance measures, measures of emotional cognition/recognition, subjective measures, and health/well-being meausres. The broad goals of these research projects are to develop intervention strategies to improve performance and well-being in the work place and to help college students make better decisions regarding sleep habits.
Graduate and undergraduate students interested in learning more about the research process and in gaining research-related skills are welcome to join my research team. Graduate students can participate through course credit (i.e., independent research, thesis, and dissertation credit) or as volunteers. Undergraduate students participate through Clemson University's Creative Inquiry program and register for course credit through PSYCH H4900, H4910, 4980, or H4980. I encourage interested undergraduate students to join our research team no later than their junior year. Both graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to stay involved in the research team for multiple semesters to take full advantage of the learning opportunities intrinsic in our research team and effort. Students can be involved in any of my research projects, depending on their interest and our current research topics.
Students have the opportunity to be involved in several stages of the research process depending upon the number of semesters that they remain on the team including: literature searches to find necessary background information, reading and critically evaluating background literature, data gathering, data management in Excel, data analyses in SPSS, and data presentation and publication. Students involved in my research team during the spring semesters will also complete a poster presentation at the research exhibition on campus. Because of the on-going nature of our research effort, students have the opportunity to become immediately involved in the research process beginning in their first semester.
Please contact me if you are interested in joining our research team.
Featured Stories and Media Coverage
- Sleep research featured in first edition of Decipher (Vol 1, Fall 2012), the Clemson University Creative Inquiry magazine (pg 44).
- FitDesk Initiative: Clemson news release (Oct 8, 2013).
- FitDesk Initiative: Clemson student newspaper.
- FitDesk Initiative: Segment in ABC/ESPN Clemson-Boston College game (the FitDesk segment starts at 1:50:39; Oct 12, 2013).
- FitDesk Initiative: Segment on News 4 (local NBC channel).
- FitDesk Initiative: Article in Library Journal.
- FitDesk Initiative: Americantowns and Anderson newspaper picked up the CU press release.
- FitDesk Initiative: The Tennessean and The Montgomery Advertiser coverage of Nashville Event for FitStudent Initiative (Sept 12, 2013).
Recent Student Presentations (student names in red)
- Burnett, M. L., Pilcher, J. J., & Markle, R. S. (2013). Paving the way to academic success: Depression and sleep deprivation in college students [Abstract]. Sleep, 36 (Suppl.), A99. [Presented at Associated Professional Sleep Societies Meeting; Baltimore, MD.; June 2013]
- Jennings, K. S., & Pilcher, J. J. (2013, May). Effects of perceived interest and difficulty on auditory comprehension under sleep deprivation conditions. Presentation at the Work Stress and Health 2013 Conference, Los Angeles, CA.
- Bryant, S. A., Howard, E. E., Rummel, E. G., Baker, V. C., & Pilcher, J. J. (2013, April). Evaluation of Mood State and Sleep Quality in College Students. Poster presentation at Clemson University 8th Annual Focus on Creative Inquiry Symposium, Clemson, SC.
- Sullivan, K. L., Henderson, E. A., Hohenberger, M. E., Smith, P. D., Williams, J. F., & Pilcher, J. J. (2013, April). Correlations between Sleep Factors and Body Mass Index in Undergraduate College Students. Poster presentation at Clemson University 8th Annual Focus on Creative Inquiry Symposium, Clemson, SC.
- Jennings, K. S., & Pilcher, J. J. (2012, April). The Effects of Total Sleep Deprivation on Dual-Task Auditory Language Performance. Poster presentation at Clemson University 7th Annual Focus on Creative Inquiry Symposium, Clemson, SC.
- Padgett, A. L., Jennings, K. S., Sullivan, K. L., & Pilcher, J. J. (2012, April). Evaluating Sleep Quality in College Students. Poster presentation at Clemson University 7th Annual Focus on Creative Inquiry Symposium, Clemson, SC.
- Burnett, M. L., & Pilcher, J. J. (2011). Evaluating speed-accuracy tradeoff in sleep-deprived persons [Abstract]. Sleep, 34 (Suppl.), A100-A101. [Presented at Associated Professional Sleep Societies Meeting; Minneapolis, MN.; June 2011]
- Deacy, K. A., Ross, C. E., Jennings, K. S., Weaver, H. M., & Pilcher, J. J. (2011, April). Moody College Students: Or Is It the Start of the Semester? Poster presentation at Clemson University 6th Annual Focus on Creative Inquiry Symposium, Clemson, SC.
- Peach, H., McCubbin, J. A., & Pilcher, J. J. (2011, March). Cognitive functioning declines in prehypertensive young adults throughout a night of sleep deprivation. Poster presentation at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society, San Antonio, Texas.
- Wright, B. T., Burnett, M. L., Gillispie, S. K., & Pilcher, J. J. (2010). The relationship between performance and sleep quality in sleep deprived persons [Abstract]. Sleep, 33 (Suppl.), A98. [Presented at Associated Professional Sleep Societies Meeting; San Antonio, TX.; June 2010]
- Burnett, M. L., Wright, B. T., Gillispie, S. K., & Pilcher, J. J. (2010, April). The Relationship between Performance and Sleep Quality in Sleep Deprived Persons. Poster presentation at the 2010 ACC Meeting of the Minds: Undergraduate Research Conference, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA.
- Posey, J. L., Center, D., Lindsey, M. M., Gillespie, S., & Pilcher, J. J. (2010, April). Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Reported Valence and Arousal Levels in Response to Emotional Picture Stimuli. Poster presentation at Clemson University 5th Annual Focus on Creative Inquiry Symposium, Clemson, SC.
Student Theses and Dissertations (student names in red)
- Elena Garifallou (Honors Thesis, 2013). The Effect of Dream Recall on Emotional Reactivity to Stimulating Photographs and Emotional Expression in the Eyes
- Laura Lamantia (Honors Thesis, 2013). The Relationship between Emotional Expressiveness and Affective State after Waking from Dreaming
- Kristen Jennings (Honors Thesis, 2011). The Effects of Total Sleep Deprivation on Auditory Language Performance
- Monica Lindsey (Honors Thesis, 2010). The Effects of Partial and Total Sleep Deprivation Conditions on Engagement in Task
- Robert Markle (Honors Thesis, 2009). The Effects of Depression on Performance and Self-Assessed Performance under Sleep Deprivation Conditions
- Nicholas Beck (Honors Thesis, 2008). Effect of Sleep Deprivation and Sustained Work on Critical Thinking in Native and Non-Native English Speakers
- Nick Galan (Honors Thesis, 2008). The Effect of One Night of Sleep Deprivation on Working Memory: Non-Native versus Native English Speakers
- Melissa A. Vander Wood (Master Thesis, 2008). Actual and Self-Assessed Performance on a Logical Reasoning Task during a Night of Total or Partial Sleep Deprivation
- Laura E. McClelland (Doctoral Dissertation, 2007). Examining the Effects of Fatigue on Decision Making in Nurses: A Policy-Capturing Approach
- Sarah B. Spainhour (Honors Thesis, 2007). The Impact of Emotional Well-Being on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate during Sustained Operations under Sleep Deprivation Conditions
- Tyler C. Pierce (Honors Thesis, 2006). The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Spatial Ability
- Philip Poole (Honors Thesis, 2006). Controlled Attention: The Effect of 30 hours Sleep Deprivation on Performance on a Psychomotor Vigilance Task and a Four-Choice Response Task
- Joseph B. Mulvihill (Honors Thesis, 2005). The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Subjective Measures of Motivation and Enjoyment on a Cognitive and a Vigilance Task
- David A. Band (Master Thesis, 2004). The Ability of Automated Fatigue Measures to Monitor and Predict Simulated Driving Performance
- Cortney A. Brenner (Honors Thesis, 2004). The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Decision Making
- Kristina Ihlenfeldt (Honors Thesis, 2004). The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Language Skills
- Shea Tolbert (Honors Thesis, 2003). Relationships between Stress and Fatigue and Performance Skills