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Paola Malerba

Dr. Paola Malerba's photo

Paola Malerba

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics


(614) 355-5894

Abigail Wexner Research Institute 700 Children's Drive Columbus, OH 43205
Abigail Wexner Research Institute
700 Children's Drive
Columbus, OH 43205

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Areas of Expertise

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Systems Neuroscience
  • Computational Neuroscience


  • PhD: Boston University

Current Research Description

The Malerba Lab is focused on studying sleep rhythms in the human brain. Sleep helps us embed our memories in our understanding of the world. Specific brain oscillations found during sleep are crucial for this process, and their presence and coordination across brain regions promotes memory performance. Furthermore, non-invasive sleep interventions including targeted memory reactivation (with sound) and transcranial electrical stimulation (aiming at specific brain waves) are capable to enhance sleep oscillations and memory and motor performance. However, it is unknown how these rhythms emerge, organize or how they mediate memory consolidation.

In recent work (Sleep 2018), Paola and collaborators have introduced a data-driven EEG analysis method to classify sleep slow oscillations (SOs, a hallmark of deep sleep) depending on their topography on the electrode manifold. This work is opening the line of research of our lab: introducing a new theory of sleep-dependent consolidation in the presence of brain injury, disease or degeneration. Studying how sleep oscillations changes in these conditions can provide insights on how sleep rhythms influence memory consolidation, and at the same time open avenues for interventions aimed at ameliorating the consequences of brain injuries/disease on cognition and motor skills.

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