Julie Onton, PhD

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My Research:

My early work involved analysing high-dimensional EEG data with Matlab and tools from the EEGLAB toolbox. I studied short-term memory using a modified Sternberg task, and emotional imagery, among other topics.

My later work studying the EEG characteristics of PTSD and mTBI led me to the study of sleep EEG using a single channel on the forehead. I approached sleep in the same way that I did wake EEG, by looking at patterns of frequency over time. This led to the discovery that sleep can be neatly visualized across the whole night as a single spectrogram and that 5 frequency bands can estimate  the sleep stages revealed by the spectrogram. Using this method, I showed that subjects with PTSD (and using psychoactive medications) showed less of a novel stage of deep sleep that I coined Lo Deep. This finding has led me to continue to investigate sleep and the frequency components involved that might tell us something about sleep or overall health.