Dr Sandra-Ilona Sunram-Lea

Senior Lecturer

Research Overview

My research background is in biological psychology/neuroscience and I am interested in biological factors and mechanisms which affect human cognition and behaviour across the lifespan.

Much of my research has focused on the effects of glucose administration and glucose regulatory mechanisms on human cognition. Through grant-funded collaborations with other centres I have also investigated the cognitive effects of glucose regulatory mechanisms with clinical populations such as diabetics. In addition, I have conducted investigations into the neurocognitive effects of energy drinks, nutritional supplements and food components.

I am also interested in evaluation of the behavioural and physiological effects of emotions and stress, and more specifically, how this affects cognitive performance.

My work has been funded by national and international competitive grants (BBSRC, ESRC, JDRF) and industry.

A temporary deficiency in self-control: can heightened motivation overcome this effect?
Kelly, C., Crawford, T.J., Gowen, E., Richardson, K., Sünram-Lea, S.I. 05/2017 In: Psychophysiology. 54, 5, p. 773-779. 7 p.
Journal article

The role of motivation, glucose and self-control in the antisaccade task
Kelly, C., Sünram-Lea, S., Crawford, T. 31/03/2015 In: PLoS ONE. 10, 3, 15 p.
Journal article

Glucose administration and cognitive function: differential effects of age and effort during a dual task paradigm in younger and older adults
Macpherson, H., Robertson, B., Sünram-Lea, S., Stough, C., Kennedy, D., Scholey, A.B. 03/2015 In: Psychopharmacology. 232, 6, p. 1135-1142. 8 p.
Journal article

Glycaemic control and cognition: evidence across the lifespan
Sünram-Lea, S., Owen, L., Robertson, B. 2015 In: Nutrition for Brain Health and Cognitive Performance . CRC PRESS-TAYLOR & FRANCIS GROUP p. 125-150. 26 p. ISBN: 9781466570023. Electronic ISBN: 9781466570030.
Chapter

Response variability to glucose facilitation of cognitive enhancement
Owen, L., Scholey, A.B., Finnegan, Y., Sünram-Lea, S. 28/11/2013 In: British Journal of Nutrition. 110, 10, p. 1873-1884. 12 p.
Journal article

Stress reactivity and cognitive performance in a simulated emergency (firefighting)
Robinson, S.J., Leach, J., Owen-Lynch, J., Sünram-Lea, S. 06/2013 In: Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine. 84, 6, p. 592-599. 8 p.
Journal article

Glucose enhancement of recognition memory: Differential effects on effortful processing but not aspects of remember-know responses.
Scholey, A.B., Macpherson, H., Sünram-Lea, S., Elliott, J., Stough, C., Kennedy, D.O. 01/2013 In: Neuropharmacology. 64, p. 544-549. 6 p.
Journal article

The effect of glucose dose and fasting interval on cognitive function: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, six-way crossover study.
Owen, L., Scholey, A.B., Finnegan, Y., Hu, H., Sünram-Lea, S. 04/2012 In: Psychopharmacology. 220, 3, p. 577-589. 13 p.
Journal article

Acute ingestion of different macronutrients differentially enhances aspects of memory and attention in healthy young adults
Jones, E., Sünram-Lea, S., Wesnes, K.A. 02/2012 In: Biological Psychology. 89, 2, p. 477-486. 10 p.
Journal article

The effect of energy drinks on cortisol levels, cognition and mood during a fire-fighting exercise
Sünram-Lea, S., Owen-Lynch, J., Robinson, S.J., Jones, E., Hu, H. 01/2012 In: Psychopharmacology. 219, 1, p. 83-97. 15 p.
Journal article

Dose-response investigation into glucose facilitation of memory performance and mood in healthy young adults.
Sünram-Lea, S.I., Owen, L., Finnegan, Y., Hu, H. 08/2011 In: Journal of Psychopharmacology. 25, 8, p. 1076-1087. 12 p.
Journal article

Metabolic agents that enhance ATP can improve cognitive functioning: a review of the evidence for glucose, oxygen, pyruvate, creatine, and L-carnitine.
Sünram-Lea, S., Owen, L. 08/2011 In: Nutrients. 3, 8, p. 735-755. 21 p.
Journal article

Glucose effects on long-term memory performance : duration and domain specificity.
Owen, L., Finnegan, Y., Hu, H., Scholey, A.B., Sünram-Lea, S.I. 08/2010 In: Psychopharmacology. 211, 2, p. 131-140. 10 p.
Journal article

The effects of glucose dose and dual task performance on memory for emotional material.
Brandt, K.R., Sünram-Lea, S.I., Jenkinson, P.M., Jones, E. 29/07/2010 In: Behavioural Brain Research. 211, 1, p. 83-88. 6 p.
Journal article

Glucose modulates event-related potential components of recollection and familiarity in healthy adolescents.
Smith, M.A., Riby, L.M., Sünram-Lea, S.I., van Eekelen, J.A.M., Foster, J.K. 07/2009 In: Psychopharmacology. 205, 1, p. 11-20. 10 p.
Journal article

Glucose administration prior to a divided attention task improves tracking performance but not word recognition : evidence against differential memory enhancement?
Scholey, A.B., Sünram-Lea, S.I., Greer, J., Elliott, J., Kennedy, D.O. 01/2009 In: Psychopharmacology. 202, 1-3, p. 549-558. 10 p.
Journal article

The P3b versus the P3a : an event related potential investigation of the glucose facilitation effect.
Riby, L.M., Sünram-Lea, S.I., Cooper, T., Crocket, C. 07/2008 In: Journal of Psychopharmacology. 22, 5, p. 486-492. 7 p.
Journal article

The effect of glucose administration on the recollection and familiarity components of recognition memory.
Sünram-Lea, S.I., Dewhurst, S.A., Foster, J.K. 01/2008 In: Biological Psychology. 77, 1, p. 69-75. 7 p.
Journal article

Effect of glucose ingestion on recognition memory for emotionally arousing stimuli
Sunram-Lea, S., Brandt, K. 2008
Meeting abstract

The effects of exposure to an acute naturalistic stressor on working memory, state anxiety and salivary cortisol concentrations
Robinson, S.J., Sünram-Lea, S.I., Leach, J., Owen-Lynch, P.J. 2008 In: Stress. 11, 2, p. 115-124. 10 p.
Journal article

The effect of glucose administration on the recollection and familiarity components of recognition memory.
Sunram-Lea, S., Dewhurst, S.A., Foster, J.K. 15/09/2007
Other contribution

Small changes in blood glucose in healthy subjects alter fMRI brain activation responses to appetising vs bland foods
Swamy, A., Hoashi, S., Shaw, J., Corlett, P.R., Sunram-Lea, S., Foster, J., Fletcher, P., Evans, M.L. 09/2007
Meeting abstract

Changes in emotional state and cognition following administration of low-, medium- and high-energy foodstuff : the effect of dieting and dietary restraint.
Sünram-Lea, S.I., Mahon, L., Poole, J. 09/2006 In: Appetite. 47, 2, p. 277-277. 1 p.
Journal article

Effects of acute macronutrient ingestion on cognition and mood.
Jones, E., Sünram-Lea, S.I., Fairley, S., Wesnes, K.A. 09/2006 In: Appetite. 47, 2, p. 86.
Journal article

Apolipoprotein E, cholesterol metabolism, diabetes, and the convergence of risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease.
Martins, I.J., Hone, E., Foster, J.K., Sünram-Lea, S.I., Gnjec, A., Nolan, D., Gandy, S.E., Martins, R.N. 08/2006 In: Molecular Psychiatry. 11, 8, p. 721-736. 16 p.
Journal article

The Effect of Glucose Administration on the Emotional Enhancement Effect in Recognition Memory
Brandt, K.R., Sünram-Lea, S.I., Qualtrough, K. 08/2006 In: Biological Psychology. 73, 2, p. 199-208. 10 p.
Journal article

Hormone replacement therapy is associated with improved verbal declarative memory in healthy relatively recent postmenopausal women.
Papavasiliou, E., Sünram-Lea, S.I. 01/2006 In: Annals of General Psychiatry. 5, Supple, p. 122.
Journal article

The effect of acute administration of 400mg of Panax ginseng on cognitive performance and mood in healthy young volunteers.
Sünram-Lea, S.I., Birchall, R., Wesnes, K.A., Petrini, O. 02/2005 In: Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research. 3, 1, p. 65-74. 10 p.
Journal article

The Influence of Fat Co-administration on the Glucose Memory Facilitation Effect.
Sunram-Lea, S.I., Foster, J.K., Durlach, P., Perez, C. 02/2004 In: Nutritional Neuroscience. 7, 1, p. 21-32. 12 p.
Journal article

Cognitive and immune functioning during emergencies.
Robinson, S., Sünram-Lea, S.I., Leach, J., Owen-Lynch, P.J. 2004 In: Proceedings of the annual conference of the BPS psychobiology section.
Chapter

Exposure to an acute stressor leads to changes in cortisol and cognitive performance in healthy young volunteers.
Robinson, S., Leach, J., Sünram-Lea, S.I., Owen-Lynch, J. 2004 In: Proceedings of the annual conference of the BPS psychobiology section.
Chapter

Can administration of glucose facilitate memory processes?
Sünram-Lea, S.I., Foster, J.K. 05/2003 In: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. 9, 4, p. 531.
Journal article

Acute administration of ginseng improves speed of attention in healthy young volunteers.
Sünram-Lea, S.I., Birchall, R.J., Wesnes, K.A., Petrini, O. 2003 In: Journal of Psychopharmacology. 17, 3(Supp, p. A63.
Journal article

The effect of retrograde and anterograde glucose administration on memory performance in healthy young adults.
Sünram-Lea, S.I., Foster, J.K., Durlach, P., Perez, C. 08/2002 In: Behavioural Brain Research. 134, 1-2, p. 505-516. 12 p.
Journal article

Glucose and memory: reliable and specific long-term effects?
Foster, J.K., Sünram-Lea, S.I. 04/2002 In: Australian Journal of Psychology. 54, 1, p. 52.
Journal article

Investigation into the significance of task difficulty and divided allocation of resources on the glucose memory facilitation effect.
Sünram-Lea, S.I., Foster, J.K., Durlach, P., Perez, C. 04/2002 In: Psychopharmacology. 160, 4, p. 387-397. 11 p.
Journal article

Glucose and memory: reliable and specific long-term facilitation?
Foster, J.K., Sünram-Lea, S.I. 2002 In: Proceedings of the 13th annual combined biological sciences meeting. p. 23.
Chapter

Glucose facilitation of cognitive performance in healthy young adults: examination of the influence of fast-duration, time of day and pre-consumption plasma glucose levels.
Sünram-Lea, S.I., Foster, J.K., Durlach, P., Perez, C. 08/2001 In: Psychopharmacology. 157, 1, p. 46-54. 9 p.
Journal article

Memory and glucose: a conceptual framework for the memory facilitation effect?
Sünram-Lea, S.I., Foster, J.K. 2000 In: Proceedings of the British psychological society conference. p. 7.
Chapter

The Hippocampus and Delayed Recall: Bigger is not Necessarily Better?
Foster, J.K., Meikle, A., Goodson, G., Mayes, A.R., Howard, M., Sunram, S.I., Cezayirilli, E., Roberts, N. 1999 In: Memory. 7, 5/6, p. 715-732. 18 p.
Journal article

Glucose and memory: fractionation of enhancement effects?
Foster, J.K., Lidder, P.G., Sünram, S.I. 06/1998 In: Psychopharmacology. 137, 3, p. 259-270. 12 p.
Journal article