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Circadian rhythms are cycles of rhythmicity in our behavior, physiology and biochemistry, that occur approximately every 24 hours. They form an adaptive mechanism for organisms to coordinate vital functions from cellular processes to physiological functions to our very behaviors. The nature and timing of our circadian rhythms can therefore play an important role in every aspect of our functioning. Circadian rhythms are tightly connected with sleep, a behavior in which we spend a third of our lives. Light happens to be the strongest entrainer of our circadian rhythms, and therefore exerts a powerful influence over our circadian rhythms.

The aim of this symposium is to activate and foster networks and interdisciplinary collaborations focused on the topic of sleep and the circadian timing system, how they interact with human psychology, health, and behavior, and circadian-driven interventions including light therapy. This symposium is set against the backdrop of a new AU-wide research group that we have formed called the Circadian Psychology and Sleep Research Group.

Keynote speakers

Professor Katharina Wulff (Umeå University and the Nordic Daylight Research Programme, Sweden)

Clinical Professor Klaus Martiny (University of Copenhagen)


Tuesday, 24 May

09:30-10:00: Registration & coffee

10.00-10.05: Welcome talk by AIAS Director Søren Rud Keiding 

10.05-10.15: Introduction (Ali Amidi & Lisa Wu)

10.15-11:15: Keynote lecture 

  • Professor Katharina Wulff (Umeå University, Sweden) 
    Adaptiveness to Light from Molecular to Community Level

11:20-12:20: Invited speakers 

  • 11:20-11:40: Associate Professor Birgitte Rahbek Kornum (Copenhagen University, Denmark)
    Is the hypothalamus particularly vulnerable to environmental insults during adolescence?
  • 11:40-12:00: Professor Bobby Zachariae (Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark)
    “The development of HVIL®: A Danish App for the Treatment of Insomnia”
  • 12:00-12:20: Professor Preben Kidmose (Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Long-term Sleep Monitoring Using Ear-EEG

12:20-13:15: LUNCH

13:15-14:15: Keynote lecture 

  • Professor Klaus Martiny (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
    “Stabilizing and improving sleep in patients with depression by strengthening of their circadian system through light and other zeitgebers”

14:20-15:30: Invited speakers 

  • 14:20-14:40: Associate Professor Christine Parsons (Aarhus University)
    "Tired and cranky: Examining the Links Between Sleep and Daily Emotion”
  • 14:40-15:00: Associate Professor Lisa Wu (AIAS, Aarhus University)
    “Sleep, Circadian Rhythms and Light Exposure in Oncology”
  • 15:00-15:20: Assistant Professor Mandana Sarey Khanie (Technical University of Denmark)
    “Learning, Light and Sleep: An Overview of Current Activities at ICIEE”
  • 15:20-15:30: Associate Professor Ali Amidi (Aarhus University)
    “The effect of air quality on sleep and cognitive performance in school children” 

15.30-15.45: Closing comments 

15.45-17:00: Networking reception – Attendees will have the opportunity to connect informally

Call for posters

All attendees are welcome to present a poster related to the symposium topic. Please let us know if you intend to do so at registration by checking the box. Posters should be in the following format: A0 (841 x 1189), portrait format.


The symposium is open for all interested researchers and students at all levels and across disciplines in Denmark and neighboring countries. There is a symposium fee of Euro 26,88,- (or DKK 200,-) for non-presenters. The symposium fee covers the cost of coffee, lunches etc. at the symposium.

Click here for registration.

Registration closes May 18 2022.