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LAU Esther Yuet-ying, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Registered Psychologist (British Columbia, Canada)
Registered Clinical Psychologist (HKPS)
Chief Examiner, MSocSc in Clinical Psychology Program


B.Soc.Sc. (Psychology), The University of Hong Kong

M.Soc.Sc. (Clinical Psychology), The University of Hong Kong

Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology), Dalhousie University

Pre-doctoral Internship (Clinical Psychology Neuropsychology Track), Vancouver Coastal Health

Research interests

  • Neuropsychology of sleep and sleep disorders, normal aging, and neurological and psychiatric conditions
  • Stress and coping
  • Forgiveness, spirituality and mental health


Office: C663
Phone: (852)3917-7035
Email: eyylau@hku.hk
HKU Researcher Page: http://hub.hku.hk/rp/rp00634

Recent Publications

  • Lau, E. Y. Y. (2013). Executive and frontal lobe function. In C. A. Kushida (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Sleep, Vol.3 (pp.352-359). Waltham, MA: Academic Press.
  • Lau, E. Y. Y. (2013). Mood and behavior. In C. A. Kushida (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Sleep, Vol.3 (pp.413-418). Waltham, MA: Academic Press.
  • Wong, M. L., Lau, E. Y. Y. (corresponding author), Wan, J. H. Y., Cheung, S. F., Hui, C. H., & Mok, D. S. Y. (in press). The interplay between sleep and mood in predicting academic functioning, physical health and psychological health: A longitudinal study. Journal of Psychosomatic Research.
  • Cheng, G. L. F., Tang, J. C. Y., Li, F. W. S., Lau, E. Y. Y., & Lee, T. M. C. (2012). Schizophrenia and risk-taking: Impaired reward but preserved punishment processing. Schizophrenia Research, 136, 122-127.
  • Hui, C. H., Ng, E. C. W., Mok, D. S. Y., Lau, E. Y. Y., & Cheung, S. F. (2011). "Faith Maturity Scale" for Chinese: A revision and construct validation. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 21, 308-322.
  • Lau, E. Y. Y. (corresponding author), Eskes G. A., Morrison, D. L., Rajda, M., Spurr, K. F. (2010). Executive function in patients with obstructive sleep apnea treated with continuous positive airway pressure. Journal of International Neuropsychological Society, 16, 1077-1088.
  • Cowper-Smith, C. D., Lau, E. Y. Y., Helmick, C. A., Eskes, G. E., Westwood, D. A. (2010). Neural coding of movement direction in the healthy human brain. PLoS ONE 5(10): e13330. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013330


Sleep Laboratory
We are interested in studying how sleep interacts with our waking time. That includes how sleep, sleep problems, sleep disorders, sleep quality, sleep loss, and sleep deprivation affect daytime functioning, and also how our daytime behaviors and environmental factors such as stress, caffeine intake, napping, and shift work affect our nighttime sleep. We hope that our research has implications for promotion of quality sleep and enhancement of daytime functioning, hence improving overall well-being.

Research Internship Opportunities

Project title: What makes poor sleepers anxious and depressed? Testing the mediating role of cognitive deficits between poor sleep and anxiety and depressive disorders.

In this longitudinal study, we attempt to examine the causal relationship between poor sleep and anxiety and depressive symptoms assessed both subjectively and objectively, and to elucidate the role of cognitive mechanisms underlying the effects of poor sleep on anxiety and depressive symptoms. Interns will be involved in protocol preparation and data collection, which involves cognitive testing and interviews.

Intern selection:

  1. Second-year psychology major students preferred
  2. Interest in sleep, mental health and neuropsychology
  3. Good interpersonal skills and proficiency in English and Chinese

Training will be provided in the summer. Interested students are welcome to send a covering letter and a detailed curriculum vitae to Dr. Esther Lau (eyylau@hku.hk) by August 7, 2013.

Esther Y Y Lau, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor