A Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Short-Term Sleep Deprivation on Cognitive Variables

Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Psychological Bulletin (Impact Factor: 14.76). 05/2010; 136(3):375-89. DOI: 10.1037/a0018883
Source: PubMed


A substantial amount of research has been conducted in an effort to understand the impact of short-term (<48 hr) total sleep deprivation (SD) on outcomes in various cognitive domains. Despite this wealth of information, there has been disagreement on how these data should be interpreted, arising in part because the relative magnitude of effect sizes in these domains is not known. To address this question, we conducted a meta-analysis to discover the effects of short-term SD on both speed and accuracy measures in 6 cognitive categories: simple attention, complex attention, working memory, processing speed, short-term memory, and reasoning. Seventy articles containing 147 cognitive tests were found that met inclusion criteria for this study. Effect sizes ranged from small and nonsignificant (reasoning accuracy: g = -0.125, 95% CI [-0.27, 0.02]) to large (lapses in simple attention: g = -0.776, 95% CI [-0.96, -0.60], p < .001). Across cognitive domains, significant differences were observed for both speed and accuracy; however, there were no differences between speed and accuracy measures within each cognitive domain. Of several moderators tested, only time awake was a significant predictor of between-studies variability, and only for accuracy measures, suggesting that heterogeneity in test characteristics may account for a significant amount of the remaining between-studies variance. The theoretical implications of these findings for the study of SD and cognition are discussed.

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Available from: Julian Lim, Apr 22, 2014
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    • "The notable exception was red-light monitoring in MATB, precisely the kind of task found to be most disrupted by fatigue (Lim & Dinges, 2010). Subjective ratings had shown this task to be both boring, and of low subjective priority (Gutzwiller et al., 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to advance understanding and prediction of the impact of circadian rhythm on aspects of complex task performance during unexpected automation failures, and subsequent fault management. Participants trained on two tasks: a process control simulation, featuring automated support; and a multi-tasking platform. Participants then completed one task in a very early morning (circadian night) session, and the other during a late afternoon (circadian day) session. Small effects of time of day were seen on simple components of task performance, but impacts on more demanding components, such as those that occur following an automation failure, were muted relative to previous studies where circadian rhythm was compounded with sleep deprivation and fatigue. Circadian low participants engaged in compensatory strategies, rather than passively monitoring the automation. The findings and implications are discussed in the context of a model that includes the effects of sleep and fatigue factors.
    59th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society; 10/2015
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    • "The present study examined individual differences in a purely energetic aspect of cognitive performance—the ability to maintain a basal level of responsiveness to well-discriminable visual targets (Langner & Eickhoff, 2013; Lim & Dinges, 2010). To this end, a low-event-rate simple RT task (psychomotor vigilance task) was used to study the effects of TOT on performance. "
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    ABSTRACT: The goal of this study is to understand the interface between subjectively assessed and objectively measured attention functioning. To this end, we assessed both self-report data using the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ) and sustained-attention performance using a low-demand psychomotor vigilance task that required participants to respond to visual targets. Unlike previous studies, reliability of task performance was ensured, testing individuals twice within a retest interval of 1 week. Given that everyday life attentional lapse tendencies vary even in normal-population samples, we asked whether there is a relationship with laboratory performance, in general and as a consequence of time on task (TOT). As a result, low (versus high) CFQ scorers were somewhat different in their average response speed but became particularly prone to lapsing during the task period, as reflected in standard measures of response-speed variability as well as ex-Gaussian parameters of distributional skewness. In conclusion, we argue that persistence to sustained demand might be an important aspect of construct validity that must be evoked by a manipulation of TOT, which may be useful for the evaluation of questionnaires in ecologically valid situations.
    Applied Cognitive Psychology 10/2015; DOI:10.1002/acp.3172 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    • "Recent studies have indicated that TSD may result in a decrease in the ability to process available information, including reduced visual short term memory information processing (Chee and Chuah, 2007), limited selective attention (Lim et al., 2010), reduced processing of peripheral information (Kong et al., 2012), and reduced rapid picture processing (Kong et al., 2014). This presents a secondary hypothesis for us to examine with our strategy analyses—whether TSD produces an overall decrease in the use of available information. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sleep deprivation alters decision making; however, it is unclear what specific cognitive processes are modified to drive altered choices. In this manuscript, we examined how one night of total sleep deprivation (TSD) alters economic decision making. We specifically examined changes in uncertainty preferences dissociably from changes in the strategy with which participants engage with presented choice information. With high test-retest reliability, we show that TSD does not alter uncertainty preferences or loss aversion. Rather, TSD alters the information the participants rely upon to make their choices. Utilizing a choice strategy metric which contrasts the influence of maximizing and satisficing information on choice behavior, we find that TSD alters the relative reliance on maximizing information and satisficing information, in the gains domain. This alteration is the result of participants both decreasing their reliance on cognitively-complex maximizing information and a concomitant increase in the use of readily-available satisficing information. TSD did not result in a decrease in overall information use in either domain. These results show that sleep deprivation alters decision making by altering the informational strategies that participants employ, without altering their preferences.
    Frontiers in Neuroscience 09/2015; 9(352). DOI:10.3389/fnins.2015.00352 · 3.66 Impact Factor
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