Impaired decision making following 49 h of sleep deprivation

Department of Behavioral Biology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA.
Journal of Sleep Research (Impact Factor: 3.35). 04/2006; 15(1):7-13. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.2006.00487.x
Source: PubMed


Sleep deprivation reduces regional cerebral metabolism within the prefrontal cortex, the brain region most responsible for higher-order cognitive processes, including judgment and decision making. Accordingly, we hypothesized that two nights of sleep loss would impair decision making quality and lead to increased risk-taking behavior on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), which mimics real-world decision making under conditions of uncertainty. Thirty-four healthy participants completed the IGT at rested baseline and again following 49.5 h of sleep deprivation. At baseline, volunteers performed in a manner similar to that seen in most samples of healthy normal individuals, rapidly learning to avoid high-risk decks and selecting more frequently from advantageous low-risk decks as the game progressed. After sleep loss, however, volunteers showed a strikingly different pattern of performance. Relative to rested baseline, sleep-deprived individuals tended to choose more frequently from risky decks as the game progressed, a pattern similar to, though less severe than, previously published reports of patients with lesions to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Although risky decision making was not related to participant age when tested at rested baseline, age was negatively correlated with advantageous decision making on the IGT, when tested following sleep deprivation (i.e. older subjects made more risky choices). These findings suggest that cognitive functions known to be mediated by the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, including decision making under conditions of uncertainty, may be particularly vulnerable to sleep loss and that this vulnerability may become more pronounced with increased age.

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Available from: William D. S. Killgore, Oct 07, 2015
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    • "Overall, this study has shown that a concerning proportion of drivers (69.83%) have continued to drive while sleepy in the last five years. Driving while experiencing acute sleepiness is a known risk factor for having a sleep-related crash (Connor et al., 2002; Kecklund et al., 2012) as sleepiness can impair a number of psychological processes that are needed to safely control a vehicle (e.g., Åkerstedt et al., 2005; Campagne et al., 2004; Jackson et al., 2012; Killgore et al., 2006). Moreover, in the last five years 16.73% of drivers reported having a sleep-related close call, with 2.44% reported having a sleep-related crash. "
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    ABSTRACT: The impairing effect from sleepiness is a major contributor to road crashes. The ability of a sleepy driver to perceive their level of sleepiness is an important consideration for road safety as well as the type of sleepiness countermeasure used by drivers as some sleepiness countermeasures are more effective than others. The aims of the current study were to determine the extent that the signs of driver sleepiness were associated with sleepy driving behaviours, as well as determining which individual factors (demographic, work, driving, and sleep-related factors) were associated with using a roadside or in-vehicle sleepiness countermeasure. A sample of 1518 Australian drivers from the Australian State of New South Wales and the neighbouring Australian Capital Territory took part in the study. The participants' experiences with the signs of sleepiness were reasonably extensive. A number of the early signs of sleepiness (e.g., yawning, frequent eye blinks) were related with continuing to drive while sleepy, with the more advanced signs of sleepiness (e.g., difficulty keeping eyes open, dreamlike state of consciousness) associated with having a sleep-related close call. The individual factors associated with using a roadside sleepiness countermeasure included age (being older), education (tertiary level), difficulties getting to sleep, not continuing to drive while sleepy, and having experienced many signs of sleepiness. The results suggest that these participants have a reasonable awareness and experience with the signs of driver sleepiness. Factors related to previous experiences with sleepiness were associated with implementing a roadside countermeasure. Nonetheless, the high proportions of drivers performing sleepy driving behaviours suggest that concerted efforts are needed with road safety campaigns regarding the dangers of driving while sleepy.
    Accident; analysis and prevention 09/2015; 85:22-29. DOI:10.1016/j.aap.2015.08.022 · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    • "Interestingly, humans and animals 67 face a variety of challenging environmental conditions that can 68 dramatically impact sleep and sleep quality. Sleep disruption, by 69 itself, can result in cognitive impairment (Chuah et al., 2006; Van 70 Dongen et al., 2005; Rogers et al., 2003), increased emotional reac- 71 tivity (Goldstein et al., 2013), increased risk-taking (Killgore et al., 72 2006) and may be a contributing factor for developing depression 73 and other psychiatric illnesses (Tesler et al., 2013). Given the well 74 documented observation that individuals vary greatly in their 75 resilience/vulnerability to sleep loss (Van Dongen et al., 2004), it 76 seems likely that sleep disruption may enhance the vulnerability 77 to individuals exposed to threatening or challenging conditions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Individuals frequently find themselves confronted with a variety of challenges that threaten their wellbeing. While some individuals face these challenges efficiently and thrive (resilient) others are unable to cope and may suffer persistent consequences (vulnerable). Resilience/vulnerability to sleep disruption may contribute to the vulnerability of individuals exposed to challenging conditions. With that in mind we exploited individual differences in a fly’s ability to form short-term memory (STM) following 3 different types of sleep disruption to identify the underlying genes. Our analysis showed that in each category of flies examined, there are individuals that form STM in the face of sleep loss (resilient) while other individuals show dramatic declines in cognitive behavior (vulnerable). Molecular genetic studies revealed that Antimicrobial Peptides, factors important for innate immunity, were candidates for conferring resilience/vulnerability to sleep deprivation. Specifically, Metchnikowin (Mtk), drosocin (dro) and Attacin (Att) transcript levels seemed to be differentially increased by sleep deprivation in glia (Mtk), neurons (dro) or primarily in the head fat body (Att). Follow-up genetic studies confirmed that expressing Mtk in glia but not neurons, and expressing dro in neurons but not glia, disrupted memory while modulating sleep in opposite directions. These data indicate that various factors within glia or neurons can contribute to individual differences in resilience/vulnerability to sleep deprivation.
    Brain Behavior and Immunity 10/2014; 47. DOI:10.1016/j.bbi.2014.09.019 · 5.89 Impact Factor
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    • "Although cognitive tasks vary considerably in their sensitivity to sleep loss, to date the fundamental role of sleep on the proper functioning of our daily life is widely accepted (Durmer and Dinges, 2005). Sleep deprivation appears to have the largest adverse effects on performance when the executed tasks depend upon the functional integrity of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) (Couyoumdjian et al., 2010; Drummond et al., 2006; Harrison et al., 2007; Killgore et al., 2006). The PFC is well known to be involved in executive functions (Yuan and Raz, 2014), as well as in the regulation of emotions, and particularly in the ability to shift to someone else's perspective (Ochsner, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that sleep loss has a detrimental effect on the ability of the individuals to process emotional information. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that this negative effect extends to the ability of experiencing emotions while observing other individuals, i.e. emotional empathy. To test this hypothesis, we assessed emotional empathy in 37 healthy volunteers who were assigned randomly to one of three experimental groups: one group was tested before and after a night of total sleep deprivation (sleep deprivation group), a second group was tested before and after a usual night of sleep spent at home (sleep group) and the third group was tested twice during the same day (day group). Emotional empathy was assessed by using two parallel versions of a computerized test measuring direct (i.e. explicit evaluation of empathic concern) and indirect (i.e. the observer's reported physiological arousal) emotional empathy. The results revealed that the post measurements of both direct and indirect emotional empathy of participants in the sleep deprivation group were significantly lower than those of the sleep and day groups; post measurement scores of participants in the day and sleep groups did not differ significantly for either direct or indirect emotional empathy. These data are consistent with previous studies showing the negative effect of sleep deprivation on the processing of emotional information, and extend these effects to emotional empathy. The findings reported in our study are relevant to healthy individuals with poor sleep habits, as well as clinical populations suffering from sleep disturbances.
    Journal of Sleep Research 08/2014; 23(6). DOI:10.1111/jsr.12192 · 3.35 Impact Factor
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