Article

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

ABSTRACT

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
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    • "Recently, research using the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), a task designed to mimic real life decision-making, has revealed an intricate relationship between sleep and decision-making. Studies show evidence that decision-making on the IGT is disrupted by periods of sleep deprivation (Killgore et al., 2006;). Futhermore, research has emerged to suggest that the reverse relationship exists and that a period of post-learning sleep can help enhance IGT decision-making (Pace-schott et al., 2012;Seeley et al., 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent research is beginning to reveal an intricate relationship between sleep and decision-making. The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is a unique decision-making task that relies on the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), an area that integrates and weighs previous experiences with reward and loss to select choices with the highest overall value. Recently, it has been demonstrated that a period of sleep can enhance decision-making on this task. Our study investigated the sleep mechanisms (sleep stages and cortical activity) that underlie this improvement. We recorded electrophysiology for 3 consecutive nights: a habituation, baseline, and acquisition night. On acquisition night participants were administered either a 200-trial IGT (IGT group; n = 13) or a 200-trial control (IGT-control group; n = 8) version of the task prior to sleep. Compared with baseline, the IGT group had a significant increase in theta frequency (4 Hz-8 Hz) on cites located above vmPFC and left prefrontal cortex during REM sleep. This increase correlated with subsequent performance improvement from deck B, a high reward deck with negative long-term outcomes. Furthermore, presleep emotional arousal (measured via skin conductance response) toward deck B correlated to increased theta activity above the right vmPFC during REM sleep. Overall, these results suggests that insight into deck B may be enhanced via vmPFC theta activity during REM sleep and REM sleep may have distinct mechanisms for processing decision-making information. (PsycINFO Database Record
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    • "It might be possible for a driver to run off the road despite the presence of rumble strips if they ignore an early rumble strip hit and decide to continue driving when highly sleepy. Additionally, sleepiness affects a multitude of cognitive tasks, including decision making and risk acceptance (Killgore et al., 2006) and, thus, if a sleepy driver ignores an earlier rumble strip hit, they could be prone to crashing in another manner other than running off the road. It is plausible to consider hitting a rumble strip as a proxy for a sleep-related close call or near-miss and, as such, the more close calls a driver experiences the greater the likelihood they will have a sleep-related crash (Powell et al., 2007). "
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    • "Sleep deprivation can not only undermine process gains but it simultaneously increases the probability for losses in individual capability. Sleep deprived individuals tend to think less creatively (Horne, 1988a) and are less able to update information (Harrison & Horne, 2000; Killgore et al., 2006; M. E. Smith, McEvoy, & Gevins, 2002), to form new memories (Chee & Choo, 2004; Yoo, Gujar, Hu, Jolesz, & Walker, 2007) or to switch between different tasks (Couyoumdjian et al., 2010). Hence, under sleep deprivation, group members are presumably more likely to stick to single aspects of the interaction, whether it is a certain category of ideas in brainstorming or a specific suggestion for a solution to a decision problem. "
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    ABSTRACT: What effects do factors that impair or enhance performance in individuals have when these individuals act in groups? We provide a framework, called the GIE framework, for investigating this question. As prominent examples for individual-level impairments and enhancements, we discuss sleep deprivation and caffeine. Based on previous research, we derive hypotheses on how they influence performance in groups, specifically process gains and losses in motivation, individual capability, and coordination. We conclude that the effect an impairment or enhancement has on individual-level performance is not necessarily mirrored in group performance: grouping can help or hurt. We provide recommendations on how to estimate empirically the effects individual-level performance impairments and enhancements have in groups. By comparing sleep deprivation to stress and caffeine to pharmacological cognitive enhancement, we illustrate that we cannot readily generalize from group results on one impairment or enhancement to another, even if they have similar effects on individual-level performance.
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