The effects of sleep restriction and sleep deprivation in producing false memories

Alex Chatburn, Mark J. Kohler, Jessica D. Payne, Sean P.A. Drummond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

False memory has been claimed to be the result of an associative process of generalisation, as well as to be representative of memory errors. These can occur at any stage of memory encoding, consolidation, or retrieval, albeit through varied mechanisms. The aim of this paper is to experimentally determine: (i) if cognitive dysfunction brought about by sleep loss at the time of stimulus encoding can influence false memory production; and (ii) whether this relationship holds across sensory modalities. Subjects undertook both the Deese-Roedigger-McDermott (DRM) false memory task and a visual task designed to produce false memories. Performance was measured while subjects were well-rested (9h Time in Bed or TIB), and then again when subjects were either sleep restricted (4h TIB for 4 nights) or sleep deprived (30h total SD). Results indicate (1) that partial and total sleep loss produced equivalent effects in terms of false and veridical verbal memory, (2) that subjects performed worse after sleep loss (regardless of whether this was partial or total sleep loss) on cued recognition-based false and veridical verbal memory tasks, and that sleep loss interfered with subjects’ ability to recall veridical, but not false memories under free recall conditions, and (3) that there were no effects of sleep loss on a visual false memory task. This is argued to represent the dysfunction and slow repair of an online verbal associative process in the brain following inadequate sleep.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalNeurobiology of Learning and Memory
Volume137
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • DRM
  • False memory
  • Sleep
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sleep restriction

Cite this

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The effects of sleep restriction and sleep deprivation in producing false memories. / Chatburn, Alex; Kohler, Mark J.; Payne, Jessica D.; Drummond, Sean P.A.

In: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Vol. 137, 01.01.2017, p. 107-113.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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