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J Exp Psychol Hum Learn. 1975 Mar;104(2):194-200.

Effects of sleep deprivation on short-term recognition memory.


A probe-recognition short-term memory paradigm was used to inquire into the precise effects of sleep deprivation on human memory. It was found that recognition performance, as measured by d', was generally impaired for each subjects after 24 hr of sleep deprivation. While d' was shown to decrease exponentially as the number of items intervening between the target and the probe increased, this decay rate was not affected by sleep loss. In addition there was confirmation of a previously observed increase in the positive skewness of reaction times after wakefulness. The data were consistent with the hypothesis that sleep deprivation increases the occurrence of lapses, periods of lowered reactive capacity, which prevent the encoding of items in short-term memory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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