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J Occup Med. 1992 Dec;34(12):1143-52.

The P300 event-related potential. The effects of sleep deprivation.

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Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, University of California, San Francisco.


We monitored 15 healthy young adults during 18 hours of sleep deprivation. Subjects were repeatedly tested on measures of the P300 (P3) event-related potential, reaction time, body temperature, and a subjective rating of fatigue. Statistically significant decreases in P3 amplitude (P < or = .01) and increases in P3 latency (P < or = .0001) were found during sleep deprivation. These changes correlated with body temperature and fatigue and were not due to circadian variation. Reaction time did not show a significant change over time. We conclude that the P3 potential is a more sensitive cognitive measure of sleep deprivation than reaction time, a measure commonly used in previous studies. We provide a review of the literature on the P3 and recommend the use of the P3 as a marker to examine sleep deprivation in health professionals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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