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Percept Mot Skills. 2006 Apr;102(2):589-99.

Performance on a simple reaction time task while sleep deprived.

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Department of Work and the Physical Environment, National Institute of Working Life, UmeƄ, Sweden.


Divergent results have been reported on the effect of a night's sleep loss on performance of a single monotonous task. The present experiment examined the effect that partial sleep deprivation had on 10 participants' performance on a simple reaction time task requiring low responding for 120 min. compared to performance on the same task when well rested. Participants missed significantly more signals and had slower reaction times when sleep deprived. Reaction times increased with time when participants were both sleep deprived and rested, but the number of misses did not significantly change over time. Reaction time was significantly correlated with subjective ratings of sleepiness and heart rate in both conditions. EEG and heart-rate variability measures did not correlate significantly with reaction time. Misses correlated significantly with subjective ratings and heart rate but only in the rested condition.

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