Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2014 Nov 19;9(11):e112056. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112056. eCollection 2014.

Post learning sleep improves cognitive-emotional decision-making: evidence for a 'deck B sleep effect' in the Iowa Gambling Task.

Author information

Centre for Neuroscience, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Centre for Neuroscience, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Psychology, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.


The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is widely used to assess real life decision-making impairment in a wide variety of clinical populations. Our study evaluated how IGT learning occurs across two sessions, and whether a period of intervening sleep between sessions can enhance learning. Furthermore, we investigate whether pre-sleep learning is necessary for this improvement. A 200-trial version of the IGT was administered at two sessions separated by wake, sleep or sleep and wake (time-of-day control). Participants were categorized as learners and non-learners based on initial performance in session one. In session one, participants initially preferred the high-frequency reward decks B and D, however, a subset of learners decreased choice from negative expected value 'bad' deck B and increased choices towards with a positive expected value 'good' decks (decks C and D). The learners who had a period of sleep (sleep and sleep/wake control conditions) between sessions showed significantly larger reduction in choices from deck B and increase in choices from good decks compared to learners that had intervening wake. Our results are the first to show that post-learning sleep can improve performance on a complex decision-making task such as the IGT. These results provide new insights into IGT learning and have important implications for understanding the neural mechanisms of "sleeping on" a decision.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center