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J Exp Psychol Gen. 2019 Oct;148(10):1828-1833. doi: 10.1037/xge0000495. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

Effects of sleep deprivation on procedural errors.

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Department of Psychology.


In a large sample (N = 234), we tested effects of 24-hr of sleep deprivation on error rates in a procedural task that requires memory maintenance of task-relevant information. In the evening, participants completed the task under double-blind conditions and then either stayed awake in the lab overnight or slept at home. In the morning, participants completed the task again. Sleep-deprived participants were more likely to suffer a general breakdown in ability (or willingness) to meet a modest accuracy criterion they had met the night before. Among sleep-deprived participants who could still perform the task, error rates were elevated, and errors reflecting memory failures increased with time-on-task. The results suggest that sleep-deprived individuals should not perform procedural tasks associated with interruptions and costly errors-or, if they must, they should perform such tasks only for short periods. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).


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