The association between REM sleep and decision-making: supporting evidences

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jessica McNeil, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Studies suggest that REM sleep is important for the maintenance of prefrontal cortex functioning. Therefore, reducing REM sleep may have an impact on cognitive functions such as impulse control and decision-making processes. This study examined the association between impulsiveness and sensation seeking personality traits, REM sleep and performance on a decision-making computer task following a habitual night of sleep and a partial sleep deprivation (PSD) condition with advanced wake-up time. Eighteen young adults participated in two experimental conditions: a control (habitual bedtime and wake time) and a 50% PSD with an advanced wake time. Impulsiveness and sensation seeking personality traits were measured with a personality inventory (NEO-PI-3), sleep was assessed using standard polysomnography and the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) was completed at noon following each sleep condition. Results showed that when sleep deprived, participants choose more often to play riskier decks of cards during the last half of the IGT. Results also showed that REM sleep duration and REM sleep deprivation were associated with riskier decisions on the IGT. Moreover, impulsiveness was associated with riskier decisions after a normal night of sleep. These findings suggest that REM sleep duration and impulsiveness are important factors to consider while investigating decision-making processes under conditions of uncertainty and risk.

Additional Information

Physiology & Behavior, 2020, 225, 113109.
Language: English
Date: 2020
REM sleep deprivation, Impulsivity, Decision-making

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