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Published July 2009 | public
Journal Article

Failure to Find Executive Function Deficits Following One Night's Total Sleep Deprivation in University Students Under Naturalistic Conditions


Young adult male students participated in a naturalistic, group-design experiment to ascertain the effects of one night's total sleep deprivation (TSD) on performance of diverse executive function tasks presented as an extended, multitask battery. On the majority of component tasks in this battery, performance has been reported to be impaired following one night's TSD when tasks are administered in isolation. However, participants sleep deprived 35 to 39 hr showed few performance deficits among tests in this battery when compared with non-sleep-deprived controls. Sleep-deprived participants showed only poorer recognition memory and overconfidence in incorrect temporal judgments. Behavioral and physiological adaptation to chronically sleep-restricting lifestyles may confer resistance to the cognitive effects of sleep deprivation in high-functioning young adults.

Additional Information

© 2010 Informa plc. The authors would like to thank Mark Blagrove for providing the Logical Reasoning test, Catherine Harris for providing the Object Alternation test. Carl Hart and Richard Foltin for providing the Moditled Iowa Gambling Task. Jim Horne for advice on constructing the Temporal Memory and Haylings tests, Steven Kosslyn for providing the Mental Rotation task, Larry Seidman for providing the 2-Back test stimuli. We thank the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Grant No. DA 11744) and the National Institute of Mental Health (Grant No. MH48832) for supporting this research.

Additional details

August 20, 2023
October 19, 2023