Effects of total #sleep deprivation on procedural placekeeping: More than just lapses of attention

Total sleep deprivation (TSD) impairs attention as well as higher-order cognitive processes. Because attention is a core component of many tasks, it may fully mediate the effect of sleep deprivation on higher-order processes…

A large sample of participants (N = 138 contributing data) performed the Psychomotor Vigilance Task and UNRAVEL under rested or sleep-deprived conditions. TSD impaired placekeeping generally and memory maintenance processes specifically, above and beyond the effect of participants’ attentional state. The results suggest that TSD may impair a range of higher-order cognitive processes directly, not just fundamental processes such as attention, and that interventions that benefit attention may have limited scope.

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