Sleep deprivation increases false memories

29 Jul

Because of several notorious cases, false memories have attracted a great deal of research attention. Here is a study published in Psychological Science suggesting that sleep deprivation can play a role in the formation of false memories; additional evidence that sleep is vital to memory.

Here is the abstract:

“Many studies have investigated factors that affect susceptibility to false memories. However, few have investigated the role of sleep deprivation in the formation of false memories, despite overwhelming evidence that sleep deprivation impairs cognitive function. We examined the relationship between self-reported sleep duration and false memories and the effect of 24 hr of total sleep deprivation on susceptibility to false memories. We found that under certain conditions, sleep deprivation can increase the risk of developing false memories. Specifically, sleep deprivation increased false memories in a misinformation task when participants were sleep deprived during event encoding, but did not have a significant effect when the deprivation occurred after event encoding. These experiments are the first to investigate the effect of sleep deprivation on susceptibility to false memories, which can have dire consequences.”

 

 

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