Date of Award
Sleep, Memory, Emotion
"The current study examined whether sleep enhances the retention of emotionally arousing memories, and whether an emotional memory can be blocked with a single night of sleep deprivation. Using a modified version of a slide show varying in emotionality with respect to the narrative (participants' acting as either a mother or father experiencing the tragic death of their imagined child), 100 (healthy young adult student volunteer) subjects following the experience were randomly assigned to either a normal night of sleep or were variously sleep deprived (in laboratory). After having experienced the emotional event followed immediately by a night of sleep deprivation, and a subsequent full recovery night of sleep, we found that sleep deprivation blocked the augmented retention of the emotional memory (p = 0.01) seen in a group having had a normal night of sleep. Further, we found that the late half-night sleep deprivation blocked the retention of the augmented memory, to an even greater extent (p < .005). The results indicate a central role for late-night Stage 2 and REM sleep in the consolidation of emotional memories. The results further indicate that in the immediate aftermath of an emotionally arousing event, sleep deprivation may serve as a prophylactic intervention preventing long-term consolidation of an emotional (i.e., traumatic) memory."
De Jesus, Rafel, "THE ROLE OF SLEEP IN THE ENHANCEMENT AND IMPEDANCE OF EPISODIC EMOTIONAL MEMORIES" (2012). CUNY Academic Works.