Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sleep deprivation negatively affects split-second decision making

18.11.2009
Sleep deprivation adversely affects automatic, accurate responses and can lead to potentially devastating errors, a finding of particular concern among firefighters, police officers, soldiers and others who work in a sleep-deprived state, University of Texas at Austin researchers say.

Psychology professors Todd Maddox and David Schnyer found moderate sleep deprivation causes some people to shift from a faster and more accurate process of information categorization (information-integration) to a more controlled, explicit process (rule-based), resulting in negative effects on performance.

The researchers examined sleep deprivation effects on information-integration, a cognitive operation that relies heavily on implicit split-second, gut-feeling decisions.

"It's important to understand this domain of procedural learning because information-integration – the fast and accurate strategy – is critical in situations when solders need to make split-second decisions about whether a potential target is an enemy soldier, a civilian or one of their own," Maddox said.

The study examined information-integration tasks performed by 49 cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point over the course of two days. The participants performed the task twice, separated by a 24-hour period, with or without sleep between sessions. Twenty-one cadets were placed in a sleep deprivation group and 28 well-rested participants were designated as controls. It revealed that moderate sleep deprivation can lead to an overall immediate short-term loss of information-integration thought processes.

Performance improved in the control group by 4.3 percent from the end of day one to the beginning of day two (accuracy increased from 74 percent to 78.3 percent); performance in the sleep-deprived group declined by 2.4 percent (accuracy decreased from 73.1 percent to 70.7 percent) from the end of day one to the beginning of day two. This decline was much larger for those participants who shifted from an information-integration to a rule-based approach.

According to the findings, people who rely more on rule-based (over-thinking) strategies are more vulnerable to the ill effects of sleep deprivation. This is the first study that has explored this domain of procedural learning, Schnyer said.

Maddox and Schnyer were surprised to find the adverse effects of sleep deprivation on information processing varied among individuals. Schnyer believes this finding has implications for training purposes for high-pressure, life-and-death jobs, particularly the Army.

The study, published in the November issue of Sleep, was funded by the U.S. Army and through the Center for Strategic and Innovative Technologies at The University of Texas at Austin.

Contact: Todd Maddox, professor of psychology, 512-475-8494 or maddox@mail.utexas.edu; David Schnyer, associate professor of psychology, 512-475-8499 or schnyer@psy.utexas.edu; Jessica Sinn, public affairs specialist, College of Liberal Arts, 512-471-2404 or sinnjessica@austin.utexas.edu

Jessica Sinn | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utexas.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>