If you have memory problems you may lack sleep

New research from the universities of California-Irvine and Michigan State is coming to add yet another health-negative parameter to lack of adequate sleep.


According to the researchers, lack of sleep favors the creation of "false memories".

For the purpose of the research, the scientists examined the cases of 104 students in the two universities, who were divided into 4 groups (1a, 1b, 2a, 2b).

The first 2 groups (1a and 1b) did the following experiment late at night and the other 2 groups (2a and 2b) did the same experiment the next morning.

The researchers initially showed participants a series of photographs depicting/narrating a crime. Subsequently, members of groups 1a and 1b returned home, but members of group 1a were instructed not to sleep at night. Group 1b members were not given any instructions and were allowed to sleep.

The next morning, members of teams 2a and 2b, who had received similar instructions the night before, did the same test. So group 2a did not sleep at all and did the experiment in the morning, while group 2b slept normally.

In the second part of the experiment, all participants were asked to read a series of "eyewitness" reports of "crime" that contained misleading information about what was in the photos.

For example, one witness said that the thief put the purse in his pants, while in the corresponding photo it appeared that he had put it on his jacket. The participants were then asked to describe in their own words what happened to the "crime".

The researchers found that team members who viewed the photos, read the testimonials, and tried to remember what had actually happened while still awake all night (groups 1a and 2a) were more likely to describe the "crime" by incorrect information from the testimonies, which indicates that their brain created false memories.

On the other hand, participants who saw the photos without falling asleep (groups 1b and 2b) had no problem remembering the "events" as they were in the photos.

The research was published in the journal Psychological Science.

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