In this study, we want to understand the effects of sleep on attention, specifically with the use of the gradual onset continuous performance task (gradCPT) and the additional singleton task (AS). Sleep quality was measured for each participant through the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index measure. Poor sleep may make individuals more susceptible to external distractors but may reduce internal mistakes (R2 = .48, F(7,25) = 3.3, p = .013). Sustained attention from the gradCPT is not affected negatively by poor sleep. Selective attention shows a reduced performance in the AS task for individuals with poor sleep. People with poor sleep measures show fewer false alarms (β = -12.5, p = .013) and shorter response times (β = -49.4, p = .002). Poor sleep may indicate decreased overall accuracy (β = -19.0, p = .018). Eye movements were monitored for pupillary size and blink duration for the gradCPT and fixation and saccades for the AS. For gradCPT, pupil size (t(32) = 2.38, p = .023) and blink rate (t(32) = 3.17, p = .003) were higher before making a mistake compared to a correct response. When the distractor was present for AS response time increased (t(35) = 14.02, p < .001) and first fixations to the target decreased when distractors were present (t(35) = -9.00, p < .001). These results show that the effects of sleep on attention are varied and may be dependent on the demands and difficulties of the task.
Steinkrauss, Ashley, "Sleep Quality and Its Links to Sustained Attention" (2021). Behavioral Neuroscience Honors Papers. 11.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.