Is pre-attentive processing compromised by prolonged wakefulness? Effects of total sleep deprivation on the mismatch negativity

Amir Raz, Leon Y. Deouell, Shlomo Bentin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigated the potential influence of sustained wakefulness on pre-attentive capacities by recording the mismatch negativity (MMN), an electrophysiological manifestation associated with nonintentional detection of auditory oddball stimuli. The MMN was elicited by pitch deviants presented to both ears via earphones, at the beginning of a total sleep deprivation session (baseline), after 24 hr, and after 36 hr of continuous controlled wakefulness. A conspicuous MMN response was elicited at all three sessions. With time, however, a small yet significant gradual reduction in the MMN amplitude was evident. Whereas previous research suggested that controlled attention-demanding tasks are hampered by sleep deprivation, the balance of the present results suggests that passive (total) sleep deprivation may also bring about some degradation in the pre-attentive detection of environmental irregularities and as a consequence may disrupt the reflexive shift of attention induced by such events.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)787-795
Number of pages9
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Event-related potentials
  • Mismatch negativity
  • Pre-attentive processing
  • Total sleep deprivation

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