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If only I could sleep, maybe I could remember
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience.
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Memory lies the ground for human cognitive skills, enabling complex social interaction, abstract thinking, and execution of precise motor skills. Development of these memory functions can be modified by several factors, including previous knowledge, reward, and sleep. In Paper I, skill level already when learning a motor skill determined whether the newly encoded memory would be enhanced during a subsequent post-learning period without training. Those already performing at a high level during learning gained less until recall, whereas those who performed at a lower level during learning demonstrated an enhanced improvement at recall.

Thus, in Paper I we determined modulators of skill enhancement. In Paper II, we actively intended to modulate subsequent motor skill gain by delivering a praise immediately following learning. We found that praise had a positive effect on performance gain, which demonstrates that there are interventions that can easily be applied to enhance motor skill learning across time.

Sleep is vital for healthy cognitive functions, and sleep disruption has not only been correlated with impaired cognitive function in the short-term, it has also been implicated as a risk factor for development of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. In paper I, nighttime sleep between learning and recall of a motor memory was beneficial for learning compared to a daytime wake period. In Paper III, depriving participants from sleep negatively influenced performance on a working memory task; as did auditory distractions, but independent from sleep deprivation. However, working memory functions were not equally effected in women and men; working memory functions in women were more affected by sleep deprivation.

Although it is well-known that sleep is good for health and well-being, in today’s modern society, most people have access to electricity and internet 24/7, and it is not uncommon to exchange sleep time with spending time in front of screen-based devices, such as smartphones. Access to screen-based devices in the evening and during the night are negatively correlated with a good night’s rest. In Paper IV, we did not find support for that the light emitted from those screens play a role for this negative correlation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2019. , p. 75
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1574
Keywords [en]
Sleep, Memory, Learning, Motor skills, Praise, Reward, Sleep deprivation, Sex-differences, LED-screens, Circadian rhythm, Competence-based self-esteem
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-382100ISBN: 978-91-513-0659-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-382100DiVA, id: diva2:1306037
Public defence
2019-06-14, Sal IV, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-05-20 Created: 2019-04-23 Last updated: 2019-06-18
List of papers
1. Learning performance is linked to procedural memory consolidation across both sleep and wakefulness
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learning performance is linked to procedural memory consolidation across both sleep and wakefulness
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2017 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, article id 10234Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We investigated whether learning performance in a procedural finger tapping task before nocturnal sleep would predict performance gains after sleep in 60 young adults. Gains were defined as change in correctly tapped digit sequences between learning (12 trials administered in the evening) and retesting (3 trials administered in the morning after sleep). The same task was also administered to a separate wake group (N = 54 young adults), which learned in the morning and was retested in the evening. Learning performance was determined by either using the average performance on the last three learning trials or the average performance on the best three learning trials. Our results demonstrated an inverse association between learning performance and gains in procedural skill, i.e., good learners exhibited smaller performance gains across both wakefulness and sleep than poor learners. Regardless of learning performance, gains in finger tapping skills were greater after sleep than daytime wakefulness. Importantly, some of our findings were influenced by how learning performance was estimated. Collectively, these results suggest that learning performance and the method through which it is estimated may influence performance gains in finger tapping skills across both sleep and wakefulness.

National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-334935 (URN)10.1038/s41598-017-09263-5 (DOI)000408781200093 ()28860592 (PubMedID)
Funder
AFA InsuranceLars Hierta Memorial FoundationNovo NordiskSwedish Society for Medical Research (SSMF)Swedish Society of MedicineThe Swedish Brain FoundationSwedish Research CouncilÅke Wiberg Foundation
Available from: 2017-12-01 Created: 2017-12-01 Last updated: 2019-04-23Bibliographically approved
2. Praise and competence-based self-esteem alter offline gains in motor skills
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Praise and competence-based self-esteem alter offline gains in motor skills
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Monetary reward and video-based praise following training of a motor skill result in greater gains in the skill. Whether this could also be achieved by text-only praise after learning is unclear. Neither is it known whether the effects of praise on subsequent consolidation of motor memories depend on the learner’s competence-based self-esteem. A high competence-based self-esteem is defined by one’s abilities, constituting a fragile basis for feelings of self-worth, and correlates with a lower intrinsic self-esteem.

In the present study, seventy-eight subjects performed a motor task where they tapped a digit sequence (on a laptop) as fast and accurate as possible at three separate sessions: learning (scheduled in the evening on the training day), short-term recall (12 hours later), and long-term recall (~30 days later). Immediately after learning, all participants of the PRAISE group (n=39) were given a text praise, whereas those of the NO PRAISE group were not. Our results demonstrate that praise overall resulted in greater post-training gains in finger skill compared with no praise (P<0.05, ~ +6%). We also found that those with low scores on the competence-based self-esteem scale (i.e., likely to have a high intrinsic self-esteem) showed more pronounced post-training gains in finger skill than those with higher scores (P<0.05). However, competence-based self-esteem did not change the effect of praise on offline gains in finger skill (P>0.05). If confirmed by future studies, our findings could suggest that praise and a person’s self-esteem can contribute to variance in post-training improvements of motor skill.

Keywords
Procedural memory, Motor skills, Learning, Praise, Reward, Competence-based self-esteem
National Category
Neurosciences Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-382099 (URN)
Available from: 2019-04-22 Created: 2019-04-22 Last updated: 2019-05-02
3. A single night of sleep loss impairs objective but not subjective working memory performance in a sex-dependent manner
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A single night of sleep loss impairs objective but not subjective working memory performance in a sex-dependent manner
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Sleep Research, ISSN 0962-1105, E-ISSN 1365-2869, Vol. 28, no 1, article id e12651Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Acute sleep deprivation can lead to judgement errors and thereby increases the risk of accidents, possibly due to an impaired working memory. However, whether the adverse effects of acute sleep loss on working memory are modulated by auditory distraction in women and men are not known. Additionally, it is unknown whether sleep loss alters the way in which men and women perceive their working memory performance. Thus, 24 young adults (12 women using oral contraceptives at the time of investigation) participated in two experimental conditions: nocturnal sleep (scheduled between 22:30 and 06:30 hours) versus one night of total sleep loss. Participants were administered a digital working memory test in which eight-digit sequences were learned and retrieved in the morning after each condition. Learning of digital sequences was accompanied by either silence or auditory distraction (equal distribution among trials). After sequence retrieval, each trial ended with a question regarding how certain participants were of the correctness of their response, as a self-estimate of working memory performance. We found that sleep loss impaired objective but not self-estimated working memory performance in women. In contrast, both measures remained unaffected by sleep loss in men. Auditory distraction impaired working memory performance, without modulation by sleep loss or sex. Being unaware of cognitive limitations when sleep-deprived, as seen in our study, could lead to undesirable consequences in, for example, an occupational context. Our findings suggest that sleep-deprived young women are at particular risk for overestimating their working memory performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2019
Keywords
sound distraction, women and men, nocturnal wakefulness, subjective performance, cognition
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-376724 (URN)10.1111/jsr.12651 (DOI)000456255400005 ()29383809 (PubMedID)
Funder
Fredrik och Ingrid Thurings StiftelseSwedish Research Council, 2015-03100Åke Wiberg FoundationThe Swedish Brain Foundation, FO2016-0092Swedish Society of MedicineTore Nilsons Stiftelse för medicinsk forskningNovo Nordisk, NNF14OC0009349Erik, Karin och Gösta Selanders FoundationAFA Insurance, 140006Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2019-02-11 Created: 2019-02-11 Last updated: 2019-04-23Bibliographically approved
4. Two hours of evening reading on a self-luminous tablet vs. reading a physical book does not alter sleep after daytime bright light exposure
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Two hours of evening reading on a self-luminous tablet vs. reading a physical book does not alter sleep after daytime bright light exposure
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2016 (English)In: Sleep Medicine, ISSN 1389-9457, E-ISSN 1878-5506, Vol. 23, p. 111-118Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The use of electronic devices emitting blue light during evening hours has been associated with sleep disturbances in humans, possibly due to the blue light-mediated suppression of the sleep promoting hormone melatonin. However, experimental results have been mixed. The present study therefore sought to investigate if reading on a self-luminous tablet during evening hours would alter sleepiness, melatonin secretion, nocturnal sleep, as well as electroencephalographic power spectral density during early slow-wave sleep. Methods: Following a constant bright light exposure over 6.5 hours (similar to 569 lux), 14 participants (six females) read a novel either on a tablet or as physical book for two hours (21:00-23:00). Evening concentrations of saliva melatonin were repeatedly measured. Sleep (23:15-07:15) was recorded by polysomnography. Sleepiness was assessed before and after nocturnal sleep. About one week later, experiments were repeated; participants who had read the novel on a tablet in the first experimental session continued reading the same novel in the physical book, and vice versa. Results: There were no differences in sleep parameters and pre-sleep saliva melatonin levels between the tablet reading and physical book reading conditions. Conclusions: Bright light exposure during daytime has previously been shown to abolish the inhibitory effects of evening light stimulus on melatonin secretion. Our results could therefore suggest that exposure to bright light during the day - as in the present study - may help combat sleep disturbances associated with the evening use of electronic devices emitting blue light. However, this needs to be validated by future studies with larger sample populations.

Keywords
Evening LED screen exposure, Saliva melatonin, Sleep, Power spectral density, Daytime light exposure
National Category
Neurology Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-308796 (URN)10.1016/j.sleep.2016.06.016 (DOI)000386409000016 ()27539026 (PubMedID)
Funder
AFA InsuranceNovo NordiskThe Swedish Brain FoundationSwedish Research Council
Available from: 2016-12-01 Created: 2016-11-30 Last updated: 2019-04-23Bibliographically approved

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