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MRI measurements reveal effects of sleep deprivation


Lack of sleep significantly impacts the brain’s response to an attention task, and circadian rhythms play a role, according to functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 33 healthy adults that was published in Science. Study participants stayed awake for 42 hours and periodically performed a psychomotor vigilance task (PVT)—a visual reaction time task designed to measure attention—and an auditory n-back task. Overall, PVT performance was stable during the first day, but decreased significantly after sleep deprivation. For more on the study, see this article from Family Practice News :

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