To investigate the effects of post-learning sleep and sleep architecture on false memory in healthy older adults.
Balanced, crossover design. False memory was induced using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm and assessed following nocturnal sleep and following a period of daytime wakefulness. Post-learning sleep structure was evaluated using polysomnography (PSG).
Sleep research laboratory.
Fourteen healthy older adults from the Singapore-Longitudinal Aging Brain Study (mean age ± standard deviation = 66.6 ± 4.1 y; 7 males).
Measurements and Results:
At encoding, participants studied lists of words that were semantically related to non-presented critical lures. At retrieval, they made “remember”/“know” and “new” judgments. Compared to wakefulness, post-learning sleep was associated with reduced “remember” responses, but not “know” responses to critical lures. In contrast, there were no significant differences in the veridical recognition of studied words, false recognition of unrelated distractors, discriminability, or response bias between the sleep and the wake conditions. More post-learning slow wave sleep was associated with greater reduction in false memory.
In healthy older adults, sleep facilitates the reduction in false memory without affecting veridical memory. This benefit correlates with the amount of slow wave sleep in the post-learning sleep episode.
Lo JC; Sim SK; Chee MW. Sleep reduces false memory in healthy older adults. SLEEP 2014;37(4):665-671.