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Sleep loss does not impact ability to assess emotional information

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It’s no secret that going without sleep can affect people’s mood, but new research shows that it doesn’t interfere with their ability to assess emotional situations.

Feeling more negative is often thought to color the emotional image of the surrounding environment and the people’s experience of the event. However, Washington State University researchers found that going 24 hours a day without sleep affected the mood of study participants, but changed performance in tests that assessed their ability to process emotional words and images. I found that it wasn’t.

Anthony Stenson, a PhD student in psychology at Washington State University and the lead author of the study, said: PLOS ONE..

Survey results affect Health provider, Law enforcement agency And people in other long-term professions who need to be able to control their emotions in stressful and emotionally tested situations.Sleep loss that is unlikely to paralyze them Emotional situation, Researchers have found, but it is likely that they will not be able to control their own emotional reactions.

In this study, approximately 60 adult participants spent four consecutive days at the Sleep and Performance Research Center at WSU Elson S. Floyd Medical College. All participants were able to get normal sleep the first night, followed by a series of baseline tests to determine mood and emotional regulation and processing capacity. The researchers then divided the participants into two groups. One group of 40 awakens the night of the second day, Control group Twenty of the 20 were allowed a normal sleep period. The tests were then remanaged at different intervals.

Both emotional adjustment and processing tests involved displaying a series of images with positive and negative emotional implications. In the emotional regulation test, participants were encouraged to help recontext the negative image and were asked to control their emotions before seeing the negative image. Sleep-deprived groups were more difficult to reduce the emotions they felt when instructed to do so.

Processing tests responded to emotional words and images, such as assessing the emotions conveyed by smiling families, groaning dogs, crying children, and more. All participants performed the same on these tests, whether they were sleep deprived or not.

WSU professor of psychology and co-author Paul Whitney says that the difference between handling the emotional content of the world around you and being able to adjust your own emotional response is especially important for some professions. is.

“I don’t think we want to be insensitive to the emotional nature of the situations that first responders encounter, and they don’t seem to be,” he said. “On the other hand, responding normally to emotional situations, but not being able to control one’s emotions, may be one of the reasons why sleep loss can cause catastrophic errors in stressful situations. I have.”

Many studies to date have investigated how sleep deprivation affects so-called “cold” cognitive tasks, perhaps factually emotionally neutral tasks.These studies also found regulations that are considered “top-down.” Cognitive processIs a big issue of hot and cold cognitive tasks.For example, mental flexibility is compromised by Lack of sleep.. This is the ability of an emergency room doctor to quickly change tactics if the patient does not respond to treatment.

Current research shows that top-down regulation is also a problem in “hot” or emotional cognitive processes. Future research is needed to understand whether the effects of sleep loss on the two top-down processes are related.

This study is the result of an ongoing collaborative study between WSU psychologists and sleep specialists at WSU Medical College. Other authors include psychology postdoc Courtney Clinek, psychology professor John Hinson, and medical school professor Hans van Dongen. Both are affiliated with the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center.


Restricting sleep can affect emotional responses


For more information:
Anthony R. Stenson et al, Complete sleep deprivation reduces top-down emotional regulation without altering bottom-up emotional processing, PLOS ONE (2021). DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0256983

Quote: For sleep loss, refer to the emotional information (2021, October 11) obtained from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-10-loss-impact-ability-emotional.html on October 11, 2021. Does not affect your ability to evaluate

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