University of Notre Dame
Browse
CunninghamTJ122014T.pdf (1.73 MB)

Stressing Sleep: The Impact of Psychosocial Stress on Sleep and Emotional Memory Consolidation

Download (1.73 MB)
thesis
posted on 2014-12-08, 00:00 authored by Tony J. Cunningham
Emotional experiences create durable memory traces in the brain and tend to be incredibly well remembered. Importantly, moderate stress responses have been linked to increased performance on emotional memory tests, but suppressed ability to remember neutral information. Evidence suggests sleep also enhances memory consolidation, but the way stress affects sleep remains unclear. In the present study, participants encoded scenes of varying degrees of emotional arousal. After, participants completed a psychosocial stress task or a control task prior to sleep. Participants then completed a recognition task in which the objects and backgrounds were presented separately and one at a time. Stress subjects demonstrated an increase in memory for negative objects but poorer memory for their matched neutral backgrounds, resulting in a greater emotional memory trade-off compared to controls. Thus, HPA axis activation after encoding may 'tag' the emotional object as important to remember, enabling sleep to selectively increase memory consolidation while concurrently suppressing neutral information.

History

Date Modified

2017-06-02

Research Director(s)

Jessica Payne, PhD

Committee Members

Charles Crowell, PhD Michelle Wirth, PhD

Degree

  • Master of Arts

Degree Level

  • Master's Thesis

Language

  • English

Alternate Identifier

etd-12082014-141849

Publisher

University of Notre Dame

Program Name

  • Psychology (PHY)

Usage metrics

    Masters Theses

    Categories

    No categories selected

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC