SLEEP DEPRIVATION, LUNCH AND SELECTIVE ATTENTION
Andrew P. Smith PhD*
Background: Previous research has demonstrated that both sleep deprivation and consumption of lunch are associated with impaired sustain attention. Less is known about their effects on selective attention, and this was examined in the present study. Methods: The present study examined the effects of one night of sleep deprivation on the performance of two selective attention tasks before and after lunch the next day. One task measured focused attention and examined funnel vision. The other task involved categoric search where the location of the target was not known. The participants were 12 males and 9 females, age range 18-24 years. The sleep-deprived group remained in the laboratory from 22.00. The pre-lunch condition was carried out at 11.15, lunch was given at 12.15, a post-lunch test was at 13.30, and a final session at 14.45. Results: The results showed that sleep deprivation was associated with slower reaction times in all versions of the tasks. The sleep-deprived group also showed greater funnel vision. In contrast, consumption of lunch was associated with slower reaction times in the categoric search task. Conclusions: Sleep deprivation is associated with psychomotor slowing and an increase in funnel vision. Consumption of lunch leads to slower reaction times when the location of the target is not known. These results have implications for the performance and safety of real-life activities.
Keywords: Sleep deprivation; lunch; psychomotor slowing; funnel vision; visual search; selective attention.
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