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Sleep Deprivation Increases Susceptibility to False Memories

FMSF News Alert - September 19, 2014

Dear Friends,

Steven J. Frenda, Lawrence Patihis, Elizabeth F. Loftus, Holly C, Lewis, Kimberly M. Fenn (2014, September). Psychological Science, 25, 9 pp 1663-1673.

An article by Steven Frenda and colleagues garnered a great deal of attention this summer. Although researchers have previously shown the deleterious effects of lack of sleep and memory, Frenda’s research is the first to show such effects with visual images.

Frenda and colleagues showed photographs of a crime being committed to 104 college-age participants who then read false information about the photos. People who were sleep-deprived were more likely to remember the false details in the photos than people who had adequate sleep. Students who saw the photos before they stayed up all night, however, were no more likely to get false memories than those who had a full night’s sleep.

The authors note that "Our findings have implications for the reliability of eyewitnesses who may have experienced long periods of restricted or deprived sleep."

To read comments from Steven Frenda go to:

If you would like a copy of this paper email J. Bean with "Request Frenda paper" in the subject line.

Pam and J. Bean