CALIFORNIA – Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and Michigan State University has suggested that sleep deprived night can have severe dramatic effects on your memory, even leading to false memories.
This fact was established after an experiment which was conducted by researchers on a group of about 100 youngsters. These participants were split into four groups – two groups were asked to look at the photos of the crime scene at night while the rest two were asked to see the photos on following morning. Half of them went to sleep while rest of them were asked to stay up all through the night. Next morning, they all were tested for the details related to the photographs.
Till now lack of sleep has been related with the impaired cognitive functioning of the body. But this research has professed that deficit sleep can even lay foundation for false memories. “I was surprised to find that there were so few empirical studies connecting sleep deprivation with memory distortion in an eyewitness context”, says Steven J. Frenda.
Researchers noted that the group of the students who have been sleep deprived for all the parts of the experiments i.e. viewing the pictures, reading the narratives and giving the memory tests, after having stayed up for whole night; were more likely to give the false details.
However, the group that viewed the pictures before staying up for the night were no more susceptible to false implications than the ones who slept at night. The study also found that sleeping less than five hours could be the main reason of false memories formation.
The research team led by Frenda of Department of Psychology and Social Behaviour at UCI recently published their findings in the journal, Psychological Science. However Frenda notes that before presenting such findings to law enforcers, more exploration is required.