Age-Related Changes in Sleep-Dependent Emotional Memory

Age-Related Changes in Sleep-Dependent Emotional Memory

Memory influences emotional well being. Research has shown that having a negative emotional bias contributes to both emotion dysregulation and depression. Conversely, reactivating positive memories has been shown to reduce stress and symptoms of depression. In young adults, sleep is widely implicated in emotional processing, including consolidation of emotional memories. Evidence suggests that aging is associated with changes in emotion, including a positive memory bias and enhanced emotional well-being. These changes have been termed the "age-related positivity effect." However, the influence of sleep on these measures has not been investigated in healthy older individuals. The objective of this research is to understand the role of sleep in emotional memory consolidation and emotional well-being across adulthood. We hypothesize that sleep contributes to the age-related positivity effect in memory and affect. Our alternative hypothesis is that age-related decreases in sleep are responsible for reduced emotional memory processing over healthy aging.

No pharmaceutical medication involved
Patients and healthy individuals accepted

Behavioral - Overnight sleep

Participant sent home to sleep overnight wearing PSG.

Behavioral - Wake

Participant sent to go about normal daily routine, instructed not to nap, drink caffeine, or engage in strenuous exercise.