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Sleep debt and reward processes in adolescent social development

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Abstract

Publication date13/09/2018
Number of pages1
Original languageEnglish


Objectives: Theoretical models of adolescent neurodevelopment posit a crucial role of sleep. The study’s objective was to investigate if sleep debt predicted responses to social and non-social reward-related contexts in adolescents with high or low subjective social status. Design: The study used a mixed factorial experimental design with three factors. One within subjects factor of reward context (baseline, social, non-social) and two between subjects factors of sleep debt (less, more) and subjective social status (low, high). Methods: Participants were 75 adolescents (13-14 years, 41 females). An antisaccade task was interleaved within social (Cyberball Game) and non-social (Card Guessing Game) reward contexts. Outcome measures were antisaccade latency (processing speed) peak velocity (arousal) and errors (inhibition). Sleep debt and subjective social status were measured via self-report. Data was analysed using generalized linear mixed effects models. Results: Reward context modulated performance. Sleep debt and subjective social status had combined effects on outcomes. The social context slowed processing speed, an effect that was most pronounced in high status adolescents with high sleep debt. The non-social context increased arousal, an effect that was most pronounced in adolescents with low status and high sleep debt. Inhibitory errors increased in both contexts, and was highest in the social context. High status adolescents showed the greatest social – non-social difference in errors that became attenuated with more sleep debt. Conclusions: This study shows that sleep debt in adolescence impacts on social and non-social reward processes with effects that vary dependent on individual differences in the salience of social status.