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Sleep disorder in childhood impairs declarative but not nondeclarative forms of learning

Sleep disorder in childhood impairs declarative but not nondeclarative forms of learning

Csábi, Eszter, Benedek, Palma, Janacsek, Karolina ORCID: 0000-0001-7829-8220, Katona, Gabor and Nemeth, Dezso (2013) Sleep disorder in childhood impairs declarative but not nondeclarative forms of learning. Journal of clinical and experimental neuropsychology, 35 (7). pp. 677-685. ISSN 1380-3395 (Print), 1744-411X (Online) (doi:

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A large amount of studies have investigated the association between sleep and memory systems. However, remarkably little is known of the effect of sleep disorders on declarative and non-declarative memory for children. In the present study we examined the effects of sleep disorders on different aspects of memory functions by testing children with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), which is characterized by disrupted sleep patterns. We used “The War of the Ghosts” test to measure declarative memory and the Alternating Serial Reaction Time (ASRT) task. This enabled us to measure two aspects of non-declarative memory, general skill learning and sequence-specific learning separately. Ten children with SDB and ten healthy controls participated in this study. Our data showed dissociation between declarative and non-declarative memory in children with SDB. They showed impaired declarative memory, while the sequence-specific and general skill learning was similar to that of healthy controls, in spite of sleep disruption. Our findings suggest that sleep-disordered breathing affects declarative and non-declarative memory differently in children. Moreover, these findings imply that the disrupted sleep pattern influences the more attention-demanding and cortical structure-guided explicit processes, while the less attention-demanding implicit processes mediated by subcortical structures are preserved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sleep, general skill learning, sequence-specific learning, declarative memory, non-declarative memory, sleep-breathing disorder, obstructive sleep apnea, snoring
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2021 11:12
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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