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K-State Today

April 21, 2017



ADVANCE Distinguished Lecture Series presents Dennis Molfese

By TawnyOchs

The ADVANCE Distinguished Lecture Series and Jennifer Francois, assistant professor of family studies and human services, will host Dennis Molfese, Mildred Thompson professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, at 12:30 p.m. Monday, April 24, in 127 Leadership Studies Building.

Molfese will present "Minor Sleep Loss: Its impact of brain development, organization and speed of processing in normal developing children from 4 to 8 years of age." 

Abstract of lecture: Data will be presented from a longitudinal study of 250 male and female children from 4 to 8 years of age while they are engaged in a series of executive function, memory and language processing tasks. All children were screened for sleep and behavior disorders via a one-night polysomnography test. Those who exhibited no signs of sleep disorders were then given a wrist actigraph that recorded their nightly sleep activity for the next seven days as well as time to bed, time to sleep, number of waking periods during the overnight sleep period and time of waking for the day. These children then returned a week later to undergo a series of behavioral and event-related potential tasks. All tasks were counterbalanced across children in week one during which children maintained their normal sleep schedules. In week two, half of the children were required to maintain their normal sleep schedule while the other half were required to sleep one hour less each night before returning to the lab for testing. ERP and behavioral testing occurred at the end of week one and week two for all children. Parents maintained sleep diaries that recorded their observation of their child's bedtime and awake time. Actual sleep tool sleep time as well as sleep duration and periods of sleep disruption were calculated from data obtained from the actigraph watches. Across ages, marked changes were noted in speed of processing, brainwave component structure and the brain areas engaged that differentiated between children who received one less hour of sleep for one week versus children whose sleep was not reduced. In general, brain processing was slower and the neural engagement of brain areas are more variable in children who received one less hour of sleep each night for one week versus those children whose sleep was not reduced. Based on these findings, a neural model of processing will be presented. Comparisons of sleep patterns in week one versus week two showed no differences for the control group but marked differences for the sleep group that indicates that even in the one reduction group processing varies from trial to trial and results in delays to some processing that result in significant decrements in attention, memory and language comprehension.

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