Self-reported sleep correlates with prefrontal-amygdala functional connectivity and emotional functioning

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71 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: Prior research suggests that sleep deprivation is associated with declines in some aspects of emotional intelligence and increased severity on indices of psychological disturbance. Sleep deprivation is also associated with reduced prefrontal-amygdala functional connectivity, potentially reflecting impaired top-down modulation of emotion. It remains unknown whether this modified connectivity may be observed in relation to more typical levels of sleep curtailment. We examined whether self-reported sleep duration the night before an assessment would be associated with these effects. Design: Participants documented their hours of sleep from the previous night, completed the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i), Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), and Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), and underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Setting: Outpatient neuroimaging center at a private psychiatric hospital. Participants: Sixty-five healthy adults (33 men, 32 women), ranging in age from 18-45 y. Interventions: N/A. Measurements and Results: Greater self-reported sleep the preceding night was associated with higher scores on all scales of the EQ-i but not the MSCEIT, and with lower symptom severity scores on half of the psychopathology scales of the PAI. Longer sleep was also associated with stronger negative functional connectivity between the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Moreover, greater negative connectivity between these regions was associated with higher EQ-i and lower symptom severity on the PAI. Conclusions: Self-reported sleep duration from the preceding night was negatively correlated with prefrontal-amygdala connectivity and the severity of subjective psychological distress, while positively correlated with higher perceived emotional intelligence. More sleep was associated with higher emotional and psychological strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1597-1608
Number of pages12
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013


  • Amygdala
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Functional connectivity
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Psychopathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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